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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Arthur Unknown Matson, Stacey 2012

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ARTHUR UNKNOWN  by Stacey Matson  B.F.A., The University of Calgary, 2000  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Children’s Literature)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2012  © Stacey Matson, 2012  ii Abstract Arthur Unknown is a realistic middle-grade novel that explores themes of expectation and honesty in the world of a smart, funny, and socially awkward student learning to navigate the new, turbulent waters of junior high school.  English class assignments, school newspaper articles, emails and reading journal responses tell the story of Arthur Bean, a grade seven kid desperate to win the city-wide short story contest. The problem is, he’s kind of out of ideas right now.  In a moment of desperation, he steals the story of his secret love, his creative writing partner Kennedy Laurel.  When both stories get chosen as final contest submissions, Arthur needs to find a new story.  A solution comes from an unlikely ally, Arthur’s tutoring partner and bully Robbie Zack, but at a price.       iii Table of Contents  Abstract .................................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ................................................................................................................... iii Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................ iv Dedication ................................................................................................................................ v Arthur Unknown ..................................................................................................................... 1 Bibliography ........................................................................................................................ 301       iv   Acknowledgements  There are many people to thank for their invaluable help in getting this story from a mere seed to a full manuscript.  I would first like to thank Linda Svendsen for her encouraging words, her positive feedback, and her dedication to helping me make this manuscript all it can be.  I would also like to thank Judy Brown for starting the process of the MA with me, and supporting me throughout on my committee with her keen eye for detail and extensive knowledge of the genre.  Rhea Tregebov was extremely supportive and helped me to create fuller characters and tighten plot points along the way.   A special thanks goes to Maggie de Vries, whose class proved to be the inception of Arthur Bean and his friends, and her support and feedback at the beginning of the process inspired me to continue telling this story.   Thanks are due as well to those involved in the MACL program, particularly Judi Saltman and Theresa Rogers.   Thank you to Benoit Morin at the Library of Parliament for allowing me the opportunity to follow my heart to the west coast.   The friends I have made in the program and friends back in my other two hometowns have been incredibly inspiring and supportive while embarking into this new world, and for that I thank them.   I also want to thank my family: Robert and Diane Matson, for being exceptionally supportive, encouraging me, and building a home blessed with creativity; Curtiss and Andrew Matson who made me tough enough to hang with the boys; Courtney Wilson for providing laughter, trust, honesty and the bottle of wine (when necessary.)   v Dedication  For my parents, Robert and Diane Matson.   1  Assignment One:  Welcome to grade seven! My name is Ms. Whitehead, and I’m teaching Language Arts and Creative Writing this year. I’m originally from Toronto, and I’ve been teaching junior high school students for three years. It’s a pleasure for me to have you in my class, and I hope that we will be able to explore and create some wonderful and imaginative spaces together this year.   In my spare time (when I’m not marking homework) I like to canoe, cross country ski, and take my dog Bruno for walks. My favourite book is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and my favourite play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare. I hope that it will be your favourite play soon too, since we’ll be studying it this winter!   For your first assignment, please write a few short paragraphs about yourself, much like I have done here. Tell me about your family, your favourite school subject, any sports or hobbies that you enjoy, and anything else you would like to share. Have fun with this assignment, and be as creative as you would like!   Due Date: September 10th  Hello. My name is Arthur Aaron Bean. I live with my dad. He looks like me, but he wears glasses and has less hair. I like to knit and watch movies.  I like creative writing, so I’m glad that we will do that. I was probably the best writer in my elementary school, and I plan on getting rich off the next great American novel that I write.  My most profound work so far is the heart-warming story called “Sockland.” In this short story, a little boy climbs into the dryer during a game of hide and seek with his older brothers. He is accidentally  2 shrunk, and crawls through the dryer vent into Sockland. Sockland is a land where missing socks go to live. He enjoys it for a while, but then finds that single socks are very boring, and needs to find a way to get home. He then gets the socks to help him by promising to send their partners through the tunnel, and he crawls back up into the dryer to rejoin humanland. Mrs. Lewis said it was highly original and that I showed real promise in becoming the next JK Rowling. I thought I should let you know that you will probably find my writing to be of a higher quality than, say, Robbie Zack’s writing. I’m not pointing fingers, but I watched Robbie spell thoughts as “thots” on his spelling test. Good luck with that one.    Dear Arthur,   I’m glad that creative writing excites you, and it sounds like you are ready to challenge yourself in my class. I look forward to reading some of your work. I hope to learn more about your hobbies as the year progresses.   One more note: please be respectful of your classmates. Remember that everyone has different strengths, and bad spelling doesn’t mean that someone is not creative. Agatha Christie was a terrible speller and look how famous her books are!  Ms. Whitehead Dear Ms. Whitehead,  Who is Agatha Christie? Yours truly, Arthur Bean  3   ATTENTION ALL FUTURE AUTHORS! Terry Fox Junior High is pleased to be participating in the annual, citywide Junior Authors short story contest. Winners of the contest will be published in a special “Junior Authors” issue of Writers Write Now (WWN) magazine and win $200!  Watch this board for more details!  4  Assignment Two:   Write a letter to your future self. The future setting is up to you: you can write to yourself at the end of this school year, when you are graduating high school, when you get married, or maybe when you are retiring! Imagine what your life will be like, and ask yourself some questions. Be sure to write about your life now too! Please ensure to use the proper letter structure we covered in class.  Due Date: September 30th   5  Arthur Bean Apt 16, 155 Tormey Street Calgary, AB T3B 1A5  A.A. Bean 1 Park Avenue Penthouse New York, NY V4F 4G4  September 29  Dear Future Arthur,   Hello. How are you? I am fine, thank you for asking.   I am glad that you live in New York.  A penthouse on Park Avenue sounds nice. It’s one of the most expensive places in Monopoly, so you must be very famous and very rich. How is your wife, Kennedy? It seems so funny to me to think that it is only this year that I met this blonde goddess. Alas, she is in Ireland. Of course, you and I both know that this is an inside joke and that by Ireland, I mean she is in Mrs. Ireland’s class and so I only see her during gym class. Remember how you saw her every day and never said anything to her, but then you asked her to dance at the Halloween dance? It was so nice the way she fainted in your arms and you were so manly, picking her up and carrying her out of the dance. From then on, she called you her prince. Does she still call you Prince Arthur? I can’t wait until this actually happens, since it’s only September here. I bet the Halloween dance is the same night that Robbie Zack got rabies and died. May he rest in peace.  6  How is your most recent famous novel coming along? I only just started Part One of our autobiography, and I am still working on the next great American novel. I’m so glad you were able to finish it and write 45 more books. Which book did you sell to become a movie first? I hope it was a good movie.  I am sure you will win an Oscar for best writing.   In case you were wondering about me, things are OK. Pickles has run away again. She was a terrible cat anyway, and her hair was falling out. I think she is sad that Mom is gone. Or maybe she ran off with the tabby two doors down to start a new cat family. Either way, I kind of miss her a lot.   I have started knitting my first sweater. Nicole from next door says that my stitches are very even. Do you remember when she taught us how to knit?  Do you still knit, or are you too busy being famous?  Anyway, I hope my sweater is finished by the time it’s cold outside, which might be tomorrow. HAHAHA. My next project will be a sweater for Pickles if she ever comes back.   Please tell Kennedy that I love her, and write back soon. HAHAHA.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean 7A Class  7  Arthur,   Your letter is well structured with a good use of different paragraphs for different ideas. Your use of humour is great; however, please (again) refrain from killing off your classmates. Respect goes a long way.   Ms. Whitehead  8  ATTENTION ALL FUTURE AUTHORS! The Junior Authors contest begins this week, and everyone is encouraged to participate!   Stories must be between four and ten pages in length, double-spaced.  A final copy must be handed in to your Language Arts teacher on or before February 17th.  The English department will judge the entries and choose three finalists from each grade to move forward.  All nine finalists’ stories will be published in a special edition of the school newspaper, The Marathon, in early March.   From there, you will all have the opportunity to vote for your favourite story in a secret ballot competition and choose the winning story to represent the talented students of Terry Fox Jr. High in the WWN magazine.   DEADLINE FOR STORIES: FEBRUARY 17th    9  Ongoing Reading Journal: As we move through the year, we will be reading and discussing books in class and in small groups. I would like you to keep track of your thoughts about these books and other books you read this year in an ongoing reading journal. You may want to write about how the book made you feel, what you like or do not like about the book, or what the book means to you. Feel free to write  about any books you read in your journal; your mark will be a participation mark, meaning that you will not be judged on your writing style or your feelings about the books, but on how you respond to the work we do in class. Hopefully by writing down your thoughts about the books, we will elevate the in-class conversations.  October 1st Dear Reading Journal,   Do you mind if I call you RJ? I’ve always wanted to have a friend who only goes by their initials. There was a kid named PJ in my elementary school, but he wasn’t very nice to me. He used to hang out with Robbie Zack, and together they would pick on kids that were smaller than them. It’s not my fault that I’m short. PJ used to laugh when Robbie Zack would put mouldy sandwiches in my gym bag every morning after the bell rang. Robbie would tell people that I smelled like farts because my last name was Bean. But I smelled like farts because he put mouldy food in my backpack. Like I try and tell my dad, it ain’t easy being Bean.   So I think maybe Robbie is like the jerk kids in Word Nerd. Or maybe like the whole school in The Chocolate War.  Although Robbie never beat me up, so I guess it’s not as bad  10 as in the books. Speaking of books, I thought Word Nerd was good, but The Chocolate War was boring, and I didn’t get the ending. Did the guy die? I can’t tell. Good night RJ.  Yours truly, Arthur Bean   11  Assignment Three:  Write an elegy or an ode like the ones we studied in class. Your poem must be at least three stanzas long.  Perhaps you would like to write a funny elegy (maybe about the death of your favourite pair of shoes) or an inspirational ode. Have fun with it! A quick review:  An ode is a poem that compliments someone or something that inspires the poet.  An elegy is a mournful or sad poem, usually written as a funeral song or a lament for the dead.  Due date: October 14th   12  DO YOU WANT TO WIN THE JUNIOR AUTHORS WRITING CONTEST? Terry Fox Jr. High wants you to win too! To help out our future Hemingways and Shakepeares, Ms. Whitehead will be starting a creative writing circle this Thursday at lunch.  The Writers’ Circle will offer assistance and moral support throughout your writing process.  We’ll talk about some tips for writing the best story you can, including writing prompts, creative partners, and some mini-grammar lessons.  Hope to see you there!   13  Assignment Three: Elegy for Bobby Mack, a totally made up bully who is not based on any person in my real life By Arthur Bean  Your father’s football jacket That never fit you anyway Lies empty on your floor Since I doubt you put your clothes in the closet  What an embarrassing thing  To die like Elvis did But not to be famous So it’s not even cool  Your dreams of working The night shift at McDonalds Were flushed down the toilet  That night  I’m sure Trevor and Rich Will miss you on the bus But I will not, since I could smell you  14 And I sat three seats ahead of you  Never again will I be forced to listen  To your dumb, stupid insults About my knitting and my looks Both of which are cool, by the way  Your voice, once louder and  More obnoxious than 1000 screaming chimps Will yell stupidities no more The world breathes a sigh of relief.  Arthur,  Please see me after class. Ms. Whitehead  Rewritten Assignment 3: An Ode to Knitting By Arthur Bean  Oh the sound of the needles Clicking and clacking away They sound like a pair of beetles Mating on a pile of hay   15 My sweater is practically finished There’s only one arm left to do But I’ve run out of wool that will match Don’t think that I feel diminished I’ll just knit in a few rows of blue And hope that my new fad will catch  Most people say that it’s geeky That a boy who makes sweaters should quit But that’s when I say something cheeky: I tell them “It takes balls to knit!”   Arthur,   This is much better use of your talents! A good use of humour and rhyming; a proper ode to your unique hobby! Ms Whitehead  16  Writers Circle As promised, listed below are your Writers Circle partners; please exchange email addresses or phone numbers. I have tried to match each of you with someone who is not in your English class, so I hope you feel comfortable sharing your stories.  Perhaps you will find a new friend too! Remember, you are paired up to give positive feedback and constructive criticism! A little encouragement and openness to sharing goes a long way! Oliver Keith and Gene Lepora Asira Jaffer and Sophie Larocque Kennedy Laurel and Arthur Bean Ty Jerot and Ruby Fu Amelia St.Jean and Sierra Donald Jessica James, Marie-Josee Laroque and Emma Wilson  17  October 15th Dear RJ,   Today we were reading a book in class, but I don’t really remember anything about it. This is for two reasons. One reason is because the book was dumb, and seemed to involve cowboys and horses, which seems very outdated since no one is really a cowboy anymore. The second reason is because Kennedy Laurel is going to be my partner for creative writing!  This will be difficult, I think, since I want to be supportive of her work, but I also want to win the competition.  I bet her story is a love story. I heard from Oliver yesterday that Kennedy has a boyfriend and he is in grade nine. So I bet her story will be all kisses and true love, which is total crap. My story will be way better, but I still love her, so I hope she’s not too sad when she comes in second. I think that I’m supposed to say something here about the book.  It’s okay, because the author is pretty good about explaining how it feels when your mom is gone.  It’s like my life is the same as the dumb cowboy in the book who is not crying. Except I am not a cowboy, and I’m definitely not going to be crying after I win $200. So now, all I need is the greatest idea ever for the greatest story.  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  18  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: October 23rd at 9:21   Hi Arthur! I’m really excited that you are my creative writing partner!!! Lol!! I LOVE writing stories, and it’s gonna be really fun sharing ideas with you! I didn’t even know you liked writing! You should join the newspaper! We have a lot of fun reporting on stuff! And it’s GREAT practice for writing!   