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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: On Being Invizabell
By Dianne Janak


Little Gary Ghober had a problem. It was his first year in kindergarten, and he had already been dubbed "Ghober the Ghost."

He went home crying each day, telling his mom,

“I hate school, please don’t make me go back.”

She patted poor little Gary on the head, telling him that school is a good thing and it takes some getting used to. She told him to hang in there, and when he started making friends, he would like it much better.

”But, mom, the kids laugh at me. They call me a ghost. I’m not a ghost. Ghosts are invizabell, and I know you see me. Do I disappear when I get to school? What can I do about it?”

Gary’s mom was a little puzzled, but carried on with her busy life with two younger children that were consuming her time.

When Gary started faking sick to miss school, it finally got her attention. Gary was miserable, and she needed to meet with his teacher to find out why.

Mrs. Twenty-Twenty, Gary’s teacher was happy to hear Mrs. Ghober wanted to come speak to her. She was also worried about Gary.

As they sat down, his mom blurted out her fears that Gary was being ridiculed and bullied already at school, and she wanted to get to the bottom of it. She said that Gary had always had a focus problem, and she knew he needed some special attention.

Mrs. Twenty Twenty told his mom that Gary had a peculiar habit of always asking her and the other kids if they could see him clearly. Every morning, he walked in and said… “Hello, Mrs. Twenty Twenty.. can you see me clearly today?” She always said “yes of course I see you Gary, now go sit down.”

For a few minutes, Gary would be happy to be seen, but the other kids got sick of his every day question and starting teasing him, telling him he’s a ghost and invizabell. Then the day would go downhill, and he’d come home on the verge of tears.

The teacher and mom met again the next day to ask Gary why he was so concerned about being seen.

Gary first made sure he asked if they could see him clearly today, and when they agreed that “yes, he was clearly visible,” he then started to cry.

“My mom and dad gets mad at me, telling me I can’t "focus." I hear her telling Nana and Pops and other people that I "don’t focus well." I don’t know what focus means so when I asked she said…”

“when something is focused, you can see it clearly.”

So I know I always need to check with my teacher and friends if they can see me clearly. Adults see me and that makes me happy, but kids don't.

The kids tell me I'm not there, so I guess I don't focus to them and I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t want to be a ghost. I want to be real.”

Gary’s mom and teacher looked at each other, not knowing whether to cry or laugh, so they did neither. They realized poor Gary had misunderstood, and it was understandable. It was up to them to correct the problem.

They made sure each day Gary knew he was REALLY there, and Gary started to feel happy again.

And slowly, gradually, with much love and attention from the loving, caring adults in his life, they helped Gary understand that the ability to focus and concentrate on one issue at a time is a skill he can learn in life and that all the other kids were working on the same skill.

He learned to laugh at their teasing, secretly thankful at least he wasn’t dubbed “piggy” or “nerdy.”

He could live with "Ghober the ghost" as long as he knew the right people could really see him.

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This article has been read 692 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Wilber08/01/08
This is a sweet story with a great little MC. Charming.
Glynis Becker08/02/08
Perfectly sweet little story!
Sunny Loomis 08/03/08
We don't want to misunderstand this early in life. Glad the adults were able to help. Good job.
Betty Castleberry08/04/08
This is adorable. Creative take on the topic, too. Kudos.
Helen Dowd08/04/08
This is a sad story. But I am sure anyone who has small children, just starting school has been, or will be facing a similar problem...Children can be cruel, even though they may not intend to be. I have no children (thus no grandchildren) but I have had care of children in the past and I know how hard it is when one child is mocked or teased. I went through that problem. It is hard to deal with. But this parent and teacher handled it great...You asked for help. You did well on this. There is only one thing, and that is, in one instance you didn't join the speaker up with the introduction. (He went home crying each day, "--and then what the little boy said...) I think that may have been an oversight on your part....I liked the story...Helen
Deborah Engle 08/05/08
Great job. I saw this as a unique approach to the topic, and very creative,(as well as hertwarming). Life can be tough, even for those we think have no worries.
Yvonne Blake 08/06/08
(smile) Kids get the funniest ideas, don't they?
I wondered why you spelled "invisible"...."invizabell." If you wanted it to be in a childlike form, maybe you could him have a lisp..."invithible"
Maybe you could have done it from his point of view.

Ha, Ha...didn't mean to make that pun!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
This was a creative way to show "concentration." You brought little Gary to life, and I just wanted to hug him.
Loren T. Lowery08/06/08
I liked your story and your approach to the subject. My only red ink would be that I'd like to see more of the Mom's dialogue included with Gary's, to make her more "real". Other than that, great job...you made Gary a very likeable child.
Joshua Janoski08/06/08
You captured the thought patterns of a child perfectly with this. It was a very fun read! Thank you for sharing.