Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)
TITLE: Inside Perspective
By Margaret Gass
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Susan’s been awfully upset lately. Yesterday after lunch she just threw her books inside and looked into her mirror that hangs on the door. She pretended that she had something under her contact lens, but I could see that she was crying. Lisa and Gwen pretended not to notice, which must be hard to do with the locker right next to hers. Why couldn’t they just have asked her what was wrong? Who cares about what others would think if they showed an ounce of consideration for someone else, even if that someone wasn’t “popular.” Popular won’t even matter ten years from now, but there’s no convincing Susan or her friends of that now.
I think Susan’s feeling the pressure right now. Her SATs were good, but not great. She’s got three scholarship applications to fill out and all three require essays. Susie hates essays! Mrs. Webber assigns one every week, and doesn’t really care that Susan’s time is limited or that she has homework in five other classes as well. Nor does she care that Susan has a job--Mrs. Webber thinks school should come first if Susan wants to go to college.
Susan does want to go to college--that’s why she has the job. Her parents can’t afford to help her pay for college. She’s got to work. To work, she has to get good grades, or her dad says she cannot work. Susan works hard, and she can barely carry her backpack at the end of the day. She’s exhausted, but she won’t admit it. She’s afraid her mom will make her drop some activities if she does.
There goes Tom. Susan has a big crush on him, but he has eyes for only Jennifer. I don’t see why. Jennifer is a snob, and everyone knows that she is just using Tom. Sometimes Tom stops by to tell Susan about how Jennifer has hurt him again, and Susan listens and consoles. I wish she would tell him the truth! She would feel so much better. I know it kills her to see him so taken with someone who has such disdain for him.
There’s the bell! Here comes Susan. I can’t tell by her face how history went. She’s fumbling for the lock…6...26...17. Aahh! Light at last! It sure feels good to have my door opened for a bit. She’s looking in the mirror again. You look beautiful, Susie! Grab your clarinet and get to band! You can read the note LaShandra stuffed through my slots later. Hurry, hurry, hurry! Two tardies in one day means detention, and you don’t have time for detention!
Wait! She’s smiling! LaShandra’s note says Kevin wants to take her to Homecoming! He’s going to ask her after band, near the practice room. Get to class, girl! If Mr. Stephens holds you after for being late, you’ll miss Kevin! Hurry! Just for today, slam my door! You can organize later…
Of course, she and Shelley will meet here for lunch. I like Shelley. She’s the one who wrote Jeremiah 29 on my inside wall…good thing Susan covered me with contact paper! They’ll be making plans for how to find Susie the perfect dress! Oh, what fun! Maybe she can work some extra hours to pay for it.
Here comes Susan…all smiles…opening my lock…looking in the mirror. No tears now. Why does she keep moving the door? Oh, I see--she’s watching Kevin in the mirror! She’s packing her backpack hurriedly…wait, Susan! Don’t forget your novel!
Okay, I’m going to forgive her for slamming my door…she just caught up to Kevin!
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