So far, I think my story for the contest is going to be an alien story! It will be something about a guy who is locked in a mental institution because he sees ALIENS and keeps telling people that they are coming for him, but people think he’s crazy. Of course, the aliens will be real lol! I’m not sure how it will end yet, but probably something GORY! Do you have any ideas?! Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: October 23rd at 10:04  Hi Kennedy,  I love you From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: October 23rd at 10:09   Sorry Kennedy! I accidentally hit send before finishing that sentence. I meant to say I love your idea! I don’t know how your story should end, but I will think about it. I also will join the newspaper with you. That sounds good. I’m not sure how much time I will be able to spend on it, since I write a lot already. I plan on becoming a world famous author, so I need  19 to practice. I think my story will be an epic story. I’ve been thinking that maybe it will be the story of a poor man who thinks he’s a knight. He lives in a village and thinks that windmills are dragons, so he tries to kill them. It sounds funny, but it will be very sad. He will think that the peasant in the next village is a princess for him to save. At the end, he will die of heartbreak. That’s sort of the main storyline so far.  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: October 23rd at 20:13   Hi Arthur! You are SO funny!  I’m glad you are going to join the newspaper! That will make TWO new reporters lol! Robbie Z is also going to join! Do you know Robbie? We are next-door neighbours! Well, not quite, but he lives across the street and we’ve been playing baseball on the same team SINCE T-BALL!   Anyways, your story sounds pretty good, but um... I’m pretty sure that there’s a famous story like that already. My parents took me to a play called Don Quixote and it was kind of the same as your story! Maybe you saw the same play and forgot that you saw it LOL! That happens to me all the time too LOL! I bet you could change it though, and make it a new story! LOTS of great writers re-write other stories!   Anyways, have a good weekend and I will see you at the newspaper meeting on Monday at lunch! Room 204! My boyfriend is taking me BOWLING tomorrow lol! Too funny lol! Kennedy :)  20  October 24th  Dear RJ,  We’re still reading the modern cowboy book in class.  Why do authors write stories based in “reality”? It’s lame. First, like I said before, cowboys aren’t really real, not the way books describe them. And no kid would ever call himself a cowboy. That’s like kids who play D&D calling themselves geeks.  Cowboys Don’t Cry?  Of course they don’t. And in Social Studies we learned that practically no one lives outside of cities in Canada anyway, so who would “identify” with this book?  I bet Ms. Whitehead would say that it’s “symbolic.”  My mom told me that symbolism in books was all made-up, but I think that the ranch in this book symbolizes boredom for everybody who has to read it.     I would rather read a story where the world isn’t real, where the world is made up with ogres and knights and magic. At least then the good guys are good guys, and the princess doesn’t have a next door neighbour who is a guy who “accidentally” hits people on the head with his backpack on his way to the back of the bus. She also doesn’t have a boyfriend in grade nine who takes her bowling.  Who goes bowling anyway?    In my story, I wouldn’t kill off the parents either, because it sucks for the kid reads that book and know what it feels like when their mom dies, and it sucks for everybody else who has to be in a class with a kid whose mom has died and then they look at him to answer all the questions the teacher asks about how the character is feeling.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean   21  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: October 25th at 21:10   Hi Arthur! I didn’t see you at the newspaper meeting at lunch today! Then I thought that maybe I forgot to tell you what room it was in lol! ANYWAYS, I signed you up to do an article on the Halloween dance! I can’t wait to see your costume! Also, have you thought more about your story? I think that maybe in mine one of the nurses will be an ALIEN! Crazy twist lol!  Kennedy :)   22  Assignment Four:  Write an acrostic poem about a person in your life. It could be a poem about your dog, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your grandmother, or maybe even a poem about a celebrity you find inspiring. A reminder: an acrostic poem uses the first letter of a word or name at the beginning of each line.  Extra points if your poem rhymes!  Due date: October 28th   Assignment Four: My Dad by Arthur Bean Every night, he sits in a chair Reality shows on the TV blare Not watching them really Each one looks so silly Sometimes he smiles weakly To me it looks meekly But he’s there every night Ernest Bean will be alright As long as he’s not dumb, and Never forgets my mom.     23 Dear Arthur,  Your acrostic is a lovely ode to your father, but it’s quite sad. Maybe next time you can try focusing on his best qualities or your favourite memories that include him.  Did he teach you to ride a bicycle?  Does he play catch with you in the backyard? This is a real departure from the humour in your previous work. Know that you can speak to me privately should you be encountering any problems at school or at home.   Ms. Whitehead  24  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: October 26th  at 17:04   Hi Arthur! Did you get my message about the newspaper and the article about the Halloween dance? I never heard back from you! The dance is on Friday night, I HOPE you can make it! I still don’t have a costume! My bf wants to go as Fred and Wilma from the FLINTSTONES lol! I told him that was crazy since I have BLONDE hair not red lol! Now I think we will go as a fisherman and a mermaid LOL! Anyway, Mr. Everett wants to have a first draft of your story at the newspaper meeting on MONDAY at NOON. OK, I’m off to do some homework lol!  Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: October 26th at 17:20  Dear Kennedy,   Sorry I didn’t make it to the meeting. I wasn’t sure I wanted to join anymore. But since you seem so excited about it, I will be at the dance. I think I will go as a reporter. Funny huh?   See you on Friday. I’m sure it will be fun.  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  25  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: October 26th at 19:06  Hooray!!! LOVE the costume idea LOLOLOL!!!   Kennedy :)  26   Halloween Dance a Scream by Arthur Bean   Terry Fox Junior High had a howler of a good time on Friday night at the Halloween dance.   Taking first prize in the couples’ costume contest were Amanda Lawrence and Jeffrey Wong for their inspired “Romeo and Ghouliet” costumes. Placing a close second were Kennedy Laurel and Sandy Dickason as “Fisherman and Mermaid”. Their second place finish is likely because Kennedy’s mermaid costume clearly outdid her boyfriend’s flannel shirt and rubber boots. That’s just pretending to be in costume. Everyone thought that Oliver Keith’s “Quasimodo” would win Best Individual Costume, but he lost to Peter Lee’s “Couch Potato” costume. I have a “hunch” Quasimodo will be “back” next year.   The party really started when the vampire DJ went on his coffin break, and the mummy DJ started spinning wrap music.   The most shocking event of the night was when Robbie Zack, dressed as a cannibal, was suspended from school. He was found in the Home Ec room, buttering up the teacher.  Hiya Arthur,   A punster, like myself!  What a great start on your first article. I’m going to look it over and make some edits in time for publication on Friday. For your next article, try to focus on finding the story, and not just the puns. Very funny, though! Cheers!   Mr. Everett P.S.: Why did the monster eat a light bulb? She wanted a light snack!   27  Assignment Five: Many of you have realized that your favourite poem shapes your own writing. Sometimes we can find inspiration in the words of our colleagues. I have assigned you a partner and would like you to write four to six stanzas of a “call and response” poem. In this poem, the first person (Person A) writes the first stanza. Then Person B will write a stanza that responds to Person A’s writing. Person A will then respond to Person B and so forth. You may find yourselves surprised at what wonders collaboration can create!  Due: End of Class today!  (November 1st) Assignment Five: Call and Response Poem by Arthur Bean and Robbie Zack (Robbie) Poettry is for loosers Sports are way more cool Like hockey and bassketball And even baseball is better than a pome (Arthur) Your lack of intelligence astounds me But then, your mean streak does too Sports are for idiots, jerks and bullies In short, they’re for people like you (Robbie) There not for jerks, nerdball  28 There for people with skills like stick handleing And running fast Leaving loosers in dust Where you will be (Arthur) I know you think you’re cool Cuz you’re bigger than kids like me But I will be famous, and you will be dumb In the future, you just wait and see (Robert) whatever.  your not worth my time i just want to rite about sports (Arthur) You’re confusing your you’re with your your Something we learned in grade three But I guess to you grammar doesn’t matter Cuz it’s not needed when you work at McD’s  29  November 3rd  Dear Ernest,   Your son Arthur is in my Language Arts and Creative Writing class. He is bright, enthusiastic, and participates often in class discussions. However, I have some concerns about his behaviour, particularly concerning his interactions with one of his classmates, Robert Zack. I am worried about his aggression towards Robert, and the disdain he shows for Robert’s work. Robert is a student who struggles in the Language Arts setting, and I believe that it might be a great help to both Arthur and Robert to work together. I’m proposing that Arthur become Robert’s tutor for the next few months. I feel that Robert could certainly benefit from Arthur’s knowledge and passion for the English language, and it may help Arthur to become more understanding of the other people’s foibles and challenges.  I understand that Arthur and Robert have had some confrontations in the past, and I hope that some structured time one on one will help them interact on a more positive basis.  The Terry Fox Jr. High peer tutoring process takes place for one hour each week, directly after school, on an afternoon that is mutually convenient for the tutor and tutee. With your consent, I will set up a time to meet with Robert and Arthur to discuss the tutoring process.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Sincerely,  Alexa Whitehead Dear Ms. Whitehead,   I would like to point out that my father is very strict about people referring to him as Ernest. He won’t like you being so personal by using his first name instead of Mr. Bean.  30 Secondly, I am very busy after school. I have activities on every evening, and I have writing to do for the school competition AND the newspaper. I don’t think I could make it work with my very busy extra-curricular schedule. I think you should reconsider sending this letter to my dad at all. He’s a very busy man, and he is also very sad about losing his wife, so if he thinks his son is bad, it might break his heart, and leave me an orphan. Don’t you think I’ve been through enough? Yours truly, Arthur Bean Arthur,   Please keep this revised letter in this sealed envelope for delivery to your father. Thank you, Ms. Whitehead  31  November 4th  Dear RJ,  I know that I’m supposed to use you for reading responses, so I’m responding to a letter that Ms. Whitehead wrote to my father. It sucks. It’s the stupidest letter I’ve ever seen, and the stupidest idea ever. For one thing, I think Robbie will just use the time for tutoring to spit on my paper. He used to do that in grade five when we sat across from each other. Then I got in trouble for handing in wet math problems, and the cool girls called me Droolyface. Not only that, but Robbie is clearly stupid. My mom used to say that calling people stupid is the worst thing you can do, but I think that’s stupid. Sorry, Mom.  Some people are stupid. People like Robbie Zack, and people like Ms. Whitehead for coming up with some crappy punishment for me because she knows I’m probably smarter than she is and that I’m going to be famous and never dedicate a book to her. I won’t even thank her in the Thank You section.   Anyway RJ, I just wanted to tell you this because no one else will listen. If ever you want to tell me something RJ, I’ll listen HAHAHA. Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  32  November 4th Dear Mr. Everett,  I’ve been thinking a lot about my place in the newspaper club, and I would like to write a column once a month. In my article, I will comment on goings-on at school and in the world as I see them. I promise it will be funny, especially since I am practicing to be a famous author one day.  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean Hiya Arthur,  Your suggestion for a running article is an interesting one! What enthusiasm and initiative for the newspaper! The thing is, I’ve been talking to a few of your teachers, and we’re not certain it would be the best use of your talents for the newspaper club right now. Why don’t you cover the Remembrance Day Assembly instead?  We can see how that goes, along with a few other articles in the next couple of months and perhaps try a sample of a running article after a few more editions. Cheers!  Mr. E  33  November 5th  Dear Alexa,   Please consider this letter as consent for Arthur to participate in the tutoring program. I’m glad he’s able to help out.  Ernie B.  34  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: November 9th  Worked On: Synonyms  I think this is impossible.  This guy is a turd.   -Arthur I concur (agree)- Robbie  35  Assignment Six:  Write a poem for Remembrance Day. Look at some of the poems we read and studied in class for inspiration. Perhaps your poem is inspirational, or perhaps it is anti-war. Maybe you want to consider writing the poetic story of a soldier in WWII. We’ll read the works in class and choose a favourite to be read at the school Remembrance Day Assembly.  Due Date: November 10th  Assignment Six: War By Arthur Bean In schoolyard fields The insults are said Between the bullies Grade to grade They don’t throw bombs They throw water balloons They think they’re funny They’re just dumb baboons We are the nerds Short days ago, we knit, Felt pride, wrote songs And poems, then felt wronged And now we hide  In classrooms, side by side Away from schoolyard fields  36 Take up our battle with the foe To cooler kids we throw  The answers to next week’s test And maybe they won’t pick on us At least until we miss the bus And have to wait  In schoolyard fields Dear Arthur,  Your re-imagined poem of In Flanders Fields is very interesting. Although war can be considered bullying on a larger scale, your liberal interpretation of the assignment would be inappropriate for a school assembly marking Remembrance Day.  Ms. Whitehead  37   We Shall Grow Old During the Assembly By Arthur Bean  Terry Fox Jr. High celebrated another Remembrance Day with an assembly on November 11th. As expected from an assembly, there was the usual singing of the national anthem, a bad rendition of a mournful song by the choral club, and some speakers. Three poems were read, one by a student in each grade. Representing the grade nines was Mikayla Connors, reading a rhyming poem pretending she was a dead soldier from World War 1. Grade eight student Brianna Lau read her poem about being a dead soldier from World War Two, and finishing off the trio was grade seven student Paige Petrovych, who read, yes you got it, her poem about being a soldier who watches his best friend die in World War 1. Certainly there were better poems in the grade seven class than this overwrought free verse. In case you fell asleep during this part of the show, you can read all three poems on page 5 of this edition of the Terry Fox Jr High Marathon.   The poems were followed by the obligatory two minutes of silence, one of which was punctuated by a teacher’s cell phone ringing. Read more about the school cell phone policy on page one.   The best part of the assembly was the talk from a soldier who recently served in Afghanistan. Lt. Ducharme was funny but also serious, and told us some great and sad stories about life as a soldier and about living in a war zone. He should come to every assembly.  Hiya Arthur,   There’s some great work in your writing here! You’ve covered some of the major points of the assembly, and I like how you refer your readers to other parts of the newspaper.  38 For your next piece, focus on being more objective while you are reporting.  It’s awesome that you covered everything so completely, so now try and look at your subject like a scientist!  