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100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #20 – 100 words – Using at least 1 of …the powers that be /the apple of his eye/the writing on the wall… in real terms or by inference – “Words”

22 Nov

The powers that be struck. A child had been called to the head’s office.

No longer the apple of his eye, the teacher frowned at the smiling child.

One question, “Why the writing on the wall?”

Without losing her smile, she replied, “Some things must be written. Have you read it?”

True, he’d seen the offence but hadn’t read the words.

It read, “My mummy no longer has cancer.”

The teacher had known of her family’s struggles while their mother was sick, “Promise you won’t write on walls again and I’ll go see the head.”

Her grin broadened, “I promise.”

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

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32 responses to “100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #20 – 100 words – Using at least 1 of …the powers that be /the apple of his eye/the writing on the wall… in real terms or by inference – “Words”

  1. Sally-Jayne

    November 22, 2011 at 23:12

    Great message here Ross. The child is right – some things must be written.

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 26, 2011 at 06:13

      Thanks for the comment.

      Some things must be written but perhaps not on a wall. 🙂

       
  2. Lisa Wields Words

    November 22, 2011 at 23:44

    What a great piece of writing for that wall, and for this challenge. Sometimes things just have to be written for all to see.

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 07:54

      Thanks for the comment.

      While aware of the traditional application of the phrases, I wanted to apply them to a child’s life and experience. 🙂

       
  3. annahalford (@anhalf)

    November 23, 2011 at 00:18

    Indeed, no child (or anyone really) could be told off for that- news of that type needs to be shouted from the rooftops. (and written on walls 🙂 )

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 07:55

      Thanks for the comment.

      The idea for the story came to mind when I thought about a child literally writing on a wall. Why? What excuse? What would the powers that be think? 🙂

       
  4. Ronnie/Hurtled to 60

    November 23, 2011 at 04:34

    I like that, it was very clever to get all three phrases into the one piece. 🙂

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 07:56

      Thanks for the comment.

      I love the challenge of writing to the exact word limit and trying to fully use prompts. They’re great mind exercises. 🙂

       
  5. Alison Green

    November 23, 2011 at 05:36

    Brought a tear to my eye, a bit close to home. Lovely piece.

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 07:58

      Thanks for the comment.

      The message on the wall would be worth proclaiming. I have taught children dealing with life with a sick parent. I’ve helped them through ups and downs and would stand by a child like this if one had done as the child in the story.

       
  6. Lynda Dixon

    November 23, 2011 at 05:56

    A great take on the prompt. And a great image of everything a good teacher should be! Lovely!

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 07:59

      Thanks for the comment.

      I would hope we would all deal with a child in such a way under such conditions. 🙂

       
  7. Dughall McCormick (@dughall)

    November 23, 2011 at 07:15

    Nice one Ross. Lest we jump to hasty conclusions!

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 08:03

      Thanks for the comment.

      Reminded me of a real boy and a teacher who jumped to a conclusion.

      The teacher, seeing a boy wearing beanie during assembly one day, knew no hats were to be worn. Without finding the reason, he pulled off the beanie and was about to chastise but was silenced. The boy was bald, an aftereffect of chemo.

      A simple question to another teacher may have brought a better conclusion.

       
  8. Him Up North

    November 23, 2011 at 09:23

    Wish my teachers had been so compassionate. Nice piece.

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 08:08

      Thanks for the comment.

      Compassion can be hard in a busy day but is part of understanding we should teach children in our care.

      One of my fondest memories in my last years of full time teaching was a discussion with another teacher. She explained the teachers of Year 1/2 children would sit to discuss where each child in Year 2 should be placed when going to Year 3. The resilient children not needing much support would go to one teacher, most would go to three other teachers. She said those needing TLC and good support were placed with me. That was a compliment I’ll never forget. 🙂

       
  9. HerMelness Speaks

    November 23, 2011 at 17:16

    Superb. An advocate of young people and unravelling their ‘suspect’ motives, I loved this piece. I will show this to my 13-year old. He’ll love it also.

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 08:11

      Thanks for the comment.

      Many children use various techniques to cry out for help when in need. It can be disruption, mood swings, withdrawal, etc. We need to be sensitive to changes in children in order to help them when in need. In this story’s case, I wanted the child to shout joy to the world and a teacher reminding there are other ways but understanding why.

       
  10. Midlife SInglemum

    November 24, 2011 at 05:09

    Glad about the good news – at least she didn’t choose to spray paint it on the headmaster’s car! 🙂

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 24, 2011 at 08:12

      Thanks for the comment.

      LOL if the quote had been “the writing was on the car.” That might have made the story very different. 🙂

       
  11. Susan Mann

    November 24, 2011 at 23:43

    Love this, what a happy story.

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 25, 2011 at 21:18

      Thanks for the comment.

      I like throwing in happy endings when I can. 🙂

       
  12. ventahl

    November 25, 2011 at 03:14

    Cheeky and poignant! Wow! I can’t say that I’ve ever seen them together. Way to go! 🙂

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 25, 2011 at 21:20

      Thanks for the comment.

      Is there such a thing as writer’s licence as there is said to be poet’s licence? The prompts may not have been used traditionally but it seemed to work. 🙂

       
  13. ventahl

    November 25, 2011 at 03:25

    “he’d seen the offence but hadn’t read the words.” – good line

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 25, 2011 at 21:21

      Was thinking of how we can sometimes jump to conclusions without looking behind acts. 🙂

       
  14. Taochild

    November 26, 2011 at 03:28

    “Some things must be written” most profund phrase I have heard in a while. Great use and interpretation of all there prompts!

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 26, 2011 at 06:18

      Thanks for the comment.

      Some things must be written but perhaps not on a school wall. 🙂

       
  15. jfb57

    November 26, 2011 at 16:43

    This was such an uplifting piece Ross. I was introduced to ‘useful’ writing on the wall on Wednesday when I went to Micro Soft’s ‘Innovative Teachers’ evening. A colleague had encouraged his class to write on the walls around the school. That too was really effective just like these few words on this wall. Sad that the telling off was in progress before the reading! Great!

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 26, 2011 at 16:54

      Thanks for the comment.

      Room for expression in less than normal ways can stimulate children’s thought. I have used walls and paths in that way using large chalk, assured it can be washed away when done. For a child apparently normally well behaved, I would have asked the question why so I hope I would have read before criticising but the three parts of the prompt suggested the idea to me. 🙂

       
  16. gsussex

    November 29, 2011 at 07:50

    A very different take on writing on the wall . . .
    Clever and thought provoking

     
    • Ross Mannell

      November 29, 2011 at 19:29

      Thanks for the comment.

      I was looking for something a little different. 🙂

       

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