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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sunday School (10/25/07)

TITLE: Ashley Smashley
By Sheri Gordon
10/31/07


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Dear Diary,

I am SO excited about tomorrow. It’s promotion Sunday. That’s when everyone moves from the Sunday school class they’ve been in, to their new class. Well, not everyone. Just the kids that are in the older half of their class.

Anyways, I’m moving from the DORKY junior high room to the really cool high school room with couches and pillows instead of folding chairs and wood tables. I think I should have been in the HIGH SCHOOL room last year when I was a freshman, but our church does this dorky thing where 7th-9th graders are all in the junior high room, which doesn’t make sense since 9th grade is HIGH SCHOOL so why are freshman in the junior high room? But since nobody asked my opinion, whatever.

So, the best part is Ashley won’t be going since she’s just a freshman now. And I’ll have Randy Masters all to myself. I can’t wait. I didn’t get to see him this summer because his family goes to some dorky camp to help handicapped kids. I used to say “retards” until I heard Randy tell someone that wasn’t nice, that they were God’s children too, made in His image, blah, blah, blah. Randy calls them “mentally challenged”. So, even though I think retards is easier, I smiled and nodded so that Randy would see that I’m a really nice person, and that he should want to hang out with me.

I have to go find the perfect outfit to wear. I’m going to pray that God will give me sweet dreams of Randy and let me sit by him tomorrow.

Dear Diary,

I have a MAJOR problem. That’s why I’m writing in you this morning, before I go to church. Except you wouldn’t know it’s morning, but I do. Anyway, Mom reminded me of the letter I got from Pastor Tommy, the HIGH SCHOOL youth pastor. Everyone’s supposed to take a Bible verse to class this morning, and be ready to share about how that verse has “impacted” our life – whatever that means. What am I going to do? I didn’t even look at my Bible this summer. And I never paid attention in Sunday school – my friends and I were too busy making fun of the dorky 7th and 8th graders, like Ashley Smashley. (Isn’t that a funny name? I just made it up. Courtney will think it’s hilarious.)

So I need to come up with something really good to impress Randy. Maybe something about kids since he helps retards, I mean “mentally challenged” kids. This is so dorky. If it wasn’t for Randy I wouldn’t even want to go to Sunday school.

Dear Diary,

This was the WORST day of my life. I am NEVER going back to church. EVER.

First, the rules changed. Now the HIGH SCHOOL room is for 9th graders too. Can you believe it? Ashley was in MY room.

If that wasn’t HORRIBLE enough, I was so MAD that I raised my hand to be the first one to share my Bible verse, to get Randy’s attention. I chose Matthew 19:14 – “Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” I shared how sometimes I watch my little brother without my mom even having to pay me to babysit. I talked about how Jesus loves the little children and so do I.

Some kids laughed but I thought it was a really good verse and I knew Randy would think it was cool that I like kids so much.

Anyway, then Ashley Smashley went because she thought it was so cool because she had the same verse. Then SHE talked about helping at a camp for depraved or deprived (I don’t know what the difference is) kids this summer. And so of course Randy starts talking about his camp, and the next thing I know, Pastor Tommy is asking Ashley and Randy to be with him on a committee to find ways to help children in our own community. And I said that I wanted to help too, but Pastor Tommy said he only needed two co-leaders and that since I also liked children maybe I could help in the nursery during Sunday school once a month because they needed help.

I really don’t even like kids. I JUST LIKE RANDY. I wish I hadn’t chosen that stupid verse for Sunday school. MY LIFE IS RUINED.


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This article has been read 879 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood11/01/07
I enjoyed reading this story! Hilarious entry into the mind of a "snotty" teenage girl--just hope some day her values change and deepen a little. Very believable character, though one I would hardly like to meet in person! I can identify somewhat,though, with her disappointment.

I liked the title,too. The use of a personal name always sparks my curiosity--a funny name even more so!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/01/07
You captured the emotion and voice of your teen-aged MC perfectly.
Betty Castleberry11/01/07
I absolutely had to read this, because my graddaughter's name is Ashley,and "Smash" is her nickname.
I loved the voice in this piece. You did a great job showing your MC's shallow values. Hopefully, she will mature and see things differently. This was an enjoyable read.
Christine Dunn11/03/07
Very funny - I love how you used the teenage voice - It's just so typical! Very well done.
Jan Ackerson 11/03/07
You captured the teenage voice perfectly. This girl is horrid, just as you intended. If I thought she was real, I'd pray for her!
Leigh MacKelvey11/03/07
OOps, I think I saw myself as a teen-ager in your character! I DO remember only liking Sunday School for the boys! A very well written and "real life" piece.
LaNaye Perkins11/04/07
Well done! I agree with the others. You did a great job capturing the spirit of a snooty teenager. Great writing!
Joy Faire Stewart11/05/07
Excellent view into the MC's character and good message.
Kristen Hester11/05/07
Oh, I remember being a selfish teenager (I don't know if I was THAT bad, but I was selfish). Your MC's voice was very believable. You captured my attention and held it. Great job.
Sharlyn Guthrie11/06/07
Makes you wonder how many Sunday school teachers know what their students are really thinking. The diary format worked well for this piece. Great job with the "voice."
LauraLee Shaw11/07/07
Ew, I knew this girl, but her name was Robin! Is that terrible to say? You just did such a good job of taking me back! Wonderful piece!
Brenda Welc11/07/07
Such a creative apporach to this subject! I love it! Great witing, so true!
Pam Carlson-Hetland11/07/07
Oh...I have a 16 year old. I can relate. Actually, it's this main character (and those in real life) that have turned off my daugher so much that she hates to go to youth group. The voice is so "right on". I chuckled a few times through this, but I know it happens every Sunday in every church across America. Excellent writing.
Peter Stone11/07/07
I think you excelled yourself here. I really feel that you've successfully managed to present the thought processes of a bad-attitude, hypocritical teenager. I thought the ending was great too, where everything backfired. My only suggestion is to use some other derogatory words other than just 'dork/y', to add variety.
Joanne Sher 11/10/07
Excellent, EXCELLENT job on the teen voice (you've heard that already, I know, but it's just SOOOO good!). This piece is great - and SO real.