You know, objectively, and not really adding your own personal commentary. I’ve done some editing on your article to show you what I mean-check it out! Would you like to try covering a school sporting event next? The boys’ volleyball finals are next week. Should be a smashing game!  Cheers!  Mr. E Dear Mr. Everett,   No offence, but sports don’t interest me. What I would really like is to write my own opinion pieces, since you’ve said that my voice is so strong. How about I write one article for the December edition of the paper, and you can review it beforehand?  I’ll have an article for you by the end of the week! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Hiya Arthur,   I think I’d like to see more articles from you before we look into a new format.  After all, I’m still learning about the best format for the school paper too!  The trials of being a 1st year teacher!  Could you review the short film that the AV Club made this fall?  They will be showing it every lunch hour the first week of December in the drama room, but are willing to do a preview for the newspaper.  I bet it leaves you reeling! Cheers!    Mr. E  39  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: November 16th  Worked On: Homonyms  Ms. W, I don’t know what Arthur’s problem is, but hes the worst tutor ever.  Their must be another guy out there. -Robbie Ms. Whitehead,   It’s my belief that if Robbie actually paid attention to what I was saying, he may actually have learnt what a homonym is, rather than using it for an hour as an insult about my “girly-man” nature.  Arthur  40  Assignment Seven:  We’re going to be starting our unit on A Midsummer Night’s Dream this week.  To prepare, I would like you to write a short two paragraphs, imagining yourself as an actor or an audience member in Shakespeare’s time.  What does it feel like to be onstage?  What does it smell like?  What are you wearing?  Did you have to sneak in as a groundling to see the show, or are you rich enough to buy a seat?  Please use at least seven adjectives and five adverbs in describing the scene you are creating.        Due Date: November 18th  Assignment Seven: My Life as Shakespeare By Arthur Bean   The Globe Theatre is putting on my play again tonight.  It’s wonderfully exciting that they created this whole theatre just for me.  I adjust my funny looking wig, and smooth out my greasy moustache.  It smells in here, like it does every night.  It’s too bad that the audience doesn’t bathe ever.  The stench of onions and garlic swirl around me disgustingly.  It also smells strongly of rancid feet.  It reminds me of my own father’s feet when he takes off his boots after spending the day doing farm work, but a hundred thousand times worse.  I gag quietly, so that the actors don’t hear me.  I don’t want them to think I don’t like their acting.    The thing is, though, is that I don’t like their acting.  The guy playing the king is okay, but the prince is really overbearing, saying all his lines too quickly and loudly.  There is no emotion in his voice.  But the audience doesn’t mind.  They clap loudly, and call out adjectives like “Wonderful!”, “Fantastic!”, “Grandly Delightful!”  and “Stupendous work  41 Mr. Shakespeare!”  Thankfully, they can see who the really brilliant person is in this round theatre tonight.  Arthur,  This is some nice work in describing how Shakespeare might feel about his work.  However, I was hoping that you would focus more on the atmosphere of the play, rather than on the opinions of the playwright.  I also find your subtle mocking of the assignment parameters unpleasant and unnecessary.    Ms. Whitehead  42  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: November 20th at 10:00  Hi Arthur!  I was thinking that maybe we could swap story beginnings this week!  I have part of my story, but I was hoping to get your feedback BEFORE I go too far lol!  I am having trouble with my main character!  Right now it’s a man, but I THINK it might be more fun to have it be a woman! GRRRL POWER LOL!!! Anyway, how is your story coming?  Do you have a new idea?  Let me know if you want to swap soon!  I think that’s how this is supposed to work with partners right LOL?!  Kennedy :)  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: November 20th at 10:20  Dear Kennedy,   I think that swapping stories is a great idea! I would love to read your story.  Mine is still very rough, and I’m having a little trouble mapping out where I want it go, so I’m not sure how much I’ll have to share with you.  But I would love to read your story and give you my thoughts.  Having not read it, I know I can’t say this yet, but I think a woman protagonist is a great idea.  My mom read a lot of science fiction and always complained that the women in the books were only sex objects.  So I say go for it! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean   43 From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: November 20th at 18:19   Awesome Arthur!!!  I will send you something next week, and you can do the same.   Maybe your mom can look over my story too, since she’s a sci-fi expert lol!!!  K:)  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: November 20th at 18:23  Hi Kennedy, My mom can’t read your story.  She’s dead.  Sorry about that.  I guess you’ll have to make do with just me.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: November 21st at 9:04   Arthur! I am soooooo sorry!  I felt awful when I read your email last night!!!  What a terrible friend I was, bringing up your mom like that!  I cried a LOT when I read that.  I had no idea!  I’m so sorry if I made you sad by bringing it up!  That’s so sad! I’m amazed that you don’t talk about it more at school and stuff!   If you ever want to talk about it, or even just need a hug, I’m here!! I’m sorry!  Kennedy :(  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com)  44 To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: November 21st at 10:35  Dear Kennedy,  I’m so sorry that I made you feel bad!  I didn’t mean to!  Sometimes I don’t know how to say sad stuff.   She died last year in May.  It was really sad.  She was the speech therapist at my school.    She came in once a week and worked with different kids with lisps and who talked funny.  One day, she didn’t come in, because she had a brain aneurysm at home and died right then.  I was really mad at her because I had to take the bus home that day, and I always looked forward to not taking the bus on Thursdays.  I remember getting ready to yell at her about it, especially because it was after I did really badly on a math test.  There were a couple of kids in my class who hated her because she made them do extra homework to practice speaking like everyone else.  They called her Mrs. Mean.  I guess she was pretty mean sometimes, but I didn’t like that everyone knew that my mom was kind of mean sometimes. After she died, no one had to go to speech therapy class for a month while they found someone else. I think most of the kids who went were pretty glad about that.  I wasn’t glad though. Sometimes I still get mad at her for stuff sometimes, but then I get mad about being mad. She was really nice sometimes too.  My dad called her the Queen Bean, and she thought that was really funny, and made beans for dinner every second week, no matter what.  Since she died, my dad and I never eat beans anymore.  Isn’t that weird?    Anyway, it totally sucked and I try not to think about it or talk about it because it still sucks.  But I still think about her everyday.  My neighbour Nicole taught me to knit because  45 she said that busy hands make a quiet mind.  I don’t think that’s true, but maybe it works.  If nothing else, I can make really good hats!  Anyway, I’m going to be a famous writer and dedicate my first book to her.  I think she will like that.     I don’t know why I’m writing all this to you!  I’m sorry!  I just thought maybe you would feel better if you knew some of the story too.  Maybe it’s worse, I don’t know.  I’ve never had a mom who died before.  Actually, I don’t know anyone else that has died.  I guess that’s a good thing. Anyway, I don’t really know what to say about it.    I can’t wait to read your story next week. I will work on having something really good too.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: November 21st at 14:05  Hi Arthur!   I’m so glad that you did tell me!  I had no idea!  That’s really sad- I wish for your sake that you had gotten to say good-bye to her! I kind of understand how you feel. My grandpa died last year, but he had cancer so that was hard too!  I hated having to visit him in the hospital when he was so sick, but then I hated MYSELF for hating visiting my grandpa!  It was AWFUL!    I think it’s really impressive how well you are doing!  You DEFINITELY still have your sense of humour which is kind of AMAZING!  I would probably want to drop out of school if anyone in my family died!  Your email also makes me sad that sometimes I wish  46 that something BAD would happen to my mom when she’s yelling at me about doing my homework or cleaning my room!  I don’t really want that to happen, but SOMETIMES she is SO ANNOYING!  I can’t believe I am admitting this!  I’m a TERRIBLE person!    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think you are AWESOME and you can send me emails WHENEVER you’re sad if you want!  And I think you should dedicate your first book to her- that would be so nice!   Kennedy ;)   47  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: November 23rd  Worked On: Shakespeare’s time assignment  Ms. W, even tho his hair looked really dumb today, artie was kind of helpful in checking my Shakspear assinement for misstakes. - Robbie Robert spent a lot of time today either talking to his friends at other tables or insulting my new haircut and coming up with rude words that rhyme with Artie. -Arthur  48  November 24th  Dear RJ,   I sure have been reading a lot of terrible things recently, so I thought I would tell you about them.    The first one was Robbie’s “Life in Shakespeare’s Time” assignment.  His writing is really really bad, but his ideas are kind of interesting. He wrote this whole thing about being poor and not being able to get into the show, but listening to it while begging on the street.  It was kind of sad, because his character couldn’t have what he wanted, which was actually just to watch a play.  But then he makes these stupid mistakes, like saying that the beggar would go to the food bank.  Everyone knows that there was no food bank in the middle ages.  Like I said, stupid.  But I liked his idea.  He seems to have all these stories ready all the time.  I guess that’s what makes him such a good liar.  Maybe that’s why I can’t write any stories these days.    So that was the first terrible thing I had to read.  The second thing was in the newspaper at school.  Kennedy’s boyfriend put in this like, ad-thing, saying that he thought she was cute and nice.  Those were the words he used!  Cute and nice!  Those are two words I use to describe Pickles.  And Pickles is a nine-year-old cat.  It’s so lame!  Then in gym class, she was all giggly about it, and I saw the newspaper cut out and hanging up in her locker when I went by the other day.  Although it was underneath her movie poster of District Nine, so at least it’s not surrounded by hearts or anything.    Then I read Kennedy’s email asking for my mom to read her story.  That made me pretty sad, and then I felt bad that I made her sad too.  I just don’t know what to say about it.  It’s not like there’s a magical way to tell people.  It hadn’t come up in conversation.  I’m not  49 going to be running laps beside Kennedy, and casually say “Oh hi Kennedy!  Did I ever mention that my mom is dead?  How many laps is this for you?  Oh, nine?  Yeah, I’m on my fourth.  Well, see you around...the track.”  Hahaha.  That little joke was for you RJ.  I know you like a good one-liner.  Nicole says that joking about it makes people uncomfortable, but sometimes I don’t know how else to talk about it.  I’m just glad that she didn’t seem weirded out by my email.  She’s so awesome.   I kind of love that she admitted that she’s not perfect.  It makes her even more perfect.     And the last terrible thing I read was the first act of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Ms. Whitehead is all “this is the greatest” and she laughs fakely at what Shakespeare called jokes.  But I don’t get it.  It’s all “thou” and “thee”, and I know people think it’s brilliant, but I think they just want to feel smart.  I can’t believe we have to study this all the way until Christmas holidays.  How am I supposed to get any inspiration for my own story from crappy plays like this one?   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  50  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: November 28th at 21:21  Hi Arthur!!!  OK, below is the BEGINNING of my story for the competition!  I changed to a girl protagonist like you suggested, and she totally kicks ass LOL!  Let me know your opinions- be honest lol!  I want to win lololol!!!  Can’t wait to read your beginning too!  Send it to me whenever and I will read it post-haste lol!  (We’re reading Shakespeare in my English class, and they say things like post-haste lol!)   OK!  Be honest (but I hope you like it lol!)   Kennedy :)  Untitled Story! LOL  The brains of the alien were lavender and grey, and splattered all over Sophie’s perfectly matched brown and pink off-the-shoulder top and skinny jeans.  She flicked her ponytail over her shoulder, showing off her rosebud earrings.    “Well?  What should we do with it now?”  She asked, slinging her bazooka over her left shoulder.  She wiped the gory blood from her hands on her back pockets, and looked over at her partner.      “I’d say we should bury it.  Deep.  Real deep,” Tom replied in his sombre bass tones. He looked at his own navy coveralls, covered with a red and green flannel shirt.     “Well, I guess we should start digging,” Sophie said, reaching for the shovel...  51  Sophie woke with a start.  She’d had that dream again.  She tried to sit up, but found that her arms were still in the restraints locked to the rails of her bed.  She pulled hard, but the restraints just cut into her wrists again, leaving her writhing in pain.  She yelled out “Nurse!”  But no one came.  No one ever came during the daytime. Only if you screamed and cursed in the middle of the night would the nurses come, with their long needles, glinting off the florescent lights of the hallway like golden teeth.    “You need to keep it down over there.  They’ll hear you,” whispered the scratchy voice of the old woman in the bed next to Sophie.  “They’ll come, and they’ll bite off your nose and your fingernails, and they won’t stop.”  The old woman cackled madly.  “Of course, I wouldn’t mind if they ate my fingers... I’ve been trying to chew them off for years!” The woman’s violet hospital gown was falling off her shoulders, and her white hair was falling out.  Or maybe she had pulled it out…  Sophie shivered.  It was now fifteen days that she had been in the hospital, and the dreams were getting worse.  Dreams, though?  No.  She knew they were more than that.  The aliens were real.  She had seen them.  She had strangled one until its eyeballs burst out its head in a gargantuan mess of crimson and white and light blue tendons, all over her favourite teal dress, the one with the black piping and oversized buttons at the collar.  She couldn’t make that up.  And she had the dry cleaning bill to prove it.    From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: November 29th at 8:07   Wow Kennedy!  This is amazing!  I think you’ve done a great job on starting your story.  It’s really scary.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.    52 One note: I don’t really get why you’ve described all of the outfits of the characters.  It seems out of place.  I don’t think you need those parts.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  53  November 29th  Dear RJ, Things just got bad RJ.   I read Kennedy’s story beginning, and it’s pretty great.  And I have nothing. Nothing.  I don’t even know where to start.  I want it to be great, better than Kennedy’s story.  It should be everything.  Funny, sad, scary, provocative.  Sure, Sockland was great when I was in grade 6, but now I’m in grade seven.  I have to do something amazing, and I’ve got zip.   What can I send to Kennedy in return?  She’s asked me for the beginning.  I thought by now I would have an idea.  I was going to be provocative.  If I start now, I can change the world later.  Too bad I don’t know where to start.    So to get inspired, I borrowed a copy of The Shining by Stephen King from Nicole’s bookshelf yesterday.  I figured it was ok because I live right next door, and I plan on returning it when I’m done, but I didn’t tell her that I took it.  Nicole is pretty laid back about stuff like that.  Whenever she has friends over she’s always like “Take it!  Bring it back whenever!”  And since the librarian at the public library won’t let me take out adult books after that time my mom got angry at her for allowing me to take out the movie The Exorcist, and then I didn’t sleep for two months, I kind of have to borrow it under the radar.  