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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

TITLE: A Note from the Teacher
By Verna Cole Mitchell


“Karen, please see me after the others leave.” Miss Flowers, her ninth grade English teacher, startled Karen with this request before class dismissal . Immediately, Karen started wondering what she had done to incur her teacher’s wrath.

Miss Flowers was aptly named. She seemed rather like a wilted rose with her pale cheeks and soft voice and her clothes of a by-gone era hanging loosely on her thin frame. Her hair, an indistinct shade of brown in a messy bun perched atop her head, looked akin to a bird nest. She might easily represent a character in one of the novels she elaborated on as she paced back and forth in the front of the room. But any of her students, who, at first, deemed her meek, would soon discover she had iron in her spine, and it was best to do their work and not to cross her.

Karen and her friends sometimes giggled that Miss Flowers never married because she was in love with William Shakespeare. She never let on to her friends that secretly she liked Miss Flowers with her strange appearance, her fascinating literary discussions, and her challenging assignments.

When Karen cautiously approached her after class, Miss Flowers handed her a small plain white envelope that was sealed and said, “Take this note to your parents.” She made no further comment, and Karen hurried to catch her bus.

All the way home, Karen, oblivious to the noise on the bus—the chatter, the teasing, even the horseplay—pondered what she might have done to cause Miss Flowers to write to her parents. Could it have been the time she came late to class? Or was it the note to Ginger that Miss Flowers had Intercepted? Maybe, it was because she had missed doing her homework one night. Though many thoughts swirled, Karen did not think any one of them was remarkable enough to merit a note to her parents. Remembering the spine of iron, she did not break the seal on the envelope.

Karen found her mother preparing dinner and ran to give her a hug. “Mom, I’ve got a note from my teacher for you and Dad, but I don’t know what I did wrong.”

“Well, let’s have a look at it,” said Mom, as they sat together at the kitchen table. “Oh my!” she said as soon as she opened the envelope and read it.”Would you look at this!”

Mr. and Mrs. Moore,
Because Karen’s creative writing stands out above her peers, I am recommending her for a scholarship to a summer workshop for promising young writers. Please call the school secretary to make an appointment with me for discussion of the workshop details.
Violet Flowers

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Member Comments
Member Date
Loni Bowden-Horn 02/16/13
I enjoyed this story and it made me think of some the teachers I had in school.

I especially liked how you keep us guessing up to the very end of the story what the note contained.

The student saw something in the teacher Miss Flowers that others missed. I believe that is how God sees us also. He sees something in us that others miss.
esther robinson02/18/13
Good work. The note indeed is packed with surprises.
Beth LaBuff 02/18/13
There is so much to like and so much that entertains in this heart-warming story. You painted a vivid picture in my mind with the comparison of Miss Flowers to a wilted rose. I had to smile at the rumor that Miss Flowers never married because she's in love with William Shakespeare. :) and I love the secret confided to the reader that Karen secretly likes Miss Flowers with her quirky appearance because of the depth and challenge from her assignments. Then the integrity of your MC in NOT opening the envelope addressed to her parents makes her shine. You've completely endeared me to Miss Flowers. Can you bring her back in a sequel?