Tag Archives: school reports

A Rocky Start: Chapter Nine Continued

Image1-17_edited-1Laura gave her career report on Monday morning. Just like Logan’s, it was perfect in every way. First she talked about some chefs she liked to watch on television, like Rachael Ray. Then she talked about famous cooking schools. “The best ones,” she said, “are in Paris, but you really don’t have to go that far. There is Le Cordon Bleu College in Scottsdale that has a very good reputation.”

At the end of her report, she passed out samples of her homemade cookies. She called them Laura’s Everything Cookies because they were filled with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, and pecans. Everyone said they were the best cookies they had ever eaten. Amber was thinking that Betty Jenkins still made the best cookies she’d ever eaten, but she’d never tell Laura that.

After school, the girls rode their bikes to the senior center. Mrs. Snow saw them looking at the bulletin board. “Girls,” she said, “I need to see you in my office.”

The Happy Helpers looked at each other as if to ask, “Did we do something wrong?”

“Have a seat.” Mrs. Snow pointed to some chairs near her desk. “Bob said he had you set the tables for lunch on Saturday.”

“We did, “Laura said. “We did exactly what Bob told us to do.”

“He said that he made it quite clear that you should put out forks, knives, and spoons,” Mrs. Snow continued.

“That’s what we did.” Amber sounded concerned.

“Well, there were no spoons on the tables when the lunch was served. In fact, there were no spoons anywhere in the kitchen. Later, Walt found them in the recreation room.”

“I know there were spoons on the tables,” Melissa defended. “I put them there myself.”

“Maybe you forgot to put out the spoons,” Mrs. Snow suggested. “That’s possible, isn’t it?”

“No,” Laura insisted. “There were spoons on the tables. We didn’t forget.”

“Well,” Mrs. Snow went on, “I guess we’ll let it go at that. We all make mistakes sometimes. Try not to let it happen again.”

“We won’t,” Amber promised. “We like helping, and we always try to do our best.”

“Next Saturday, the women’s auxiliary is setting up for the big Easter luncheon. We could use your help with that. It’s an important event for the seniors. I hope I can count on you.”

“You can,” they all assured her.

“That was so strange,” Melissa said when they got outside.

“I wonder what happened to the spoons.” Laura shook her head.

“I don’t know,” Amber said thoughtfully. “But I think someone doesn’t want us here.”

At dinner that night, Amber told her family about what happened at the senior center.

“We really did set the table correctly,” Amber insisted. “The spoons just disappeared.”

“It sounds like someone was playing a practical joke on you,” John said. “I wouldn’t take it too seriously. Anyway, you have a second chance to prove yourselves.”

“Yeah, sis,” Kyle added. “What would your life be like without a little drama now and then? Pretty boring!”

“Not to change the subject,” Mary continued, “how are you coming with your career project?”

“Fine,” Amber answered. “It’s almost ready. Laura gave hers today. It was perfect, just like Logan’s. I think Ms. McGuire had the best students give their reports first to make the rest of us look bad.”

“She’s probably trying to let you slackers have more time to finish yours,” Kyle said with a laugh.

“Your teacher’s a smart woman.” John frowned at Kyle. “She had the best students do theirs first to give the rest of you an idea of how to do it. She let them set the example.”

“You might be right,” Amber said. “Logan did a little show-and-tell at the end of his report, and so did Laura. I suppose everyone will have to do that now. I’d better think of something I can show.”

“How about some of your drawings?” Mary asked. “That is, if you are doing your report on art as a career.”

“That’s my secret,” Amber reminded her with a sly smile.

The Handy Helpers book series is available at Amazon

 

A Rocky Start: Chapter Seven Continued

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Logan gave his career report on Friday morning. As Amber could have predicted, it was perfect in every way. In his presentation, he talked about two famous Arizona architects, Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri. He showed pictures of Grady Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University, the last public building in Arizona designed by Wright. He also showed pictures of Wright’s last home in Scottsdale, Taliesin West. Logan talked about how Wright used local materials such as the red rocks. He talked about how Wright designed buildings to take advantage of natural light. Logan had visited Arcosanti, the experimental town designed and built by Paolo Soleri. He talked about how Soleri worked to build a community that blends in with the environment rather than stands out.

Logan went on to talk about getting into an architecture school. He said that an architecture student had to be very good at math but also have artistic ability. It is hard to get into architecture school, he told the class, but he hoped to go to Arizona State University some day. Finally, Logan showed the class some buildings he had designed using CAD for Kids. After his report, Logan took his seat amidst clapping from his classmates and a “Well done” from Ms. McGuire.

 

“How are we supposed to do our reports after Logan showed off like that?” Amber asked her friends at lunch.