I want to read it because Stephen King is, like, really famous, and has written over a hundred books.  I don’t think The Shining can be that scary though.  It’s got a kid in it, and they live in a hotel. That sounds pretty cool to me. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean   54  November 30th  To Whom it May Concern,  Please excuse Arthur Bean’s absence from school the past two days.  He has been having trouble sleeping, and has had migraines in the mornings.  Should you have any questions, please call me.  Many thanks,   Ernie B.    55   Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: December 1st  Worked On: Shakespeare stuff Ms. W, When even Artie dosn’t like Shakespear, why do we all have to suffer? We talked today about how the school board should be changing the curriculum.  how we should watch more movies in class.  Artie calls it “visual litteracy”.  its pretty important to us as the leaders of tomorrow, and we think you should look into changing the curiculum for next year. - Robbie Ms. Whitehead, It’s possible that Robbie and I have a shared hatred of overwritten plot lines and fancy words used for no reason. I think that says something. - Arthur  56  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: December 1st at 19:56  Dear Kennedy,   I don’t have anything to send to you yet.  I find my best method of work is to fully visualize my piece, and then I like to write it on paper first.  I find the sound of the pencil on paper is very creatively stimulating.  But I can tell you what my story will be about.  It’s about a man, who lives in a hotel. He is a writer, but the ghosts in the hotel also haunt him.  Then he goes crazy, and tries to kill his family with an axe.  His son is also psychic, and can call up other psychic people, but his son also plays with the ghosts and goes a little crazy.  And the man’s wife doesn’t know what to do, so she cries all the time.  She will run around in a blizzard too, and she might die.  It will likely be very frightening.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: November 30 at 20:18  Wow Arthur!!  That sounds...um... complicated.  But great!!!  Scary though, that the man goes after his family with an axe!  It sounds like one of those horror books my dad reads by Steven Something lol!  I hope they all make it out of the hotel ok!  Are you writing something for the last edition of the Marathon too?  I can’t BELIEVE it’s already so close to Christmas lol!!  Any suggestions of what guys like?  I have to get something for my boyfriend lol!    57  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  Date: December 1st at 21:09  Dear Kennedy,   I guess it does sound a little complicated for a short story.  Maybe I will look at doing something else.  Back to the drawing board... Yours truly,   Arthur Bean P.S: It’s Stephen King.    58  A Day in the Life: An Oscar-worthy Film By Arthur Bean   The AV Club at Terry Fox Jr. High is showing their first feature this week in the drama room.  A Day in the Life is a poignant and gripping account of an ordinary day at Terry Fox Jr. High School.  Shot as though seen through the eyes of an unnamed narrator, A Day in the Life follows an “ordinary” student through a day at school.  Though the day begins normally, the heavy silence in the film clearly foreshadows the disaster that befalls at the end of the movie- a test in Science.  Horrors!  Our beloved narrator is clearly unprepared for such a crisis!    A Day in the Life is reminiscent of the early work of Francis Ford Coppola, a surprise considering its collaborative directorial nature.  A different AV Club member has directed each scene, but this pastiche of styles makes it even more interesting.  For example, each director uses music to its fullest emotional range, including the unique work of AV Clubber Liam Hasser who uses Van Halen’s Jump! as the soundtrack for the basketball unit in gym.  The supporting cast is equally as strong as the lyrical baritone voice of the narrator (played impeccably by Grade Nine student Alfonso Millar).  Of particular note is the performance of Mr. Everett, in an understated but nuanced walk-on role as “The Teacher.”    Some viewers with weaker stomachs may find the classroom scenes too much to handle.  The emotion in the film can be overwhelming, so bring your handkerchief for a heart-wrenching scene that takes place during math class.  This is a scene that will clearly be discussed in film critic circles for years to come.        59  A Day in the Life plays in the drama room from 12:00-1:00 all week December 6-10.  See it before someone spoils the twist ending!    Hiya Arthur, Good work on covering all the elements of the film!  However, I am having trouble understanding the tone of your piece- are you being sincere, or sarcastic? Maybe you thought that my performance wouldn’t win me any Golden Globes? The shock of it! Good- bye Hollywood! Your praise is overwhelming, and some readers may read it as being insincere.  If you’re available, we can meet during a lunch hour to discuss changes to your review. Cheers!  Mr. E Dear Mr. Everett,   You told me to be more positive in my articles.  This is as positive as I can be, particularly for one of the most boring movies I have ever sat through.  And my dad made me watch Citizen Kane once, so I know what boring movies look like.    Perhaps my own series of articles would be a better way for me to use my editorial skills.  I’d love to meet with you to talk about my ideas for articles! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean    60   Junior Authors Contest Just a reminder to work on your stories during the winter break!  Final drafts of your stories are due February 17th, no exceptions! Nine finalists, three from each grade, will be published in the spring edition of the Marathon for school-wide voting.   There hasn’t been a lot of interest in the Writers’ Circle meetings, so hopefully that means you are using your creative writing partners for advice, editing, and as a sounding board for your great ideas!  Should you have any questions, please see Ms. Whitehead before 4 pm on December 18th.   Happy writing!    61  Assignment Eight: Choose your favourite character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and write a diary entry referencing a scene from the play.  Your diary entry should demonstrate your understanding of the material we have covered, and show some insight into how the character may be feeling at a certain moment in the play.   Due Date: December 9th   62  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: December 6th   Worked On: Shakespeare Diary Assignment  We edited Robbie’s assignment today.  It went alright.- Arthur here is my assinement that Artie helped me with today. He also moved around some sentences and made it sound more nice.  We also worked on some better rhimes for my love pome.  Here it is. -Robbie  dear diary,  I am in love with Hermia, but she is in love with Lysander.  This is terrible.   I try so hard to make her like me, but nothing works.  I’ve known her forever.  We’ve played sports together since we were in Italian kindergarten.  But she just thinks of me as a friend, and wants me to be in love with her friend Helena. Helena is ugly, and told me that I was stupid and the worst shortstop she had ever seen.  But Hermia is still really nice to me.  I just wish she wasn’t running away with Lysander, because I get really bad hay fever in the forest, and it’s even worse at night.   When I catch up with her and Lysander, I am going to give her this love poem that I wrote.   Hermia Hermia. You are a beaut I think you are nice.  I think you are cute. I like your sweet smile. I like your round face. I think you should date me, and let me get to first base. Later Diary, Demetrius   63 December 7th   Dear RJ,  Today would have been my mom’s birthday.  I stayed home from school and Dad stayed home from work.  It was weird.  Neither of us really wanted to do anything.  I just wanted to stay in bed and read a book or something, and I think Dad probably wanted to just sit in his room too.  But then that felt weird too, so we went and got flowers and went to the cemetery.  I don’t know what to say to my dad when he is so quiet, so I didn’t say anything.  He didn’t say anything either.  Neither of us said anything, we just put the roses down and stood there.  It was freezing outside.  I really just wanted to leave because I had forgotten my mittens.  It started to snow too, and normally I like snow because it makes the city quiet, but today it made the cemetery even quieter and weirder.  The worst part was when I thought about how Mom was always talking a lot, and how it would have been better if she was there to make it less awkward.    I hate the cemetery.  When I was a kid my cousins and I used to run around and play hide and seek in the big tombstones.  But now there’s no running.  Now I just read all the stones and think about those people that come and put roses on the headstones and I wonder if they hate being there as much as I do.  I would totally have preferred making Mom a birthday cake and sharing it with Dad and Nicole.  Maybe we won’t have to do anything next year.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean   64  Assignment Eight: Demetrius’ Diary by Arthur Bean Dear Diary,   Oh Hermia, your smile is so great  And your teeth are so white and so straight  You come from a country shaped like a boot  And your laugh is so pretty and your face is so cute.  Will you be my girlfriend and then maybe my wife?  For I know I will love you the rest of my life. This is the love poem I would like to give Hermia.  Alas, I cannot, for she is in love with Lysander.  I think it’s sad that she’s in love with him, when I have clearly loved her since I met her in Italian gym class so long ago.  Hermia thinks I should be in love with Helena, but Helena looks like a horse, with giant teeth and a long nose.  I love Hermia.   I will have to follow her and Lysander into the forest tonight and give her my love poem.    Arthur,  Your assignment is remarkably similar to Robbie’s work, using an identical style, along with the same themes and characters.  Please see me after class to explain these similarities, keeping in mind that plagiarism can be of both published and unpublished works.  I take this very seriously, and expect that you will too. I hope that your burst of creativity in this assignment is merely an unfortunate coincidence, and not because you helped Robbie with his assignment this week.  Ms. Whitehead  65  December 11th  Dear RJ,  I can’t win.  Ms. Whitehead hates me.  She’s made it pretty clear.  I think she’s been secretly heartbroken by a famous author when she was young.  I bet she met him in college and he told her she was pretty, and then broke up with her because she told him that his work was lazy.  But he was just being deep without using a lot of words.  Lots of famous writers let things stay below the surface.  Or maybe he thought that the assignment was stupid and not worth his time.  That happens.  Then, she probably got all mad at him about it, and he realized that she would always be telling him that his writing sucked and that he was being lazy.  So he dumped her.  And now she’s taking it  out on me.  I bet I remind her of him because I wear cool hats and show promise as a famous writer.  She’s jealous of my talent.  I bet she never wrote anything good ever.  She’ll never choose my story for the school competition, even if it is the best one,  I know it.  Well, I’ll show her.  My story is going to be way better than all of them.  And it won’t be written in verse either, because no one understands that, and no one cares about the stupid diary entries of an old play.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  66  Assignment Nine: Happy holidays!  In this assignment I want you to indulge your creative spirit!  There are no boundaries, no structures, and no rules here; I would like you to write something you want to write.  It can be a poem, a short story, a diary entry of a fictional character, a memoir from your childhood, anything that inspires you to write!  Let your inner artist soar on the paper!   Due Date: December 16th   67 December 15th  Dear RJ,   Here’s a thing I wrote for Ms. Whitehead’s class, but then I decided not to hand it in.  I don’t think it’s very good, so I’m going to hand in something different.  But I wanted to put this somewhere, and you seem like the kind of guy who would appreciate it.  Let me know what you think…Hahaha! A Christmas Story  My father bought a Christmas tree this past weekend.  He went to the lot, and picked it out while I stayed home and watched whatever movie was on the TV on Sunday afternoon.  When he came home, he left it sitting on top of the car until dinner, when I saw it and said “Hey Dad.  There’s a tree on the car.”  He mumbled something about it being an impulse buy.  So, I helped him pull it off the car, and we set it up in the living room, right beside the television.  There were old sitcom reruns playing on the television the whole time.   I made us Kraft Dinner, and my dad had a beer and watched TV.  He never picked up the remote control to change the channel, he just sat there watching the television on the same channel I had been watching, and I listened to the sounds of canned laughter as I stirred in the cheese.  As the tree warmed up, it dropped its branches, and began to lean to the left, and soon half of the tree was blocking the television.  I noticed it during dinner, but I didn’t say anything.  I don’t think my dad noticed.  We just sat there with our empty plates covered in drying cheese sauce on the floor beside the couch.  After a couple of days, I asked my dad if we were going to decorate it, but he said that he didn’t know Mom had kept the decorations.  So the tree sits in the living room, blocking the television.  Its needles are falling off, and we haven’t watered it in days.  It is  68 empty of lights and balls and glittery tin soldiers and nutcrackers, but still full of the memories of Christmases past.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  Assignment Nine: A Christmas Story by Arthur Bean  The best day of last Christmas was the day when my dad brought home the Christmas tree.  My mom had gotten out all the Christmas ornaments, and sang along  loudly to the Twelve Days of Christmas while she untangled the lights.  My dad showed up at home with the biggest tree I had ever seen, and together we dragged our tree off the roof of the car and into the house.  The pine smell filled the room, and then my dad swore and swore while he tried to get the lights on straight.  My mother would yell at him every time a bad word came out of his mouth, and I would laugh at them while I unwrapped the ornaments and lined them up on the coffee table.  We got all the ornaments on the tree, and my dad drank a beer, and my mom had a wine cooler, and I had hot chocolate and we sat on the couch and stared at the Christmas tree until the sun went down and the only light in the house came from the bright red and blue lights that twisted and turned around the tree.    That night, very late, there was a tinkling sound.  The bells on the tree were singing wildly, and I woke up and listened to them in my bed.  Then they got louder, and louder, until I heard a CRRRRACK, and then a crashing noise, full of broken glass.  We ran out into the living room, and Pickles was cowering in the corner behind the couch, where she had gotten stuck after batting at the lowest ornaments on the tree until the tree fell over.  My dad  69 swore a lot, and my mom laughed and laughed, and picked up the cat in one hand, and went and got the broom.  She swept up all the glass and I held the dustpan while my dad propped up the tree again.  We had to turn the tree around so that the back was facing the front, since it was too late to buy new Christmas lights and the branches were all broken.  But I still think it was the nicest Christmas tree we ever had.   Dear Arthur,   Thank you for sharing a lovely Christmas memory of your mother with me.  I hope you and your father have a nice holiday.  See you in the New Year!  Ms. Whitehead  70 December 20th  Dear RJ,   Dad and I went Christmas shopping today at the mall and we ran into Ms. Whitehead!  It was SO awkward.  We were eating lunch in the food court, and she came around with her taco combo looking for a seat.  She didn’t even notice me at first.  She just saw my dad and asked him if she could share our table.  Then she was all excited that she got to meet my dad, and freaked out about what a coincidence it was that she ran into us.  It was so over the top.  I wonder if she planned it.  Maybe she was hitting on my dad, since she knows that he’s single now.  That would be so not cool.    Anyway, she sat down with us and was talking all about her Christmas plans.  She even asked my dad for his advice on a plaid shirt she bought for her brother.  Like he knows anything about fashion!  She had all kinds of bags too, including one from the lingerie store.  I was embarrassed for her.  I can’t believe she was buying underwear and then sitting with a student!  Who does that??  