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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: googled (04/10/14)

TITLE: A Note to the Naysayers
By Joni LeRette-Flores


“Sergey. Sergey Brin how many times do I have tell you to quit daydreaming, sit up, pay attention and participate in this class. Now, did you even hear my question?”

I didn’t particularly care for Ms. Yer and found her name appropriately matched to her mannerisms and style; namely, odd. English Literature was boring; daydreaming was a far more productive means to pass the 90 minutes to dismissal.

Retrieving the thick, brown-framed glasses from their descent halfway down my nose, I curtailed my algebraic doodling, straightened my slumped body and looked the stern-faced teacher in the eye.

“Well, no, Ms. Yer, I did not hear your question and you’re right I was not paying attention. I apologize.”

Though it had been more than a decade since immigrating to the United States, my Russian accent had not diminished. It and my curt response caught both teacher and classmates off guard. Suddenly the sound of pages turning and intermittent yawning ceased. I was surrounded in the silence of fellow students rousing to attention.

“Sergey, how do you ever think you’re going to succeed in life if you don’t pay attention now? You’re a senior for cry’n out loud – there’s not much time.”

My teacher was exasperated and I was her target. I suspect she was not so much irritated at my personal lack of regard for the course, but rather was frustrated at her failure to effectively infuse the students with passion for the subject before year’s end.

“Not much time for what? To learn? To live? I do have interest in classes like math, algebra, calculus. I just haven’t developed a taste for this one. And I don’t think I will succeed, Ms. Yer, I know I will. God has a big plan for my life.”

“You are quite arrogant, Mr. Brin, to think God has a personal plan just for you.”

The teacher huffed indignantly as she shook her head, loosening a chunk of graying hair to fall directly in front of her eyes. Even over the cacophony of muffled giggles, the proverbial pin could have been heard dropping.

“Mark my word, Mr. Brin; if you don’t apply yourself now, God Himself won’t be able to bring you success in the real world.”

Ms. Yer fiddled with the wad of hair until she was finally able to secure it into the knot a top her head.

“God says all things are possible with Him and I am with Him, Ms. Yer.”

Thinking back to those years at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, recalling Ms. Yer’s admonition to apply myself, I wondered if she would recognize God’s hand in my life now, despite not ever taking a liking to English Literature.

“If she could see me now,” I thought, taking a slow spin-of-delight in the high-back, plush leather chair which faced 180 degrees of glass. Lifting my feet off the floor, I twirled with the glee of a child, soaking in the stunning mountain and blue sky penthouse view. “Thank You, God.”

When my whirl wound to a halt I grabbed a piece of embossed stationery and penned a brief note to the nemesis instructor.

Dear Ms. Naysa Yer:

It has been some time since I sat in the front row of your 12th grade English Literature class. I do owe you an apology for not doing my best while under your tutelage, and I hope you will forgive me.

I never did acquire a taste for literature, but you did make a lasting impression on me. I was thinking of you today, recalling the incident when you forewarned that even God Himself would not make something of my life if I did not apply myself in the real world.

You will be glad to know that since graduating high school I have applied myself, particularly in the area of mathematics and algorithms, recently completing graduate studies at Stanford University. As a matter of fact, while at Stanford, it was a Godsend to meet my current colleague and business partner, Larry Page. Together, we created a technology that perhaps you’ve heard of; maybe you even use it (I hope so): Google.

With God all things really are possible, Ms. Yer, and I am forever His student.


Sergey Brin”

Note: This is a fictional depiction of Sergey Brin and Larry Page co-founders of Google launched in 1996 with $100,000 seed money from the founder of Sun Microsystems. How do I know? I Googled it.

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This article has been read 267 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 04/18/14
This was pure genius! I loved it, how absolutely clever to use the "originators" of said subject and pen about it.

Wonderful job. I believe the judges will take notice of your approach!

God bless~
Larry Whittington04/20/14
As a retired teacher I found this article quite interesting. I have observed that God has generally "blessed" people with either an aptitude in the language arts and music (art) field or in the math and science field of studies.

Our education system does not always recognise this so it fails in developing its youth to its full potential. Many of our youth have to "make it on their own", usually out of highschool.

Again well written article. Oh, by the way, are/were you a teacher? You described the frustrations of teachers who love the subject they teach but think their students should also.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/22/14
You have a knack for bringing the story alive. I found myself grinning and leaning in to capture every word.

I worry that you may have missed the heart of the topic though I thoroughly appreciate your sardonic sense of humor and find it quite brilliant. Since the topic was about the verb not the noun, the only time you had it in your story was at the end.

I think you did a brilliant job of storytelling and believe the other criteria will score quite highly with the judges. You opened up with an intriguing conflict. You infused a brilliant message throughout the whole piece while still thoroughly entertaining me. Your ending was also great. I could picture the entire scene. I also appreciate the homework you did for this piece and found it delightful and out of the box.
Charla Diehl 04/22/14
This is a great entry. It's entertaining,interesting, informative and very definitely well written. Bet this gets a nod from the judges.
C D Swanson 04/24/14
Congratulations on winning a well deserved 1st place blue ribbon!

I am so happy for you my friend I can hardly stand it.
You've been gone "too long" what a lovely way to be "welcomed back" to Faithwriters!

I can hardly wait to read your next one...Keep shining His light.

God bless you abundantly~
Mar  04/24/14
Great story! Congratulations!