Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)
TITLE: Filled to Overflowing
By Trudie Nash
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For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness Psalm 107:9
“You are too young to have such a negative outlook on life,” Ms. Snyder said as she stood over my desk and handed me the graded writing assignments from last week. The bold red A on the paper testified again to my skill and the ability of my almost flawless, soul searching journals to touch something in her. The bell, announcing the end of the period, startled me. I quickly stuffed the papers in my book bag and headed for the door. The good grades never satisfied me; the outlandish things that I wrote for attention never bothered her; she saw a negative outlook not the love starved kid that I really was.
“Amy, do you ever make a failing grade on these writing assignments?” My friend Janice asked as she crept beside me unnoticed. This was a difficult class for her, one she needed to graduate. What I could do with ease in about fifteen minutes took her sometimes the entire period. Her D+ paper embarrassed me, and I was glad I had stuffed the papers in my book bag so the glaring success of my A wouldn’t add insult to injury.
“Maybe you just need a negative outlook on life,” I said sarcastically. She blinked, and for a moment, she looked like she was going to cry. “I’m just kidding girl,” I said feeling badly now that I saw the look on her face. “That’s what Ms. Snyder told me today,” I said dodging passing book bags and bodies as we travel across the current of the crowded hallway. “Maybe if you wrote about some of the negative things in life and stop being Ms. ‘the glass is half full’ all of the time, your papers would really say something and your grades would be better.”
“Nahhh,” she said softly “I’ll just have to try harder because what I write is true; see you tomorrow.”
“Hey, smarty pants, do me a favor,” she hesitated before making her request, “read this and tell me what’s wrong with it.” She handed me the paper, gave me a quick hug, and was immediately lost in the sea of bodies headed to fourth period.
I was an office aide this period, and as usual, there was nothing for me to do so I took the papers out and began to read. Except for a few misspelled words and grammatical errors, I saw nothing wrong with the paper. It was the comment made by Ms. Snyder that caught me off guard. The bold black stroke of her pen simply said, “Do you really believe this!” Our writing prompts for last week were on the theme of what makes life worthwhile. Janice in her shy, sincere manner had written about having found Jesus Christ the year before when her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Her papers spoke about finding peace, how her mother’s complete recovery taught her about the faithfulness God, and how it taught her believe in miracles. She said something about his blood cleansing her and how she really felt like a new person. I almost agreed with Ms. Snyder, how could anybody believe this?
As I continued to read, I started to feel so empty. My outlook, so negative, according to Ms. Snyder was sympathized with and applauded, while Janice’s spiritual look on the bright side was criticized and put down. Janice’s words were fresh and pure. They were appreciative and happy, while mine were bitter and angry. All of a sudden I realized what was wrong, I wasn’t satisfied. Nothing in my life filled me with hope; nothing in my life made me feel new or clean. I grabbed the bottle of correction fluid near the computer and whited out the D+ and put in its place an A. The importance of her words deserved a better grade. I realized that an outlook like Janice’s would change my world; filling the glass of my life, that always seemed empty, until it overflowed.
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