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by Judee Shipman
I'm an unschooling mom, so I let my daughter make her own decisions. At age nine, Clare's decision was to enroll herself into public school, because she wanted to be like the other kids, and do what the other kids were doing.
At age ten, her favorite activities were dancing, gardening, and Girls Incorporated. Dancing she took at our local dance studio. Gardening they would teach that summer at Girls Incorporated. Each girl would grow her own garden.
It was to be Clare's last summer at Girls Inc., and she had many delightful daydreams about how it would go, who she would meet, what they would do, and the fun they'd have. She also looked forward to middle school in the fall, which she imagined was similar to a TV show called Ned's Declassified Middle School Survival Guide.
Aside from that, Clare's general plan was to recline on the futon watching TV shows and playing video games all day, with all meals delivered to her side.
“Mom! I'm hungry,” she called from the couch.
“Get your OWN food, Clare!” I nagged. “There are people in wheelchairs who wish they could get their own food.”
All through fifth grade, Clare tried unsuccessfully to grow plants indoors, where they died for lack of sunlight. When she planted them outdoors, she forgot to water them. She also failed a school assignment meant to answer the question, “Do Larger Seeds Yield Larger Plants?” because she waited too long to plant the seeds, so we never found out.
She used sunflower seeds for the experiment. So we planted two seeds of equal size in the back yard just for fun. These were the kind of sunflowers that reach heights of up to six feet.
Then came the end of elementary school.
Forget moons and solstices. Any exuberant child can tell you that the first day of summer equals the last day of school.
Clare showed up at our front door with her friend Margaret.
“Mom?” she asked. “Am I old enough to go with Margaret, just around the block... without adult supervision... Please?”
“Okay go ahead,” I told her. “Just stay together and be careful... and come right back.”
“Okay,” said Clare, as they embarked on some unplanned adventure along a quiet, peaceful, tree-lined street in sweet home Alameda.
A few minutes later I was in the attic sipping coffee, and looking forward to our trip to Eureka. I'd stayed up half the night before, creating a full color travel brochure for Clare while she slept. We'd see giant redwoods, which had captured Clare's interest when she saw two baby redwoods, small enough to be mistaken for weeds, growing on the grounds at Girls Inc. Then Clare's uncle Frank walked in.
“Judee,” said Frank.
“Yes?” I called down from upstairs.
“Go on outside,” said Frank. “Clare's been hit by a car.”
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By Judee Shipman
The problem with people is they are mean to me for no reason.
I'm an educated, law abiding citizen who doesn't swear, never hurts anyone, and is smarter than most people. My IQ is well within genius range, although this obvious fact is not reflected on those inadequately designed, standardized IQ tests. I could have scored higher, but I was tired that day. Those tests don't really measure anything anyway. Richard Feynman only scored 125 on his IQ test. So there.
In terms of intelligence, I estimate that I fall within the top point-zero-zero-zero-zero-one percentile of all humans. However, despite their comparative stupidity, I like people! I understand them. I always seem to know what's best for them. I often know what they are thinking. I'm an excellent judge of character.
People should appreciate me more. We can all learn so much from me. I'm sure I could make a miraculous discovery if not for all the distractions. Then I could stand up and yell, “Eureka!” I've always wanted something to stand up and yell, “Eureka!” about.
But people are so impatient! They won't even let me finish what I'm saying, even after I remind them of my superior intellect, not to mention my legal right to free speech, and even when I follow them as they walk away, enabling them to hear the rest of what I am trying to explain, despite the fact that they may be in a hurry. Some people actually hit me! For no reason! They don't have to hit me. They could just let me finish what I'm saying.
Why are so many people prone to violent behavior? There's no need to be so jealous. We can't all be geniuses.
And I like people!
Statistically speaking, I'm quite popular. I know this because most people are polite and don't hit me. I'm told that people insult me or hit me because they do not like me. Therefore, it logically follows that those who do not insult me or hit me, must like me.
My name is Jaben Mitchell Shelton. I hold a PhD in math from MIT. I earn six figures a year. My hobbies are math and chess. What's not to like?
Here are some Classic Short Story Examples from the public domain:
Told in the Drooling Ward, by Jack London
The Ransom of Red Chief, by O. Henry
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Go here for selected Moral Stories.
See this page for Aesop's Fables, other short stories, printable poems, and more.
Click this link to learn Why Reading Is Important.
Hit this link for an original, contemporary selection of Aesop's Rhymes and other fun reading games.
Go here for Lion Tales told in rhyming verse.
See this page for more Rhyming Aesop Verses.
SHORT SWEET LOVE POEMS This little poetry collection is short, funny and maybe even a little bit naughty, but sweet nevertheless.
VALENTINE POEMS This page features a collection of short verses that alternate between charming, funny and downright absurd.
FRIENDSHIP POEMS Hit this link for poems about friendship that actually don't suck.
FUNNY POEMS Who doesn't enjoy a touch of humor here and there? And while you're at it, why not make it rhyme?
SPANISH POEM (with translation) This page contains a rhymed verse composed in Spanish, with an English translation.
AQUARIUS POETRY Poems from the Western Zodiac.
ARIES POETRY Poems from the Western Zodiac.
GEMINI POETRY Poems of the Western Zodiac.
LIBRA POETRY More Zodiac poetry.
PISCES POETRY Poems pertaining to the Pisces personality.
VIRGO POETRY A short, well-chosen selection of Virgo verse.
POETRY FROM EVERY STATE Read poems about the state you live in. This collection really capture the mood of geographically themed poetry.
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Printable list of Amtrak Train Stations in All 50 States.
Printable list of Greyhound Bus Stations in All 50 States.
Free Printable Car Insurance Stats for All 50 States and Washington DC.
Free Printable Reusable Monthly Calendars
Free Printable Maps
Free Printable Charts and Tables
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