Fairmount 2012 Winners

THANK YOU to all the students from Fairmount Elementary School who entered the Friends of Noe Valley WORD WEEK writing contest. And CONGRATULATIONS to the selected prize winners!

Would a Monkey Make a Good Pet?
by Celeste McManus

I believe that a monkey would make a good pet because I would train it to get me stuff and I could put him in a little suit. It may seem like a strange reason, but look at it this way: It’s a monkey butler that does your bidding. What more could you want? A downside to the monkey is that he would smell and fling poo. I guess I would only train him to fling it at my enemies. <evil grin> I think I would have human butlers bathe him. I would want to have an Emperor Tamarin monkey because they’re small and could get…special items. Also, they have moustaches and everyone knows that good butlers have moustaches.

Emily’s Secret
by Alyssa Jayne Rowe

“No!” Emily said as firmly as she could without bursting into tears.  “I don’t want to go.  What if people laugh at me”?  Emily’s mom bent down close and kissed her, leaving a bright red mark on her forehead.  “Everything will be okay,” her mother told her.  Her mother’s soft, soothing voice washed over her like a warm bath.  She wiped her eyes and said as bravely as she possibly could, “okay, I’ll go, but you must promise me I will be okay”.   “I promise,” said her mother.  Emily gave her mother a goodbye kiss, grabbed her backpack, and headed down the road to her new school.

As she came closer to the building, she felt as if people were looking at her like she came from a different planet.  Walking into the building, she rushed down the hall as fast as she could so kids would not stare at her and ran quickly to find her classroom, almost knocking down a group of boys standing outside the class, before finding a seat.  As she sat down, the bell rang and she saw a group of kids run into the room like a lion was chasing them.  Kids bumped into her when rushing to get one of the seats at the back of the room.  All of the kids seemed liked they tried to avoid the seats next to Emily.  But just then, a girl with pitch black hair came and sat down next to Emily on her left, while the seat on her right still remained empty.

For a moment both girls remained silent.  But the room didn’t.  There was lots of talking and laughter bouncing off the walls as if to say, “go back to your old school.”  Finally, the girl to her left spoke.  “Hello” said the girl very politely, “my name is Katherine, what’s yours?”  For a moment Emily didn’t speak.  No one had ever talked to her at her old school unless they had to. But Emily never spoke back.  Maybe because Emily had a secret—a big secret, that no one knew.  And she hoped it would remain like that.  Finally, finding her voice, she managed to say the words “my name is Emily no one ever talks to me not even at my old school.”  She said all this in a hushed tone.  But the girl understood.  Katherine reached out and grabbed Emily’s hand and said quietly, “I can use a new friend.”

Just as Emily was about to respond, the teacher came through the door.  She had black hair, purple glasses, black high-heels, and her hair was tied up in a bun.  Emily gasped in surprise.  “What” said Katherine?  Emily paused, and after a while said quietly so she wouldn’t get caught, “that’s my old teacher.”  What’s her name again, Miss…..Miss…..    “What?”– Katherine said a little too loud.  The teacher got up and strolled straight over to Emily and Katherine’s table.  “Awe, I see you two are the talkative type.  Emily’s face turned bright red as the teacher leaned against Emily’s desk.  Katherine could see by Emily’s face that she couldn’t speak.  “We are sorry teacher,” yelled Katherine.  The teacher’s eyes went from Emily to Katherine.  The teacher slowly walked over the Katherine’s desk, like a lion stalking its’ prey.  “For your information, “the teacher” has a name.  From here on out you will call me Miss Fig.”  “Understand?”

“Yes Miss Fig,” said Katherine back in a morose tone.  “What’s that you say?” asked Miss Fig.  “Yes Miss Fig,” Katherine said even louder.  “Good”, said Miss Fig.  Now I don’t want to hear any more talking or you both will get detention.  “Yes Miss Fig”, replied both girls.  Then very slowly Miss Fig stood up straight and said to the class, “that goes for the rest of you too.”  “Yes, Miss Fig”, the class said at the same time.  “Good, now everyone as you can see there are 6 books on your desk.”  “Take your history book out and go to page 302.  “

The sound of heavy books moving and pages flipping suddenly filed the room.  “Good, the teacher said quietly, now read silently from page 302 to page 320.”  Emily froze, looking up in horror from her book.  Katherine glanced over at Emily in concern and nudged Emily’s arm.  “Everything okay?” said Katherine quietly.  Emily shook her head trying not to blurt out her secret.  She couldn’t afford detention, not with all the homework she was expecting.

