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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Failure (03/01/04)

TITLE: The Dream Is Dead
By Freda Douglas
03/04/04

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Freda Brooks Douglas


Starting early in my life I developed the desire to further my education. First, it was all about becoming a nurse. My doctor put an end to that desire. I had had problems with my ears ever since I had scarlet fever when I was 10 years old. The doctor said that chronic condition had sapped my strength and I would not be able to withstand the rigors of nursing training.

` O.K. Now I had another desire to fulfill. I would be a teacher. I’d always liked school. I just knew I would do well as a teacher, instilling my love of learning in my students. My dad told me if I could get on the honor role he would find the money (which was scarce in our family), to do two things for me. He would buy me a new piano (ours had a flat F key that couldn’t be fixed) and he would see to it I attended college.

Now all of a sudden, my path was laid out for me. If Daddy said to get on the honor roll, I would do him one better. I would graduate with the top honor. I studied diligently, aced every test I ever took, ignored any social life I might have had, and it paid off. I became the best – I became valedictorian.

Then came the night of graduation. I stood in the school hall, prior to the processional, thinking about my glorious future. We students stood in the center of the wide hallway, lined up in pairs. Proud parents lined the walls. Then Professor DeWald, our principal, went up to Daddy and said, “Alfred (everybody else called him Dutch), your daughter doesn’t need to go to college. She has enough education already.”

I heard every word he said, and I knew Daddy was just old fashioned enough to believe what he had been told. I had failed. Despite, or maybe because of, my diligence and high grades, I had failed to convey my dream to other than myself.


Member Comments
Member Date
Phyllis Inniss 03/08/04
That dream might be dead but there are other dreams to be fulfilled - very touching and very good story
Dave Wagner03/10/04
What an odd thing for the principal to say. That's kind of unheard-of. What a blow that must have been.

Well, you haven't given up on that already, have you? Didn't your dad ask you about it?

Well, did you at least get your piano?

Valedictorian is impressive.
Mary C Legg03/12/04
you didn't fail--they failed you because they were blind to the gem before their eyes...and unfortunately, the hurt lingers forever from the harsh rejection ; in truth, they rejected you.

and maybe, they did so because they couldn't match your abilities and so cutting you down was the only way they could handle their own insecurities. tis so hard-- terribly devastating to the psychie because self-worth is destroyed. but now, by writing this, you have become a teacher.
Donna Anderson03/13/04
Seeing through the haze of sin through fallen eyes, people often precieve things that aren't and miss things that are. We serve and praise an omniscient, ever present, perfect Father! Good writing. :)