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

TITLE: Are You A Failure Or A Success
By Clotilde Martinez


Paola stared at the blank computer screen. Her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for one little signal from the brain to start typing. Unfortunately, the brain was still digesting the topic that Paola's philosophy professor choose. "Are you a failure or a success?" Paola was not quite sure which one was she. If she choose she was a success, others in her class might viewed her answer as cocky. However, if she choose she was a failure, her classmates might labeled her as that poor crazy kid. True, only those who are attending the same philosophy class, as Paola will know what answer Paola has chosen. They will tell others, who will then tell others, and before long, this small decision will affect her life.
There was a knock on Paola's door. She got up from her desk and went to answer it."Daddy." greeted Paola as she hugged the pepper hair man standing outside her door. "Hello Peaches, I came by to see if I could take my favorite girl to dinner." Paola groan. Her father looked puzzled "Did I say something wrong?" Paola shook her head no. "Daddy, I love to go to dinner with you. It's just this paper that I'm doing for my philosophy class is giving me such a headache. Where is my manners? Come in." Paola pulled out a chair for her father to sit. "So, what does exactly the Philosopher Peaches have to write about?" He asked. "Am I a failure or a success?" "Are you?" "That is the problem. I don't know which am I."
The room was silent for only a moment when Paola's father stated, "Perphaps, you should try viewing the answer from another person's point of view." "I am not sure what others think of me." "I think-no I know that you are a success." "Please, all dads think their kids are successes." "I am not all dads, but I know that my Paola is a success." "Okay, give me a good reason why you think that I am a success."
"Do you remember when you were ten years old?" "Sure, that was the year I was the pitcher on Maise's softball team." "Do you remember when your team played the Cougars?" Paola remember. That was the day when one of her pitches caused her team the game. "Daddy, that was one of the worst games in my life. I fail that day." "Do you remember what happened afterwards?" Paola looked puzzled. "The very next day, you were practicing your pitching skills with your old man. Why you are taking notes of the pitchers whenever we watched a baseball game. " "Okay, how does that make me a success?” "You refused to let one little failure to ruin your life. Do you remember the next season?"
Paola smiled "Yeah, I was good, but the team still lost to the Cougars." "True, that was due to Janie Ellison's lack of pitching directions. You took Janie by the hand and invited her to our home. The next day, there were both you and Janie laughing and pitching. Later on, Janie invited you to her tap dancing class and before long; I was driving you to the tap dancing school. So, my dear, how much more proof that you need for your successes. " Paola smiled and hugged her father. " You are all the proof that I need." "Well, then do you still want to go to dinner with me?" "Absolutely.” With that answer, Paola turned off the computer

Member Comments
Member Date
Dave Wagner03/09/04
What a wonderful story. I loved the exchange between the father and daughter. Very heartwarming. That guy gets "Dad of the Year" honors in my book.

A little spit and polish and this piece would really shine. It would read easier with proper presentation. But that's a side issue at this point. Nicely done.

"Hello Peaches…"

I love that. Does my heart good.

>> They will tell others, who will then tell others, and before long, this small decision will affect her life. <<

I don't know...that sounds kinda paranoid to me. Unfortunately, I doubt the other students would care, really. I don't know which is worse, come to think about it...either way, I think I may risk an editorial comment by stating that it's a shame we give people's opinions such power in our lives.
Donna Anderson03/12/04
Delightful. Delightful! You can just feel the father's love filling up the room and her heart...kinda reminds me of our Father God - He's the only proof we need! :)