“You have 50 minutes to read starting now” said Miss Fig.

Now what am I going to do, Emily said to herself.  I have to tell Katherine my secret, she’s my friend.  I mean, she is my friend, right?  I need to tell her.  I will.  Emily  quickly scribbled on a piece of paper a note to Katherine:

Katherine, I know it’s a little late to say this now, but people didn’t talk to me at my old school because they thought I was weird or couldn’t speak.  But it wasn’t that.  It is because I have dyslexia.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier, but I need help reading. 

Emily passed the note over to Katherine to read.  When Katherine finished reading the note she said quietly, “That’s okay, we will go through it together.”

“Friends”?  Katherine asked.

“Friends” said Emily with a smile.

Emily glanced down at her book and then looked back up at Katherine and mouthed the words “thank you.”

Strange Plant Appears!
by L.D. Wasserman

Be careful! This plant has been located near the California coast. It is massive! Writer Ken Kesey says, “Plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom.” I wonder what mysteries are in this strange plant?

Many scientists’ hypothesis is that it is an alien plant! What planet do they come from? People say it looks like a giant chive. But chives grow to 1-1½ feet; this plant is approximately 300 feet! Of course, chives are delicious, but no one dares try this plant.

My neighbors claim to have seen this plant move. How exciting! Kids started chanting, “This plant the alien is huge, big and tall…compared to it, humans are very small.”

Have you seen the new cartoon? The plant that ate San Francisco!
Reporter: Lucca Wasserman

The Apprentice Banquet
by Ava Toomey-Cordeiro

It just needed a touch more of red to brighten up the painted sunset Tori was making. As a hopeful apprentice to-be, she was daydreaming about the Apprentice Banquet, where she wished to be an official apprentice of Celia, the painter in Treelight. She missed this touch of color, and when her older sister, an abstract painter, came into her studio to tell her it was dinnertime, Tori added the last detail. She took a long satisfying look at her sunset painting, then slowly walked out of her studio and closed the door quietly behind her.

The next morning, Tori dressed in her dark blue cloak, black pants, and white shirt with gold embroidery on the sleeves. She put her dark brown hair in a ponytail and went down for breakfast. Her mother had prepared a pile of crescent-shaped pastries, with strawberry jam as red as lava. As her sister talked on and on about tips for the Apprentice Banquet, Tori tuned out and stared dreamily into space. The Apprentice Banquet! I wonder if Celia will be there? Will she even pick me? Tori thought. She looked out the frosty window of her house, and counted the tiny snowflakes falling outside.

As she prepared her horse, Curiosa, who was a dark brown horse with a light blue star on her forehead, for their journey to the Banquet, Tori shivered with cold, for the small horse stable that her family owned did not have heating. She opened the door, mounted Curiosa, and wrapped her blue cloak tightly around her. Tori could hear her mother and sister shouting good-byes, and she could see them waving and blowing kisses in the distance. She and Curiosa walked on, and now Tori could see the long hall were many celebrations took place, including the Apprentice Banquet. It was called Moonbeam Hall. She urged Curiosa to a trot; her excitement was too much. She needed to get to the banquet on time. Then Tori dismounted Curiosa, tied her up in the stables, and pulled open the door to Moonbeam Hall.

A blast of warm are hit her, and the light made her squint. Before her she saw a long mahogany table, covered with a silk cloth stitched with gold. On the west side of the hall, there was a marble rack, on each peg hung a leather amulet, one for each trade. Tori eyed the painter’s amulet, it was a simple piece of wood shaped like a teardrop, with an extravagant color Tori could not name. On the east side, there were ten tall mahogany chairs with a deep blue velvet cushion, all of which were occupied by the masters of each trade. On the other side, there were 10 oak chairs with a silk cushion, 9 of them occupied by whispering, giggling children of the age of 10. And the food, oh the food was everything you could imagine, apple pie and raspberry tarts, exotic jams, perfectly cooked turkey, and more. Tori licked her lips, excited for the feast to begin, and took her place at the tenth seat.