“That’s just Logan.” Melissa shrugged it off. “He always has to be perfect. I’m sure Ms. McGuire doesn’t expect that from everyone.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” Laura groaned. “You don’t have to do your report until the last day. I have to give mine on Monday.”

“You’re probably ready now,” Melissa said. “You never leave things to the last minute.”

“And you always do,” Amber reminded her.

“I do my best work under pressure,” Melissa responded. “How about you?

“I’ve been working on it, and I’ll be ready.” Amber tried to sound sure of herself.

“I bet you haven’t even started.” The girls looked up to see Spike standing there.

“I’ll be ready,” Amber said to Spike. “You’ll probably show up in a Star Wars costume and battle someone with light sabers.” The girls all laughed.

“Even if I do,” Spike said. “It’ll be a better report than yours.”

“Boys!” Laura shook her head as he walked away.

“Yeah,” Melissa added. “At least they’re not all like Spike.”

“I know,” Amber added. “Some are worse.”

“Be sure to bring your sleeping bags and warm pajamas tonight,” Laura warned. “We’re sleeping outside in a tent. It was my mom’s idea.”

The Handy Helpers book series is available at Amazon

 

A Rocky Start: Chapter Six

AmberFriday morning, Amber checked the nest outside her window as usual. But instead of seeing five eggs, she saw five open mouths. The baby birds were crying in hunger, and Amber was certain that the parents were hunting for food nearby. She watched until the mother returned. Something passed from the mother’s mouth to a baby’s. As the mother was flying away, the father showed up to continue the feeding process.

A yell from Amber brought the rest of her family. They all watched the bird family enjoying their breakfast, until Mary said it was time for them to have their own breakfast. Today was the last day for Amber to sign up for the career she wanted to research. Any students who didn’t select a career by Friday would have one assigned by Ms. McGuire. After her talk with Betty Jenkins, Amber had thought a lot about art careers. She couldn’t quite decide which one to choose. Maybe while she walked to school, she could make up her mind.

Melissa and Laura were waiting for her on the playground when Amber arrived at school.

“What took you so long?” Melissa said. “We’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes.”

“I had some thinking to do,” Amber said. “And I had a stop to make on the way.”

Laura pressed an envelope into Amber’s hand. “It’s an invitation to my birthday party next Friday. It’s going to be a sleepover.”

“Thanks,” Amber said. “I can’t wait. I love sleepovers.”

Walking home from school, Amber thought about how glad she was that it was Friday. She was especially glad about this particular Friday because it was her turn to choose the game for game night. At dinner, as usual, her mother asked about her day at school.

“Did you decide what you are going to do for your career report?”

“Yes, I did,” Amber said with a sigh of relief.

“Well, Fred,” John asked, “what’s it going to be?”

“I can’t tell you yet,” Amber said. “I still have some details to work out.”

“I don’t understand,” her dad questioned further. “If you have a topic, why can’t you tell us?”

“I will,” Amber said, “when I’m ready.”

“You didn’t choose one,” Kyle taunted. “That’s why you won’t tell.”

“I did,” Amber insisted. “You’ll just have to wait and see what it is.”

“Whatever.” Kyle shrugged.

After dinner, Amber set up the game board for the Game of Life. Kyle looked disgusted when he saw it.

“Amber played Monopoly without complaining,” Mary reminded her son.

“I know,” Kyle said. “But there’s no skill involved in this game. It’s just a game of chance.”

“You could say that about Monopoly as well,” John added. “In fact, you can say that about real life too. We’re not in control of everything that happens in our lives. We have to deal with the unexpected and make adjustments all the time, just like in the Game of Life.”

When Amber landed on lawyer as her career, she was practically jumping up and down in her seat. But when Kyle landed on teacher, the lowest-paying job, Amber couldn’t contain her enthusiasm. “Hope you enjoy listening to noisy kids all day while I’m busy with my important clients.” Kyle leaned back in his chair as if to say, “I couldn’t care less.”

That seemed to set the tone for the entire game. When Amber won the lottery, Kyle inherited fifty cats from his aunt. If that wasn’t enough, later he inherited a skunk farm from his uncle. Amber sold her cattle ranch for $200,000, and Kyle had to pay $100,000 because a tornado hit his home and he didn’t have insurance.

When Amber landed on the Revenge space, Kyle didn’t have $200,000 to pay her.

“I’ll loan you some money,” Amber offered, grinning from ear to ear.

“Never mind,” Kyle said. “I’ll just go bankrupt.”

“Too bad for your wife and four children,” John pretended to be concerned.

“At least they have a rich aunt,” Mary added.

“And maybe another one with fifty cats.” Amber was holding her side with laughter.

 

The Handy Helpers book series is available at Amazon