She said that she was going home to Toronto for Christmas, and said that she was taking her grandmother to see the Nutcracker.  She said she goes with her grandmother every year.  I don’t know how she still has a grandmother who is still alive!  I wonder how old she is?  I thought she was forty.    When we left, she gave me a hug and shook my dad’s hand.  It was a total surprise, so I just hugged her back.  I hope no one from school saw me hugging my teacher.  That’s how rumours get started.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  71  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: December 21st at 17:56  Hi Arthur :( How’s your Christmas break???  Mine is TERRIBLE. :(  Sandy broke up with me!!! :( :(  He said that he was too busy to have a girlfriend right now!!  I guess that he is really busy with friends and stuff.  And I want to understand because I love him a lot.  I cried a lot when he told me, but I told him that I want to still be friends.  I think that we will be friends, especially since I know he’s just going through a hard time right now, and he’ll want to get back together after Christmas break when we are at school again I think!  He’s even failing HEALTH class.  Everyone knows that’s a joke class!  But he’s really smart, so I think he’s just being pulled in too many directions.  But Arthur!!!! I love Sandy SO much!!!! I already miss him!!  Normally we would talk on the phone or text all night!!!  I already bought him a Christmas present too!!  Can I still give it to him?  It will show that I care about him still, right???  You’re a guy, so you would know better than my other friends!!  ANYWAYS, I feel so sad :(((  WORST CHRISTMAS EVER!!! :(    Kennedy :(  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: December 21st at 18:19  Dear Kennedy,    I’m sorry to hear about your break-up.  Boys that age can be very difficult to understand sometimes.  I really feel badly for you!  When you feel bad, I feel bad, so today is the worst day ever!    72  If I were there right now, I would give you a really big hug, and bring you flowers and chocolates and ice cream.  I think you’re supposed to eat ice cream after a break-up, aren’t you?  I would even watch a chick flick with you.  I’m a nice guy like that :)  Just remember that you are the greatest girl ever, and you are super nice and smart and cute.  Any guy in the school would love to be your boyfriend!  Sandy was a total jerk anyway.  If I were you, I wouldn’t give him the present.  Return it, and get something cool for yourself.  He doesn’t deserve you!  I don’t know if I can help at all, but if you want to hang out this Christmas break, maybe we can go see a movie or something.  My cousins are coming in to stay with us for a while, but I would leave them behind if you need to talk :) Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  73  December 21st  Dear RJ,  BEST DAY EVER!!!!  I think that Kennedy will realize soon that her old boyfriend was a super jerk, and we’ll go out on a date.  And we’ll go see a scary movie, and she’ll squeal, and hide her face in my shoulder, and I’ll hold her hand and laugh in that “I’m not laughing at you” way, and we’ll hold hands all the way through the movie, and down the escalator in the mall, and to the bus stop.    I bet she smells like fruity shampoo.  I wonder if it’s too late to ask for cologne for Christmas.  I’ll probably need it soon.    Another thing that is pretty exciting is that my cousins are coming to visit!  Luke is like, my best friend even though he’s my cousin.  He’s really popular, and has some really great stories about stuff he does. He comes up with great things to do too.  Last time they visited, we got all dressed up in costumes and went to a matinee of this terrible, really old alien movie.  Then we threw popcorn at the screen, and yelled at the characters, and no one there minded!  It was hilarious!  Anyway, it’ll be so great when Luke is here.  I’ve already set up a sleeping bag on the floor of my room for him, and gave him the best pillow from my bed.  One more day!   Yours happily,   Arthur Bean!!   74   From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: December 28th at 23:41   dude I herd that u stol my english assinement.  Ur a DEADMAN when we get back to school.   From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  Date: December 29th at 10:03  Dear Mr. Zack,  I believe you may have the wrong email address for the person you are trying to reach.  I am a very rich and powerful businessman who lives in New Mexico.  I think you might be looking for a different Arthur Aaron Bean, one who lives in Canada and is a kid in a school there.  However, I am sure that when you find the Arthur Bean you are looking for you will realize that he is not the type of guy who would steal a Shakespeare English assignment. He must be a good guy.  I would like to meet him one day, and offer him a job making millions of dollars.  I assume that he was going to write something similar to your idea anyway, but probably better, since your spelling is terrible.    Good luck finding the right Arthur Bean.  I am off to a business meeting with the richest and most powerful men in America.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: December 30th at 12:32   Ur so funny I forgot to laff.  Maybe I will laff at u when I stick ur head in the toilet.     75  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  Date: December 30th at 14:30  Dear Robbie,   I didn’t steal your story.  As you may have noticed, I am in the same English class as you.  We read the same books.  At least, I read the books.  I don’t think you do.  Anyway, I helped you with your assignment, and I was already writing something too.  Really, I think you stole my assignment.  After all, who fixed the rhymes in your letter?  I did.  You said so yourself.  So my assignment might be kind of like yours, but I’m pretty sure that I’m a better writer than you and have great ideas all by myself.    As a side note, how did you find out that I stole your story?  That’s weird.   I could have explained to you what happened if your parents didn’t take you out of school a week early to go to Hawaii.  If you are going to stick anyone’s head in a toilet, I suggest your parents are to blame.  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: December 31st at 11:55  Happy New Year Arthur! Sorry that I haven’t been in touch!  My family went skiing for Christmas!  It was good, except my older brother is in university and thinks he’s cool, so at the last minute he decided to stay at home by himself.  I was so mad, and he totally got into this yelling match with my dad.  Then my mom cried about it every day that we were away.  I don’t know why  76 he had to be so inconsiderate.  It was CHRISTMAS.  My dad and him are STILL not talking even though we’re back now.  It’s so tense here!  I ALMOST look forward to school again LOL!  Anyway, the skiing was good, and it was cool to be out of the city, and then I didn’t have to think about my boyfriend. :( Sandy and I had a long talk just before Christmas, and I just don’t want to THINK about him OR talk about him anymore!  I gave him his Christmas present and he was SO weird about it!!!  I don’t know what HIS problem is, but I’m moving on.  At least, for now.  I bet he comes back to me!    I’ve been trying to work on putting some of my sadness into my story for the contest!  Speaking of the contest, did you get LOTS of writing done over the break??  I can’t believe we go back to school in THREE days!!  I feel like we were just there LOL!!  Are you changing options in the winter??  I am switching from band to drama!  I’m just not cut out to be a flute player!! Maybe I would do better as a tuba player lol!!!  But I LOVED the Shakespeare unit we did in English class, and I think the drama club is doing a Shakespeare play!   ANYWAY, if you want to send me your story, I would love to read the beginning!  I still haven’t seen anything you’ve written!  Are you avoiding sending it to me LOL?!   What are you doing tonight for the New Year?  I’m going to a party that my friend Kayla is having!  Hopefully there are cute boys there LOL!!!    Kennedy :)  77  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: December 31st  at 14:13   Happy New Year to you too Kennedy!  Skiing sounds fun!  I have never been skiing.  I think I am more of a snowboard kind of guy.    Tonight I am hanging out with my cousins.  My cousin Luke and his brother George are visiting us.  It’s pretty awesome.  My cousin George is in grade ten so I think  we’ll go with him to a high school party.  That’s probably what we’ll do, but I don’t know for sure.  I bet my dad will let him use the car to get us there too.        I think I’m also going to switch to drama this semester, so we’ll be in the same class!  It’s too bad that we only get to change our options.  I would like very much to get rid of Science and Math :) I’m very excited for drama class.  Maybe we can be partners!  I have been writing also, but so far it’s pretty vague.  I like to start my writing at the end with the climax, and then work backwards.  I find that it gives my stories a clear plot direction.  So if I send it to you now, it will ruin the end!  Or I would have to kill you for knowing the end...hahaha... See you in a few days!  Or, as Shakespeare would say, “See thou anon.”:) Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  78  January 1st  Dear RJ, It’s probably best to write down my resolutions for this year now so that I don’t break any of them before noon HAHAHA.  Anyway, here are my resolutions: I will not leave my dishes in the sink for longer than three days. I will tell Kennedy I love her, and make her love me back.   I will write the greatest story of all time and win the short story contest. I will like Shakespeare’s plays, and not just pretend to like them. I will knit a sweater for my dad.  I will visit Graceland with Luke, and we will dress like Elvis for the whole week.  I will read the newspaper more often to know what is going on in the world.  I will read War and Peace.   I will try not to get annoyed with Robbie Zack during tutoring sessions so that I don’t “accidentally” punch him in the head.  I will stop eating spicy food at school, since it gives me really bad hiccups and then kids make fun of me.    I think this is enough to strive for this year.  I don’t want to set my expectations too high.   Happy New Year RJ!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  79  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: January 1st at 13:00  Hi Arthur!!! How was your NYE party?? Mine was pretty fun!  There was a karaoke machine LOL!!!  I can’t believe your cousin’s name is George!  That’s so funny!  I thought only old people were called George LOL!     I’m so excited that you will be in drama with me!  Robbie is going to be in the class too!!  It took some convincing at the party last night, but he finally admitted that he loves Shakespeare too, so the three of us can be the witches in Macbeth LOL!!!  Double Double toil and trouble LOL!!!  Your last email was HILARIOUS!  I don’t want you to KILL me for knowing how your story ends before it begins LOL!!!  Can’t wait to see you in THE THEATRE LOL!!! Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 1st at 13:05  Hi Kennedy,  I didn’t end up going to the party.  George got food poisoning or something, so Luke and I watched movies until 3 am.  It was fun anyway.  They are leaving today, which is too bad because if they lived here you could meet my cousin Luke.  Anyway, glad you had a nice NYE party.  See you in a few days. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean   80  Assignment Ten:  Welcome back!  I hope you all had a restful holiday, and are ready to get back to work. Our next unit is on creative writing, and it’s my favourite unit to teach!  I hope that our assignments over the next few weeks inspire you to find new ways to tell stories.  For those of you participating in the short story contest, you might find some of these exercises help strengthen your story.  For others, I hope that this unit inspires you to continue writing outside of the classroom.    This week, write a short few paragraphs about a person who means a lot to you.  We will be using this assignment as a jumping off point for developing a character for a short story you will be writing later in this unit.  What does this person wear?  What do they eat for breakfast?  How do they interact with other people?  Focus on creating a full character sketch, looking at both their positive and negative characteristics, as well as their physical traits and personality.    Due Date: January 7th  81  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: January 5th  Worked On: Character Sketches  Ms. W: I dont feel right about shareing my work with Arthur Bean.  He may steel it and use it for his own work- Robbie I feel that Robbie is overreacting to something he knows nothing about.  Perhaps his parents shouldn’t have taken him out of school early to go to Hawaii for Christmas.  I believe all the sun has gone to his head.  I tried to explain to him (the same way I explained to you) that my work might seem similar on first glance, but that it is much deeper when you look at it.  The symbolism is clear to very smart people.  However, my explanation fell on deaf ears, and Robbie just spent the hour spitting on my paper.   This is waste of time. -Arthur Bean  82 January 7th  Assignment Ten: A Character Sketch of Margaret Bean  Marg Bean loved the ocean.  She grew up on the prairies, but she always wanted to live beside the ocean. She always wore blue and green, and she only read books with blue covers or pictures of boats on the covers.  She said that she found them soothing, even if it was actually a book about pirates or something.    Marg’s pants were always too short because her legs were really long.  She tried to wear really big shirts to make it seem like her pants were long enough, but it actually just made her pants look even shorter.       Marg Bean was prettiest when she was watching television or reading a book.  This was because her face would relax, and her mouth would be closed and her hands would stop moving.  Any other time her face was always really tight, like she was sewing her eyebrows together in her mind.  Marg Bean got tired walking almost anywhere, and then she would breathe through her mouth.  It made her seem really old, and she kind of looked like she was embarrassed because her face would be beet red.   Her voice was always louder than someone would expect it to be, and she seemed to be yelling all the time, but she was actually just talking.  She was the person in the public library that everyone looked at when she would ask for books at the counter.  “DO YOU HAVE ISAAC ASIMOV BOOKS?” she would say, and the librarian would say in a voice even softer than the one he used with everyone else “Why yes, they are just over in the corner over there.”  “ARTHUR I WILL BE IN THE CORNER.  LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR BOOKS.” And everyone would then look to see who she was talking to, and they would raise their eyebrows and judge me, like they didn’t like anyone who knew her.    83  Marg Bean always had porridge and coffee for breakfast.  Her favourite lunch was egg salad sandwiches, as long as there were no green onions in the egg salad.  Curry made her go to the bathroom a lot, and she thought pepper was too spicy.  She made perfect roast beef, and always made asparagus to go with it, which is the best vegetable to eat with roast beef.  She also made really good spaghetti and meatballs, but she said they were too much work to make all the time, so she only made them a couple of times.    If Marg Bean were a character in my book, she would be a zombie mom who was the leader of the zombie pack.  She has to be a zombie, because she isn’t alive, and vampires are stupid.  She would be super strong and have a zombie cat companion who would kill zombie mice.  This is because Marg Bean loved cats, and she hated mice, but not as much as she hated spiders.   Dear Arthur,     Your character sketch is an excellent beginning to our short story unit.  You have captured the essence of your mother’s personality through your choice of moments in this character sketch.  However, you don’t need to make your mother a zombie in your book if you don’t want to.  Many great stories are reflections of the person in their prime, and don’t need to be completely true to life.   Ms. Whitehead  84  January 8th  Dear RJ, Drama class started this week.  I finally have a real class with Kennedy, not just gym! Now I can show her how charming I am in real life every day.  It might even be okay that Robbie is in the class too, except that he’s always talking to Kennedy.  They have this thing from when they played baseball together.  It’s this weird hi-five thing they do all the time, and it’s really dumb.  We also have to sing in class, which I think is stupid because it’s a drama class not a choir, but Mr. Tan said that a good actor is a “triple threat” and can act, sing and dance.  I would like to triple threat Robbie out of the class, but not with acting, singing and dancing.  