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Anonymous
Rolfe High School student late 1930's

He was a young boy from the country. He was quiet and very shy. His hair was so curly, it was difficult to tell which end grew from his scalp.

His widowed mother was forced to leave their farm and move her family to town. He was a freshman beginning the school year with much to make him uneasy.

The school teacher with many years to her credit - a strict disciplinarian and one who expected, yes, demanded good work from ALL her students. The least rustle of noise in the high school study resulted in a stern glance from her that quieted all but the click of the electric clock on the wall in front of the room.

Most often, each Monday, she assigned a theme to be written by her freshman English class students. Sometimes it was a subject of her choosing, sometimes the students chose what they wished to write.

The first form was written in pencil, handed in for her corrections, and returned to be rewritten correctly in pen and ink. Toward the last of the week, oral presentations were required and that was the undoing of the young man.

She called him to the front of the class and he reluctantly came forward, his face red with embarrassment and almost totally tongue tied. Standing first on one foot and then the other, he mumbled a few words. Her criticism of him was harsh while he stood almost in tears. Finally she told him curtly, "Take your seat!" He never appeared in class or school again and if she noticed his absence, she didn't acknowledge it.

Some years later he married a local girl and they moved to another town and raised their family. As their children graduated from high school, he gave each a new typewriter and was very proud of their success.

He always expressed a longing to be a high school graduate and as his retirement approached, his wife and children encouraged him to get his G.E.D. And so he began his quest for his dream.

Sadly, he became ill with cancer just as he was about to finish the course. His instructors were so taken with his dedication and enthusiasm that they took his certificate to him and with a ceremony in his hospital room, presented it to him. He died shortly, but he had achieved his goal.

The teacher had long been dead but would she have been surprised - or glad?

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