An announcer shouted, “ Let the feast begin!” Tori looked at the big platter set before her. As she surveyed the table, she decided to start with a scoop of mashed potatoes, a roll with jelly, and custard. My mom would never let me have custard for lunch, Tori thought. She watched Celia eat for a while, and found that she played with different types of jam to create that same color that Tori could not name that was on the painter’s amulet. Celia, sensing her, looked up and gave her a warm smile. Tori looked back down at her food, feeling her cheeks burn like fire. Suddenly, the table got quiet. The first master cleared his throat and said, “ I am the blacksmith. My new apprentice will be Kira.” Tori looked over at her best friend, Kira. She was big and strong, with tan skin and brown eyes. She was dressed in a long dark cloak, with a short- sleeved brown shirt, sturdy boots, and long thick pants. She stood up, made her way to the marble stand, put the black smith amulet on, and went over to her teacher. On her way over, Tori whispered, “Good luck!” Kira smiled in return.  Then the next master stood up. “I am the wood carver. My new apprentice will be Timothy.” Timothy did the same process as Kira.

Eight apprentices later, it was Celia’s turn. “ I am Celia, the painter. I choose Tori to be my apprentice.” Tori felt like the world had stopped. She had waited all her life for this. Tori got up, walked up to the marble stand, took of the last amulet, and slipped it over her neck. The leather felt warm and new. Then Tori walked over by Celia and stood next to her. She thought Celia had winked at her. She smiled. Tori was ready to make her way in the world.

Ben’s Change
by Dahlia Gustafson

Ben looked up at the building. There was a big sign. It said “Go Geckos” on it. That made him think (he never new geckos were his school mascot). He looked even closer. He saw “Boo to the bunnies” on the sign. He liked that because that meant his school team was tough. Suddenly, a loud noise interrupted him. It was the bell. Then he jumped up, grabbed his stuff, and walked in the door.

Walking down the hall, Ben said to himself, “I should check my classroom number”. He dug his hand in his pocket, took out the little piece of yellow paper and read the numbers that named his class. D312 it said. He soon found his class.

“Closer, closer, closer.” Ben said aloud to himself (he was trying to reach his classroom door-window). Finally, the tip of his eyes reached the high window. The only thing was, it was empty! “Where is everybody?’’ Ben asked himself. “All the desks, the seats and everything else is there, but nobody is there.” Suddenly, he heard something. It sounded like recess.

“Oh, it must be recess!’’ Ben exclaimed (he never knew that he had recess first thing). He ran around the corner. But as he was running down the hall, he suddenly stopped. He had forgotten about his backpack! He looked around and then he saw a lot of hangers near his classroom door. He hung his backpack up. Then he went to recess.

A bunch of people were running around and playing kickball, plus everything else everybody does at recess. As Ben walked through the schoolyard several people looked at him weirdly, but he didn’t mind. That’s what happens to new kids.

Ben was walking around trying to find a bench when a kid with a small mohawk asked him, “Are you new here?” Answering, Ben muttered, “Yes, and my name is Ben.” Then the kid said, “Oh, my name is Logan. Do you want to play?.” Then Ben said to Logan, “Um, no thanks”. Then he walked to a bench (found finally) and sat down.

As he walked in class, Ben recognized the desks and seats, plus everything else he had seen before. He found a one-person desk and sat down. “Everybody settle down please,” their teacher said (Mrs. Daizy). Everybody settled down. “Now, for our first assignment, we will make a model of a city in groups”. “Oh no, oh no, oh no.” Ben thought as Mrs. Daizy divided them up in groups. When she finally got to him, she said, “Okay, I guess you can be with Ileen, Elsie, Tom, and Iven, they are over there.” She pointed to a group of happy looking kids.

“So, I think we should make the future cars stand up with plastic straws” Ileen said to their group (They had decided to do a future city theme). “I think that’s a good idea,” Tom agreed. “Yeah” “Sure” and “Mmm-hhmm” the others responded (Iven, Elsie and Ben). They got the straws and tin foil to make the cars.

“It looks perfect” Ben yelled out a little too loud a couple of days later. A car on its straw fell over. He fixed it. It fell over again. It happened again and again, untill finally, he got it right. Except, then Mrs. Daizy came and told him, “Ben, please don’t yell”. As she turned around, her elbow knocked the car over again. Then Ben fixed it. Everything was perfect.

Comic Strip
by Nur Almuhtadi


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