More like kickboxing, karate and ninja moves.   I have a month to write my story.  I started a dumb story in Ms. Whitehead’s class about zombie cats, but it’s definitely not going to be famous.  My story for the contest will make readers laugh and cry and realize how smart I am.  I’m going to write something really deep. I think it needs to have lots of description.  Ms. Whitehead is big on description.   The computer sat alone on the table, in a faded grey room.  The chair was brown, cracked leather digging into anyone who sat on it.  The sun shone yellow through the dirty windowpanes.  There was nothing more to say…   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  85  Assignment Eleven:   Interviews can be a great way to develop a character!  Sometimes, it’s great to sit back and actually “interview” your protagonist to develop a well-rounded character.  To help practice this technique, I would like you to interview someone in your life.  Come up with five questions that you feel will provide you with an accurate portrait of this person’s likes and dislikes, and provide some insight into their outlook on life.  In your assignment, please provide both the questions you posed, and the answers from your interviewee.   Due Date: January 14th  86  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: January 12th  Worked On: Interviews  Artie was really rude today, and I even tried to be nice to the looser.  He refused to help me fix my interveiw with Kennedy to make it a better assignment.  I dont know how you think this tutoring is good for ether of us can we change now?  Hes in my drama class now to and hes as annoying there as every where else.- Robbie Ms Whitehead: I would like an extension on this assignment.  I was going to interview Kennedy Laurel, but Robbie already interviewed her.  My interview was going to be much more in depth, but I don’t want you to think that I stole his idea.  If anything, I think he stole mine, because I was talking to Kennedy in drama class and it was pretty clear that I was going to ask her to be my person to interview.  Now I have to think of a new person to interview, and I don’t know if I will have time to do that by Friday. -Arthur Arthur: I will give you time to interview Robbie during class on Thursday, which should give you enough time to hand in your interview for Monday morning. -Ms. Whitehead  87 Creative Writing Circle Only three weeks left before your stories are due! Use your writing partners to give you some constructive feedback on what you have so far.  They are an excellent extra “pair of eyes” to find any plot holes or editorial mistakes while you write your story’s gripping and exciting climax!  Let me know if you have any questions regarding format for submission.  Happy writing!  Ms. Whitehead  88   From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: January 15th at 15:20  Hi Arthur!  How much fun is drama class!?!  Mr. Tan was saying that there are going to be auditions for Romeo and Juliet soon!  How awesome will that be?!  I’ll answer that for you: SO AWESOME LOL!!!   ANYWAY, how is your story coming along?  I totally realized that I haven’t read ANY of it yet!  I think I’m almost done, but I was hoping to get your opinion on my outline and let me know if you think that I’m missing anything!  And you can send me your outline or your story and I’ll do the same for you!!  Of course, only if you’ve actually written something!  Just kidding- I’m just making fun of you since you haven’t sent me anything! You’re so SECRETIVE! But maybe you are inspired by what I sent you and that’s how we’re such GREAT writing partners LOL!!  JUST KIDDING!   OK, enough with the jokes!  Here is my story outline… STRANGERS AMONG US Sophie wakes up in the hospital remembering killing aliens with uncle Thomas.  She is told by the nurses and doctors that her memories are actually only dreams.    She goes to therapy in the hospital, and there are other girls there who have had the same experience.  They are all taken back to their rooms. She breaks out of the hospital with the help of the other girls.  Outside the hospital, they realize that the town has been deserted and only the hospital is left.  Sophie leads the girls to her uncle’s farmhouse, where they find Thomas and he is almost dead.  He tells the girls to blow up the aliens, and they find fertilizer to build a bomb to blow up the hospital.  All goes to plan, but at the last minute, Sophie realizes that  89 Thomas has tried to help and is inside the hospital.  She runs in to find him but the building blows up anyway.  When she wakes up, she is in the hospital, and the “nurse” tells her that she was in an accidental fertilizer explosion at the farm, but that she is in safe hands now.  We never know if the “nurse” is telling the truth.    OK Arthur, what do you think??  Are you SCARED yet LOL?   See you soon!! Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 15th at 17:03  Wow Kennedy!    You’ve really got a great story idea.  It reminds me of that thing that Shakespeare talked about: a dream within a dream, but I think your version is way cooler.  I guess my one question is: how does Thomas get in the hospital?  And then how does Sophie know that he’s in there?  I’m sure you’ll figure it out though!   My story outline is still pretty rough.  I’m just torn over what story to go forward with.  I have so many stories almost done, but I don’t know which one to finish. I have so many ideas, and some of my ideas are really better for novels than for a short story contest.  Anyway, maybe you could help me choose one to finish.  Here is a list of my story ideas:   1) There is a boy who is the going to the be the King, but he is too small to do anything and he is really poor.  He meets a wizard who is living backwards in time, and he trains the boy to become the greatest king of all time.  Then the wizard ends up getting stuck in time, but the boy becomes the King anyway because he finds the sword of the “True  90 King”, and then leads a really great army and falls in love with a beautiful woman who becomes queen.   2) There is a boy who lives in a society that doesn’t have any memories, but he becomes the Memory Keeper.  He learns that his parents are part of the group of people that are making sure that no one has any memories, but he thinks that memories are better shared.  Then he finds out terrible things about the community and has to do something to change it.  3) There is a land over the stars where everything is very magical.  There is a boy who lives there and he is the leader of a group of orphan boys and he can fly.  He leaves the land and comes to New York. Here he meets a girl and her brothers and they leave New York to have adventures with the boy.  There they meet pirates and mermaids and pirates and lions that can talk and stuff.  They love being there, but then they realize that they would rather be at home with their parents, so after fighting with the evil guys on the island they end up flying home and being happy.   4) There are these pirate aliens that take over spaceships and then make the people in them do different things.  But everyone in the spaceship gets old really fast and then they die.  So the alien pirates don’t know what to do so they go to earth and they get in the bodies of the grandparents.  And then there’s this change in all the old people and they become really happy and energetic all the time, and they start to play like kids. And they take over the playgrounds, and the kids get mad.  So they go to the elves that live under the bridge in the city and they want to get their playground back.  But the elves are fighting with the dragons outside the city, and so they need to get the giants on their side of the fight. But then the kids don’t know that the dragons exist so then they decide to get the dragons to help them to fight the grandparents.  But the grandparents then all disappear and get on the  91 alien spaceship, but they don’t have enough oxygen to go back to their planet and so they stay floating just above the city instead of leaving.  So then one boy who doesn’t have parents realizes that the spaceship has his grandparents in it because he lives with his grandparents.  Then he finds the giants and gets them to pull the spaceship down out of the sky and they fight the aliens, and they win.  And the grandparents go back to being themselves, but they have to share their houses with the giants because the giants won the war.  And then they all have to get used to having a giant living in their house.  5) Maybe something about racism.   I’d love your feedback on which one you think would be best.   Yours truly, Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: January 16th at 10:59  Hi Arthur!   You have so many ideas!!!  And they are all so complicated!  It’s like you have the whole plot of The Hobbit trilogy or something!   I don’t want to be super harsh, but um... they are pretty big plans!  All of them sound like you could write like 100000 pages on them and still not be done!  A couple of them sound like other things too.  Isn’t your second idea the same story we studied in grade six?  And I think your first idea is the same story as King Arthur, and  idea three is a lot like Peter Pan. NO OFFENCE!  Maybe I’m reading something into them!  And I don’t even know what happened in your last idea!! There’s like 8000 plots in that one!    92  As your creative writing partner, I just wanted to point that out! I don’t want you to get accused of cheating later!  I may want to win, but I don’t want you to get kicked out as my competition LOL!  ANYWAY, I always hear people say that we should write about stuff we know about.  Maybe you should try and not focus on the fantasy stuff, but write something more realistic.  PLUS, you are so funny!  You could totally win with a hilarious story about your cousin George or something!   Just a couple of thoughts from your FAVOURITE writing partner LOL!  Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 16th at 15:29   Dear Kennedy,  Thanks.  I will think about it.  But George doesn’t really do much.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  93  Assignment Eleven: Interview with Robbie Zack  I interviewed Robert Zack for this class assignment. Here is what we talked about in my interview, and can be proven through a recording.   Arthur: What is your favourite colour? Robbie: Red. Arthur: What is your favourite subject?  Robbie: Drama. Arthur: What is your least favourite subject? Robbie: English. Arthur: Where do you get your ideas for your stories in English class? Robbie: Why?  Do you want to steal them? Arthur: Were you born a jerk?  Or is your jerk-ness just because you like being a jerk?   Robbie: Were you always a copycat nerd?  Or did you copy that from your Mom? Arthur: My mom’s dead.  Jerk. Robbie: As if.   Arthur: It’s true.  She died last year.   Robbie: Oh. End of interview.   Arthur,  Your interview with Robbie Zack leaves a lot to be desired.  I would like you to redo the assignment, and think carefully about some better questions.  I believe that you can find some common interests and values between you and Robbie.  You two may have difficulties  94 communicating with each other, but a little understanding of someone else’s situation goes a long way.  Please submit your new assignment to me on Wednesday this week.    Ms. Whitehead Assignment Eleven (again): Robbie Zack’s Interview Here is the written version of my second interview with Robbie Zack.   Arthur: I was told that I have to interview you again with better questions.  Why is drama your favourite subject? Robbie: I don’t know.  It’s good I guess because... I don’t know…I guess there are fun people in the class.  And it’s not hard...  It’s good because you get to do whatever and like, fool around, like when I was a kid, but for marks, and then Mr. Tan says that it’s creative.  It’s like we’re just pretending stuff that’s not true, but it feels like more than that sometimes.  Which is way better than doing real stuff, you know?   Arthur: But your “real stuff” isn’t hard.  You just got back from Hawaii. Going to Hawaii for Christmas isn’t hard.  What’s hard about your life? Robbie: Lots of stuff.  Just because I went to Hawaii doesn’t mean that life isn’t hard, you know. You think you’re the only one with hard stuff and that makes you think you’re better than other people.     Arthur: I don’t think that I’m special.  You don’t understand.  Your mom isn’t dead.   Robbie: No, but she might as well be.  She’s moving away to North Carolina without us.  My dad is moving my brother and I into some ugly townhouse and we have to share a bedroom. Life sucks.     Arthur: Oh.  Robbie: Yeah.  95 Arthur: Um, my next question is what kind of books do you like to read? Robbie: I don’t like to read.  Well I like comics.  Do comics count? Arthur: I guess so?  I don’t know.  Maybe not.   Robbie: They should.   Arthur: I don’t think so.  They’re just pictures. Robbie: No way man, they aren’t.  They’re way more exciting than books. The drawings add way more to the story because the artists are really good.  Like this one about zombies?  It’s awesome.  And it’s not like all zombies are bad or nothing.  They have personalities that have to be drawn in and all of them look different and you can spend hours looking at all the details on one page.  You should read one.  I bet you that you like it.   Arthur: I doubt that.  Robbie: I bet you will.  I am going to bring you one and then you have to read it.   Arthur: Fine. I will read it, but I don’t think I will like it.   Robbie: Fine.   Arthur: I guess this is the last question.  Um, do you like knitting? Robbie: Sweaters?  Arthur: Or scarves or stuff. I mean, you can knit anything. Robbie: No!  That’s the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.   End of interview.   Arthur,  This is much better.  I am glad to see that you and Robbie were able to work together on this assignment, and I hope you learned something too!  Ms. Whitehead  96   Hiya Arthur,  As you know, there is an assembly next week to celebrate the football team’s league championship.  How about you take a run at some event/sports writing for the newspaper? I bet you can cover the whole nine yards in one article!  Cheers!   Mr. E  97  ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE... AND YOU CAN BE ON IT!! The Drama Club is holding auditions for their spring production of Romeo and Juliet.  No acting experience necessary; just come and join us on January 24thafter school.  Bring your flare for the dramatic, your angry soul, your romantic heart, or your funniest class clown; there are roles for everybody!  Maybe you will be the next big movie star: get your start now!     98 January 20th  Dear RJ,  I had a dream last night that I was Romeo in the school play, and Kennedy was Juliet.  It was glorious!  We kissed, and held hands, and everyone that saw the play said things like “You two have such chemistry!” and “You two make the most adorable couple!”  then Kennedy said “well, it wasn’t acting, you know” and then she kissed me again, but not on stage.  It was perfect.   I wish this was real, then Kennedy would become a famous actress, and we would get married.  Then we would be this super famous couple, and after a while we would write a cookbook because we are secretly gourmet cooks.   So now I have to practice.  Only four days until the auditions!   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  99  Football Celebration Kicks Off on Wrong Foot by Arthur Bean Terry Fox Jr. High’s assembly for the football team ended in tragedy yesterday when Katy Lamontagne, a popular grade nine student and girlfriend of Ryan Riker was dropped from the top of a human pyramid and rushed to the hospital.   This show of carelessness and negligence is not the first for the accident-prone cheerleading squad of Terry Fox Jr. High.  An unnamed source said that one cheerleader hit herself on the head with a baton during practice back in September.  At the semi-final game against Lester B. Pearson Jr. High in November, another cheerleader threw up after spinning in the half-time number.   To get to the bottom of these so-called “accidents”, this reporter interviewed Mr. Fringali, gym teacher and junior team football coach.  When asked about the suspicious nature of the fall, Mr. Fringali said that there is always a risk of unbalance in the human pyramid, but that the squad had practiced the move often.  “It’s not the girls’ fault,” said Fringali, “They work very hard, and are devastated by the severity of Katy’s accident.”  When pressed for more details about the weight distribution of the pyramid, Fringali would not comment, stating that the question was “rude” and “un-called for”. The only thing this reporter thinks is rude is the blatant cover-up of information from the school.  Clearly there is something going on behind the scenes with this group of girls, and no one is talking about what it is.   Maybe there is a broken mirror in their change room, or perhaps an unlucky rabbit’s foot being carried around.  One thing is for certain: this reporter will get to the bottom of this unlucky pyramid.  