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

TITLE: Trying
By Amy Michelle Wiley


Pay attention. Pay attention. I rock back and forth, willing myself to keep my eyes on the teacher.

If you can all stay focused, she looks hard at me, Well finish early and youll have time to play a game before lunch.

The game! My eyes dart to the new cup stacking game in the corner. Id been practicing. Ill bet I can beat Jons time. Ill start in the middle and unstack as I go. He sets them all up and then unstacks. I know Ill be fa--

I snap back to attention. The teacher is explaining about the science experiment well be doing after lunch. Her hands move in graceful sign language. Math and science overlap. In this experiment well use math to figure out the science.

Science is kinda cool. Math, not so much. Long division is the worst. Ug! The teacher writes on the blackboard and then turns back around to explain it. If I stare at the words really hard, her hands turn into a blur of patterns and motion. I squint my eyes, and light rays from the window add to the picture.

The teacher points toward me. I jump. Whew, shes looking at Sarah, next to me. Sarah can hear a little. I know that because I tested it yesterday by yelling from behind her. She turned around to look and I pretended it hadnt been me. Sometimes she talks, too. Ive seen her and that other boy, the one whos hard of hearing, talk to each other. I wish I could read lips better, so I could eavesdrop on them!

The game! I swing my eyes back to the teacher, but it takes me another sentence before I can follow what shes talking about. American Sign Language is like that--its hard to jump into the middle of a conversation. Ive got to focus better.

So then we add a half a cup salt. The teacher motioned toward a container of salt. It was that brand with the little girl holding an umbrella and pouring salt all over the road behind her. I never did understand the picture. Its silly.

One time Mom put way too much salt in our soup. It was gross! I laugh out loud. Sarah turns sharp to look at me, and that makes the teacher look, too. I glare at Sarah. The teacher motions toward me, but she doesnt ask whats so funny. That question I could have answered.

So, according to those measurements, whats the concentration of salt in the solution?

So much for finding out if I can beat Jons speed.

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This article has been read 1320 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark08/02/08
Very good, the jumping around was just like working with Chatterbox.

Soccerboy liked it too.
Yvonne Blake 08/02/08
Good POV for this topic! I've known a few people who are deaf, and YES it does take a lot of concentration.
It must take some special teachers with lots of patience to teach them.
Well done.
Helen Dowd08/04/08
You did a good job here, portraying the deaf's actions well. I once worked with handicapped people, and it isn't easy communicating if you don't know the sign language. I did okay though. And so have you in telling this story...I liked the story, just wished there was more of it...Helen
Glynis Becker08/04/08
Great take on the topic. I enjoyed it very much!
Betty Castleberry08/05/08
You really drew me into this child's world. I would like to read more about the deaf. (Is that term PC these days?) Well written, as usual.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
You really made me think with your story. If I, as a hearing person, have trouble concentrating, how much more difficult to keep focus on something it must be without hearing. Good job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
You really made me think with your story. If I, as a hearing person, have trouble concentrating, how much more difficult to keep focus on something it must be without hearing. Good job.