Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
TITLE: Nina Harding: Inspiring Young Men to Excel
By Gilbert Backers
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“You’ve all graduated from high school. Do any of you want to flip burgers for the rest of your life?” asked Nina, writing a few equations on the board. “With a college degree, you can use your mind, reach your potential.”
“It don’t matter,” said Rasheed, one of the black men. “You still end up working for the white man.” Most of the young men started agreeing and gesturing towards Tom who was sitting with Theodore at the side of the room. Tom frowned in offense at their actions.
Nina turned her head to look at the group sideways and said with a mischievous grin, “Or working for the white woman.”
The murmuring stopped.
“If you’re not careful,” said Nina as she turned her body around, slowly, like a cat focusing on prey. “The white woman might even marry you. Isn’t that right, Theo darling?”
Several of their mouths dropped as they looked at Nina’s figure, amazing for any age.
“She’s right you know,” said Theodore. “Higher educational institutions are crawling with white women. Then many go on to be quite successful in their careers.”
“And if you are a handsome, muscular black man,” said Nina as she looked up and down Theodore’s body. “A white woman ten years older, will pounce on you like a tigress.”
“So, Rasheed has a point,” said Theodore with mock despair. “If any of you get an advanced degree in Computer Science, you could end up like me.”
Theodore held up his ring hand and so did Nina. They looked into each other’s eyes across the room and everyone could see they loved each other. They had been married for seven years and still had a fire, an electricity, between them.
“If any of you decide to start this treacherous educational path,” said Nina, with a smile, “the bus will leave your church every Saturday at 10 AM to bring you here to our church’s learning annex where I’ll teach calculus and linear algebra while Theo teaches computer programming. We’ll supply lunch and also a boxed dinner for you to take home after classes.”
Most of the young men in the room started filling out registration forms for the free college prep seminars.
Looking out the window, Theodore said, “Speaking of lunch, today’s has arrived. Tom, would you help me take the food into the dining room?”
Tom turned to Theodore when they left the room. “Why did they all of a sudden want to come to the college prep seminars? They didn’t seem interested in my bible classes I told them about earlier. They’re also at our church.”
“Tom, you are so clueless you worry me,” said Theodore. “First, you talk about all of us being brothers and sisters in Christ as though God is poking you with a stick. Nina, well, she just sees people who need a helping hand to get on the right track. Second, she married me, which is far more convincing than that cold speech about how racial reconciliation will strengthen the Kingdom of God. Did you practice that speech at your country club that has neither black nor Latino members?”
“I did,” said Tom.
“It shows,” said Theodore.
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