The people want to know!   100  Hiya Arthur,  An interesting take on the football celebration assembly!  You must read a lot of spy novels! The thing is, I’m not too comfortable focusing on conspiracy theories surrounding the cheerleading squad.  I’ve asked Robbie to add to your article with more information surrounding the rest of the celebration, and we’ll use the first part of your article in the feature.  Don’t worry though; you and Robbie will be sharing the by-line on the article.  We don’t want your fans to be disappointed!  Next time, your mission won’t be impossible! Cheers! Mr. E   101 Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: January 21st  Worked On: Shakespeare  Since we didnt have anything to work on, Artie and I practissed for the odditions for Romeo and Juliet.-Robbie “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”.  In case you were wondering, that’s a quote from Romeo and Juliet.- Arthur  102 Assignment Twelve: Some of the best characters can be ourselves.  I would like you to interview someone that is close to you about a great subject: you!  Ask them five questions about yourself.  What do they feel are your best qualities?  How would they describe you to a stranger?  What is their favourite memory of you? As you can see, this assignment isn’t even that much work for you!    Of course, please avoid putting your friends or family in an awkward position.   Due Date: January 25th   103  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 22nd at 02:44  Dear Kennedy,  I need to confess something to you.  I don’t have a story.  I have a lot of story beginnings.  I even have a few story endings, but I can’t get them to make a whole story.   I don’t know what to do! I want to have the best story that has ever been written.  I want my story to make me famous.  I know I can do it. In elementary school, my teachers all said my stories were great.  They said that I’m super creative, and that I would definitely be a famous author one day.  So by now I should be able to write the best things ever, but I can’t.  Teachers shouldn’t be allowed to tell you that you’re great at something.   It just makes life harder.   The stupid thing is that I know I can do it, I just don’t know where to start.  And then something comes up in life and I get stuck thinking about that.  Like today.  Today would have been my parents’ anniversary, so I was thinking about how my mom always sent me to Nicole’s house, and my parents would go out somewhere fancy for dinner that I wouldn’t like, like a seafood place or something like that.  It feels like every week I think that there won’t be something to be sad about, but then there’s always SOMETHING, like pizza night on Friday, or Christmas, or Pancake Tuesday.  Then I get stuck and can’t write about happy things.  Sometimes I take ideas and stuff from other places and try and go from there, but it never works.  And your story is so good, and I want to write like you, but I don’t know how. I just want to be great at something.  I just want my story to be perfect.  Is that asking too much?    104 What can I do?   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 22nd at 11:09  Dear Kennedy, What did you think of the beginning of my story?  I accidentally sent it to you late last night.  That was supposed to be part of a bigger story.  It’s either the end or the beginning.  I’m not sure yet which one.  It’s starts as a story that doesn’t have anything to say, but then it’s actually really important.  Actually, it was a joke.  I was practising writing some things for my cousin Luke and I accidentally sent it to you instead.  It was so late at night! It’s kind of part of a running joke we have about being famous authors.  It’s not real.  At all.  It’s a joke! Other than the part about your story being great (which it is!) the rest isn’t true.  Sorry for being all weird.  Are you going to audition for Romeo and Juliet?  You have to!  You would make a great Juliet!   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: January 22nd at 14:00  Hi Arthur!   OMG!  I got your emails! I was going to call you to see if you were okay but then I kept reading emails, and got your second email Now I’m TOTALLY confused!!! Was that a  105 story introduction?  Are you kidding?  I hope you’re kidding because I don’t know if it works as a story. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself!  I know that your mom would understand if you have trouble writing this year.  Remembering someone is really hard, because then you start to forget them a little bit, and that sucks too.  That’s what happened when my grandpa died.  He smelled like this old cologne, but now when I smell it, it just smells strong, not like my grandpa.  I hate that.   It’s just one contest, and if you don’t have a story this year you can always drop out of the competition and enter next year!  It’s weird that you were emailing me in the middle of the night. I’m so glad you didn’t call me at 2 in the morning LOL!!  ANYWAY, if your first email was a story, then you and your cousin have WEIRD tastes in story writing LOL!    Kennedy :)  106  Assignment Twelve: Self Interview by Arthur Bean I asked my next door neighbour Nicole to answer some questions about me for this assignment.   Here is what we talked about.   Arthur: When did you meet me and what was your first impression? Nicole: I met you and your parents six years ago when I moved in.  You were very small for your age.  I remember that you ran around the courtyard a lot while singing Frank Sinatra songs and pretending to be an airplane.  That was weird.  Then I started baby-sitting you, and you liked to watch cartoons right before bed, and then read a book that was almost the same as the movie and compare them.  It was cute.  Arthur: What are some of the things that I do best?   Nicole: Well, you’re a pretty good knitter, especially since you just started learning.  You’re good at talking to strangers when I have people over and you’re here.  You sure aren’t shy!  You like writing.  You make a really good tomato sauce.  You’re pretty good about making your bed in the mornings.  You always recycle.   Arthur: How likely is it that I will become a famous writer like Stephen King? Nicole: Everything is possible if you work at it.  But, becoming a famous writer is really hard.  You have to fail a lot to get there.  Lots of people want to be writers, but they never get published.  I think you have to work at lots of jobs in order to become a writer.  Then it gives you lots to write about! Arthur: What can I do better in life?    107 Nicole: You’re only twelve... Arthur: I’m thirteen. Nicole: Only thirteen.  You’ve got plenty of time to screw up your life in ways you can’t even imagine yet. Trust me!  I say keep doing what you’re doing, and everything will work out for the best.  You could clean up the kitchen more often.  Your dishes are always left in the sink for way longer than a day.  It’s gross.  Arthur: Thank you Nicole.   Nicole: You’re welcome Arthur.   Dear Arthur,  Your babysitter Nicole is very astute!  I hope you found this assignment useful.   Kennedy mentioned that you’re having trouble with your story for the competition.  If you wish to speak with me about your progress, I’d be happy to meet with you after class this week.  Sometimes all we need is someone to talk through our challenges in order to get them down on paper!    Ms. Whitehead  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   Nicole is not my babysitter.  She is my next-door neighbour who I spend time with when my dad is late home from work.  Sometimes I see her socially also because she is teaching me to knit.  She is my friend.  This is a big difference from babysitter.  A babysitter is for people like Robbie who probably needs constant supervision or else he would likely burn his house down.    108  Also, I’m not having any trouble with my story.  Kennedy made a mistake there.  I was using her to figure out some plot complications.  It was really just an extra writing exercise that I was doing on my own.  I don’t need any help figuring out my ideas.  I have almost finished my story and I feel confident that it is great.  But thank you for the offer of helping.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  Arthur,   Good to hear that things are going well.  I look forward to reading your story in its finished form.  Don’t forget to double-space your work!    Ms. Whitehead  109  CAST LIST Romeo and Juliet Director:  Mr. Tan Stage Manager: Amelia Lewis Assistant Stage Manager: Robert Zack Romeo: Arthur Bean Juliet  Kennedy Laurel Nurse:  Benjamin Crisp Mercutio: Curtis Westleigh Benvolio: Latha Nantikarn Tybalt:  Andrew Brock  Chorus and Others: Surya Hatta; Gemma Hemming; Tom McAulista; Liam Wilson; Sierra Barthes; Taylor Van Den Furthe; Mai Nguyen; Cristal-Leigh St. Jean-Adams; Markus Topor  Understudy Romeo: Robert Zack Understudy Juliet: Audrey Eng  110  January 27th Dear RJ,   I got it!!! I’m going to be Romeo and Kennedy’s going to be Juliet!!  We get to kiss and everything!  We will be the two greatest lovers of all time.  I know it! The chemistry between us is so strong.  I bet that Mr. Tan could feel the chemistry between us in class, and knew that we would be perfect as R&J!  It will be so easy to be Romeo.  I think that I might be as good an actor as I am a writer.  It will probably be pretty hard for me to choose how I want to be famous later.  I bet they will turn my books into movies and famous directors will ask me to star as my characters.  Of course, I will have work at memorizing the lines.  I am not very good at memorizing stuff.  And I still have to finish my story for the competition.  That’s pretty important.  I still haven’t really got an idea for my story, RJ.  It’s getting pretty close to the deadline, and now I have to rehearse for the play.  I was thinking of using my story about Sockland that I wrote for class last year, but it seems so... I don’t know…young, like a kid wrote it.  I don’t want to hand in something that was written by someone in elementary school.  There will be grade nine kids in the competition!  I should probably have a lot of description and maybe some swearing?  I don’t know.  That might get me suspended.  I heard that some kid in grade eight got suspended for swearing at his teacher after science last week.  Famous people don’t get suspended.  They get awards and stuff.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  111  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 28th at 10:30  Dear Kennedy,  Congratulations on your role in the play!  I’m so happy for you, and I think we will make a great lead couple, don’t you think?  I can’t wait for rehearsals to start.  Maybe we can meet this weekend and start practicing together.  My friend Nicole says that they call it “running scenes” in “the biz”.  I’m pretty free since we had a substitute in math on Friday- no homework for the weekend!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: January 28th at 12:05  Hi Arthur! Congratulations to you too!!!  I’m pretty excited to play Juliet! It will be my first big break in show biz LOL!  Maybe my EX-boyfriend will see us kiss and get jealous LOL!  I can’t “run scenes” (look at us, talking like theatre pros LOL) this weekend.  I’ve got a volleyball tournament, and it’s my little sister’s BIRTHDAY!  But once we know what Mr. Tan has in store for rehearsals, we can maybe find a noon hour or something where we can practice!  That is, in the midst of writing award-winning stories, hard-hitting journalism, and all that HOMEWORK LOL!   Also, have you talked to Robbie?  He’s pretty bummed about not getting the role of Romeo :(  He was soooo into the drama class, and I think he’s really good at acting too.   112 Anyway, if you talk to him soon, be extra nice to him.  He was so sad on the way home.  He came over yesterday and we made popcorn and watched Jim Carrey movies.  They were so dumb, but so funny!   Off to WIN a volleyball competition LOL!! Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: January 21st at 12:21  Dear Kennedy,  Actually, I’m glad you can’t make it.  I’d forgotten that I’m actually really busy this weekend too.  I have all kinds of activities to attend and a party as well.  But we’ll totally have to reschedule for a time when we are both free!    I don’t think Robbie was that interested in getting a part, he was probably just upset for a minute. I think being an understudy is a pretty big thing, and assistant stage manager is also really important. Like Mr. Tan said... no part is too small!    Good luck at your volleyball tournament! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  113  Assignment Thirteen: For your final assignment in our characterization unit, it’s time to put together our characters!  Please write a short scene for a play where two characters meet and solve a problem together.  These characters can be real people from your life, based on previous assignments, or new characters that have share personality traits with people you’ve met, or even yourself!  Try and weave these details into the conversation seamlessly; don’t just come out and tell your reader directly.  Your scene should be at least one page long, double- spaced.   Due date: February 4th   114  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: February 2nd  Worked On: Character Scenes  Ms. W: Artie helped me with my sene.  He said that it was weird.  He helped me to make one of the caracters responsable for the problem.  The problem is that one of them is staring in the play and the other one wants to star to.  Together they kill the other star and never get caught.  It’s pretty funny.  I also got to use the word “cleave”, like “to cleave someone’s head open with an axe”.  -Robbie Ms. Whitehead, I suggest that Robbie see someone for his violent tendencies in his work.  Seriously, that guy has some issues that need to be worked out, and I am afraid that he might kill me the same way his “character” kills me in his scene.  I doubt that I will sleep well tonight. -Arthur Bean  115  February 3rd  Dear RJ,   Today we had our first read-through of Romeo and Juliet.  It was so great.  Now Mr. Tan wants us to rehearse scene by scene.  He said that it’s best if we can find the driving emotion (he called it the character’s motivation) and act that.  He said that it is best if we relate that emotion to something in our own lives, and write about it in our notebooks.  I drew a picture of a heart with a bloody sword sticking through it on the cover of mine, with an empty poison bottle next to the heart.  I think it will remind me of the tragedy of the play each time I see it.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  116  Assignment Thirteen: Character Scene Cast List:  Nancy- a girl    Darian- a boy Nancy: Hey!  Hey you there!  Who are you? Darian: I’m Darian.  I live down the street.  We just moved here from Ohio. My parents are getting divorced.  Nancy: Ok.  Can you help me with my problem? Darian: Maybe.  What is your problem? Nancy: I’m trying to get my little sister out of the sewer.   Darian: How did you sister end up in the sewer? Nancy: That’s a long story.  Darian: I’ve got time.  After all, my parents are divorced, and I don’t know anyone here yet since I just moved from Ohio.   Nancy: Well, I put her in the sewer.  She was annoying me.  She keeps repeating everything I say.  (From below the stage we hear) She keeps repeating everything I say.   Nancy: SHUT UP! (From below the stage we hear) Shut up!   Nancy: I MEAN IT! (From below the stage we hear): I mean it! Darian: Are you sure you want to get her out?  She seems pretty happy down there.  She should be fine as long as she doesn’t see a crocodile.    117 Nancy: Do you think there are crocodiles down there? Darian: I know there are.  I’m super smart.  I learned about crocodiles that live in the sewers.  They can grow to be up to 25 feet long.  Nancy: How long is that in meters?  Darian: I don’t know.  I’m from Ohio.   Nancy: (yelling down the sewer): Do you hear that Franklina?  There are crocs down there!  You had better be quiet in case they can find you using sonar tracking like bats use! Darian: So how do you think we should get your sister out of the sewer? Nancy: Well, I knit this scarf.   Darian:  You can knit?  That’s the coolest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.  You must be really cool.  My friend Arthur in Ohio could knit too, and he was the greatest person to ever live.   Nancy: He sounds dreamy.  Maybe instead of getting my sister out of the sewer, I should move to Ohio and marry your friend Arthur.  Darian: You had better move soon.  He’s going to be very famous soon because he’s a really great writer too.  He’s going to write the next great American novel.  Nancy: I will give him this scarf, and make him spaghetti and meatballs.  This will be hard though, because I am a vegetarian.  But since I love him so much, I will still make meatballs for him.  Darian:  I am a vegetarian too! Nancy: We have so much in common!  We are both vegetarians, and we both think Arthur is the greatest!   Darian: Maybe you should stay here.   118 Nancy: No.  I have to go to Ohio.  