Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: REDUCE (11/05/15)
- TITLE: The scorecard
By Maretha Retief
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Every now and then she would earn a gold star for doing well in a test or for helping Miss Bennett cleaning the classroom, but unfortunately, the appearance of black dots are way too often on her scorecard than what she would have hoped for. Unexplained absences from class, homework not done, not paying attention and many other acts Missy thought went unnoticed.
Missy did not want to be the maleficent of the black dots, but she often found little reason to be good as who would notice anyway. At least the black dots brought some attention, even if it was negative in kind. The other children have labelled Missy as the black sheep off the class and Missy could not blame them as she did not give them any reason to treat her or see her differently. They would not understand anyway as they all probably have people who care about them. What Missy never realised was that not one word, act, gold star, black dot, deserved or undeserved criticism, or her loneliness has escaped Miss Bennett's attention. She has been there all along, noticing everything.
As the term was brought to a close, Miss Bennett called each learner to her desk individually to discuss the outcome of their scorecards. For most it went quickly with smiles and high fives. Every now and then Missy would get a smirk as they walked passed her, knowing very well what it meant. When Missy's turn came, she walked up to Miss Bennett's desk, never lifting her eyes as she did not want to face another look of disappointment. The next moment she noticed Miss Bennett picked up her ruler and she drew one thick line through all Missy's black dots, reducing them to none. Missy looked up in dismay; she could not believe what she saw. Miss Bennett looked at her and said, "Missy, I am giving you a fresh start; go and leave all your black dots with me and be the good girl I know you can be!"
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