Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
- TITLE: Trying
By Amy Michelle Wiley
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“If you can all stay focused,” she looks hard at me, “We’ll finish early and you’ll have time to play a game before lunch.”
The game! My eyes dart to the new cup stacking game in the corner. I’d been practicing. I’ll bet I can beat Jon’s time. I’ll start in the middle and unstack as I go. He sets them all up and then unstacks. I know I’ll be fa--
I snap back to attention. The teacher is explaining about the science experiment we’ll be doing after lunch. Her hands move in graceful sign language. “Math and science overlap. In this experiment we’ll use math to figure out the science.”
Science is kinda cool. Math, not so much. Long division is the worst. Ug! The teacher writes on the blackboard and then turns back around to explain it. If I stare at the words really hard, her hands turn into a blur of patterns and motion. I squint my eyes, and light rays from the window add to the picture.
The teacher points toward me. I jump. Whew, she’s looking at Sarah, next to me. Sarah can hear a little. I know that because I tested it yesterday by yelling from behind her. She turned around to look and I pretended it hadn’t been me. Sometimes she talks, too. I’ve seen her and that other boy, the one who’s hard of hearing, talk to each other. I wish I could read lips better, so I could eavesdrop on them!
The game! I swing my eyes back to the teacher, but it takes me another sentence before I can follow what she’s talking about. American Sign Language is like that--it’s hard to jump into the middle of a conversation. I’ve got to focus better.
“So then we add a half a cup salt.” The teacher motioned toward a container of salt. It was that brand with the little girl holding an umbrella and pouring salt all over the road behind her. I never did understand the picture. It’s silly.
One time Mom put way too much salt in our soup. It was gross! I laugh out loud. Sarah turns sharp to look at me, and that makes the teacher look, too. I glare at Sarah. The teacher motions toward me, but she doesn’t ask what’s so funny. That question I could have answered.
“So, according to those measurements, what’s the concentration of salt in the solution?”
So much for finding out if I can beat Jon’s speed.
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