You could come too, and live with your mom.   Darian: Ok.  I like Ohio.   Nancy and Darian leave.   (Voice from below): Hello?   We hear screaming and the sound of a girl being eaten by a crocodile.   The End.  Arthur,  Your interpretation of the assignment is very imaginative. However, most of your character description is still being told through your characters’ exposition, and you abandon your “problem” of the sister in the sewer in the middle of your scene. I’m also not certain what character traits you are trying to portray in your characters.  Keep working on blending personality traits into your work.  Remember, SHOW the reader something, don’t TELL them!    Ms. Whitehead  119  February 5th  Dear RJ,  I don’t suppose you have written any stories for me HAHAHA.  I know that’s asking a lot, especially since you are an inanimate object.  But seriously RJ, enough with the jokes.  I’ve got twelve days to write a story.  TWELVE DAYS!! Once I start I won’t be able to stop writing.  The words will just flow from my fingers onto the page.  I probably won’t even have to edit it much.  It’s just that I can’t get my fingers going!  I tried asking Nicole for ideas and she said that I should write about a sad rabbit making friends with other animals in the forest.  It was the stupidest idea ever.  I told her that, and she got offended and said that a great allegory is often the simplest story.  Then I had to look up allegory, and I think she was making fun of me.  Whatever.  She’s not trying to be a great writer, I am.    120 Romeo and Juliet- a Star’s Reflection Act One, Scenes One and Two By Arthur Bean  In this first scene, I play a man in love.  And oh!  What a love it is!  It is intense and passionate.  I imagine myself like I am a fire, and I have been doused in gasoline.  I burn and burn and burn!    (Is this what you mean Mr. Tan? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing in this reflection journal.)  Romeo/Arthur,   You’re on the right track and I’d like to see more emotion.  Really feel what Romeo is feeling…  Is Romeo really in love in this scene?  How does he feel about being in love?  Is he happy about it?  Does it make him sad?  Does it make him angry?  Read over your lines, and try and find something in your life that helps you connect with how Romeo is feeling.  It can be a memory or present-day feelings…don’t hold back; Romeo is very dramatic, but he is also very nuanced!    Mr. Tan  121  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 8th at 14:55  Hi Arthur!    I’ve finally finished my story!!  At least, I think it’s done!  I’m sure you’re CRAZY busy right now, but if you have time, can you read it before I submit it? I think you’ll give me good feedback on it, and that you’ll be honest if there’s anything I need to change!  I gave it to my parents, but they just said that it was awesome LOL!  Parents!! Sometimes they are really nice, but they aren’t very helpful LOL!  Anyway, it’s pretty long, so if you’re too busy to read it, that’s ok too!  I know you’re busy getting your story ready too!!  Are you going to the poetry reading this week?  I’m going to go, since my EX- boyfriend is reading a poem!     Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: February 8th at 15:13  Dear Kennedy,   I would love to read your story!  I am pretty busy putting the finishing touches on my story too, but I’m never too busy for you.  My mom used to say that I have an eagle eye for detail, so I can give you good feedback for sure.  I know what you mean about feedback from parents.  My dad sometimes reads what I write and then he tells me is that it should be published.  My mom was good for finding mistakes, but sometimes she was crazy about finding mistakes in my grammar.  I mean, who even knows what a participle is? Who cares?    122  Anyway, send me your story today, and I’ll read it this weekend.  Also, I’m writing an article for the newspaper on the poetry reading, so I will definitely be there.  Perhaps we can sit next to each other, and maybe talk about Romeo and Juliet before it starts.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 8th at 20:34  Thanks Arthur!  That’s so sweet of you to take time to do this for me!  I’ve attached it here.    I will see you at the poetry reading.  I already promised my friend Nora I would sit with her, but I’m glad you will be there writing about it!  Hard hitting journalism for sure LOL!    Kennedy :)  Attachment included: Strangers Among Us   123 STRANGERS AMONG US  The brains of the alien were lavender and grey, and splattered all over Sophie’s perfectly matched brown and pink off-the-shoulder top and dark skinny jeans.  She flicked her ponytail over her shoulder, showing off her rosebud earrings.    “Well?  What should we do with it now?”  She asked, slinging her bazooka over her left shoulder.  She wiped the crimson blood from her hands on her back pockets, and looked over.      “I’d say we should bury it.  Real deep,” Tom replied. He looked at his own navy coveralls, covered with a red and green flannel shirt and also splattered with the rest of the alien’s insides.     “Well, I guess we should start digging,” Sophie said, reaching for the shovel...  Sophie woke with a start.  She’d had that dream again.  She tried to sit up, but found that her arms were still locked to the rails of her bed.  She pulled hard, but the restraints just cut into her wrists again.  She yelled out “Nurse!”  But no one came.  Sophie shivered.  She’d been in the hospital for fifteen days, and the dreams were getting worse.  Dreams, though?  No.  She knew they were more than that.  The aliens were real.  She had seen them.  She had strangled one until its eyeballs burst out its head.  There was a gargantuan mess of crimson and white and light blue tendons, all over her favourite teal dress, the one with the black piping and oversized buttons at the collar.  She couldn’t make that up.  She had the dry cleaning bill to prove it.  She shut her eyes, and wished for the morning to come.    The next day, Sophie was escorted to the group therapy room. There were three other girls there.  They all looked groggy, as though they had just woken up from the strong drugs they gave everyone on the psych ward.  One of the girls was still wearing her pyjamas, even  124 though it was 11 o clock in the morning.  Her pink and yellow bunnies looked tired on the green flannel background.  The two other girls were dressed exactly the same, both wearing black yoga pants and an over-sized grey t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it.  Sophie looked closer, and realized that the two girls were identical twins.  When they saw her come in, they frowned in unison.  Before she could say anything, the doctor rushed in and sat down.  “Come on girls.  I don’t have all day,” he said rudely.  He motioned Sophie to a chair next to her in the circle.  Sophie sat down and crossed her arms.  “Sophie, since you’re the old hat at this, why don’t you start us off.  Nothing too scary though.  We don’t want to frighten the new girls!” The doctor said in a fake singsong voice.    “I dreamt about the aliens again. My Uncle Tom and I killed them with guns, but there are more coming...” Sophie started, but the doctor quickly cut her off.    “Sophie darling, enough with the silliness!  Tell us about your family.  Your mother said that you aren’t doing very well with her getting re-married...”    One of the twins stared at Sophie.  “Did you bury them in your dream?  Did you see them?  Are they here, or just close?  What do you know?!”  shouted one twin.  She stood up, but was quickly restrained by the bulky male nurse behind her.    Sophie was shocked, but the girl in pyjamas spoke up in a dull voice.  “They’re here.  They’ve landed.  I watched them come down from my window, and I felt their presence. We’re doomed. The end of the world cometh.”    The twins screamed.  Sophie flinched at the noise.  The doctor motioned to the other nurses in the room, who came forward and each grabbed a girl.    125  “NOOO!!! We can stop them!  We have to stop them!!”  The twins screeched as they were dragged back through the door.  Sophie could hear them down the hall shouting, “There’s so little time!!  We must go!  All of us!!!”    The doctor stood up and shouted at Sophie.  “DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’VE STARTED?!!!”  He motioned to the nurse, who grabbed Sophie by the arm.  “Take her back to her room.  Give her a double dose.  I’ve had just about enough of her for today,”  the doctor followed the twins out of the room.  Sophie felt the prick of a needle in the back of her neck, and the flow of the thick purple liquid seeping deep into her blood, making her sleepy...  When Sophie woke up, the room was dark around her.  The door was closed, the blackout blinds drawn tightly.    “Shhh....” she heard a voice come from the corner of the room.    “I think she’s awake,” said another voice. Sophie struggled to sit up, but found her hands were in restraints again.    “Who’s there?” she said loudly.    “SHHHH....” said the voice.  “It’s us.  The twins,” said one voice.  “We also brought the other girl.”    “My name is Laurie,” said a sullen voice.    “Whatever.  We don’t care.  What we need to do is get out of here.  Tonight.  Now,” said a twin.  Sophie was still trying to figure out what was going on.    “What’s going on?” she said.    “First we untie you. Then we jump,” said one of the twins, and Sophie suddenly felt someone pulling on her hand, and ripping the restraint from her wrist.  There was another person on her other side, and Sophie rubbed her wrists.    126  “Jump? From here? It’s two stories up!” Laurie sounded scared.    “No choice,” one of the twins pulled open the blinds, and waited until the searchlight that spanned the building went by.  “I’ll go first, then the other girl, then you, then my sister.”  She broke the window with her fist.  “Duck!”  All four girls ducked as the light went by.  “See ya!”  The twin jumped out the window and Sophie heard a thud as the girl hit the ground.    “Oh my God!” said Laurie.  “I can’t!”    “You must.  Duck!”  They ducked again.  “GO!”   “I can’t!” Laurie cried.   “Fine,” said Sophie, “I will,” and she jumped.    Sophie hit the ground harder and faster than she thought.  She rolled off the rosebush with a groan. Just as she was going to stand up, she heard the twin.  “Duck!”  Sophie instinctively lay back down.  Waiting until the light went by, Sophie crawled out of the way, staying as close to the building as she could.  She watched as another figure dropped out of her window and rolled off the roses.  She waited until the light went by, and looked up again.   “No.  She’s not coming.  Let’s go,” said the last twin.  “We don’t have any time to waste.”    Sophie looked up, and saw Laurie standing in the window, crying. Sophie motioned to her, but Laurie shook her head no.  Then the light came back through, and Laurie disappeared out of sight.  Sophie turned and saw the twins crouched and ready to run to the front gate.  She looked back one more time, and then stood up.  “Let’s run.”   The threesome ran into town.  It was empty.  127  “Where is everybody?” she asked the twins.  They stopped and looked around.  There was no one on the street.  They looked into the police station.  No one.  One of the twins called out loudly.  “HELLO!?”  Her voice echoed off all the buildings.  They looked at one another in fear. There was no one left in the town.  Sophie screamed.  “HELLO!!!!???”  There was still no answer.    “The aliens.  I think they got them,” Sophie said.  “We’re too late!”  She turned to the twins.  “We have to get to my uncle’s farm.  He’s prepared.  He knows they’re coming!  We’ve got to help him!”  Sophie knew that her uncle had a barn full of weapons to fight with.  They just had to get there before the aliens did.    She looked around for the fastest way to get out of town, and spotted her favourite car, a bright red corvette convertible.  She ran over to it, and looked inside.  Luckily, the keys were still sitting in the ignition.    “Twins!  Over here!  There are keys still here!”  The twins ran over and joined her.  “The aliens must have taken everyone at the same time.  Do you think they are holding them on the ship, or have they killed them already?”    The twins shook their heads.  “I don’t know.  I’ve only ever seen the aliens in my dreams.  I can’t say what they would do.  Other than take over the world, of course.”    “Well, we don’t have time to stand around looking pretty,” said Sophie, tossing her long chestnut ponytail to the side, and adjusting her favourite purple hoodie.  “There’s a war to fight!  Does anyone know how to drive?”    The twins shook their heads.  “Alright then.  I’ll try,” Sophie got in behind the wheel and the convertible roared to life.  She threw it into drive, and pulled out, heading down the highway to her uncle’s farm.    128  “What’s the plan if the aliens are there?” asked a twin.    “Fight,” said Sophie simply.  “There’s no other option.  Fight or die.”    The twins nodded. They knew that they weren’t good strong enough to fight an entire army of aliens.  Sophie just hoped that Uncle Thomas still had the bazooka in the barn, next to the cows.  As a kid, Thomas had told her stories of aliens her whole life.  She grew up learning about how the aliens had tried to take over the world and failed three times before, but each time they left a few aliens behind.  Spies, Thomas called them.  Hiding in disguises that made them look like very ugly humans, the aliens ran dollar stores and late-night pizza windows.  If they were launching their full attack now, Sophie was sure she wouldn’t be eating pizza for a while.    They quickly reached Thomas’ farm.  “Oh no!”  The house and the barn were on fire.  Sophie ran over to the farmhouse, calling Thomas’ name through her tears.  He had to still be alive!  He just had to!  Just then, she heard a muffled cry from the barn.  She listened again, and heard her name carried on the wind.  “Thomas!” she cried, and ran into the smoking barn, where she found Thomas in a corner under some hay.  He was hurt, badly, but he was alive!    “They’ve taken almost everything,” Thomas said.  “They’re here, and they’re going to take over!  You’ve got to stop them!”    “But how can we do that?” said Sophie.    “Build a bomb.  They were heading to the hospital next.  It’s their last stop before total domination here.  They are evil and sneaky aliens.  Bomb the hospital, and you can take them out,” Thomas said.  “You must get all the fertilizer from the farm.  You can build an  129 explosive big enough to take them all out.  The world is counting on you.  Don’t let them get powerful, Sophie.  You must save the world,” Thomas closed his eyes and went limp.    “Thomas!  No!”  Sophie sobbed.  The twins stood by uncomfortably.  Sophie cried for a while, then wiped her eyes and stood up.  “Now I must save the world.  For Uncle Thomas.  For us,” she said.  “Quick, let’s get to work!”    The twins and Sophie worked hard to gather all the fertilizer, and some gasoline and matches.  They loaded it all into Thomas’ pick-up truck and drove back into town in silence.  All of them were thinking different things about what the future would hold.   They arrived at the hospital.  It was eerily quiet.    “The aliens must have gotten here,” said Sophie. “We’d better make the fertilizer bomb.”  The twins nodded. They decided to put piles of fertilizer at the four corners of the hospital, watching out for any aliens or people.   Sophie assumed that the aliens must already be inside.  Her thoughts turned to the other girl they had left behind, and she shivered.  That could have been Sophie.  But instead of thinking about it too much, she continued working, and soon, they had four large piles of fertilizer.    “I think the best idea would be to douse the piles in gasoline, then make four lines of gasoline to a place far away.  That way we can light the gasoline on fire, and it will go to the fertilizer piles and blow up the hospital,” explained Sophie.  The twins nodded in agreement, and they quickly doused the piles.  The three of them stood far away.    Just then, they heard a noise.  It was a growling noise, and it was getting louder and louder.  Sophie looked around, but she didn’t see anything.  Then the  noise was high pitched, and soon, she couldn’t hear anything except the screeching.  It sounded like a thousand nails on a chalkboard.   Finally, Sophie looked up.  Hovering above her was a giant  130 round disc.  It was the alien ship!  It was so close that she could see alien heads in the windows.  Their tiny mouths were open, like they were talking, but all Sophie could hear was the screeching.  Suddenly, she felt something whoosh past her, and she jumped into the car.  Something exploded!  She screamed, but her voice was drowned out by the horrible noises of the aliens.  There was a cloud of dust, and when it cleared, she looked around for the twins.  She saw them lying on the ground in front of the car.  “Twins!” she screamed, and cried in relief when they both lifted their heads in response.  They pulled themselves up, but a second object fell to the ground, and Sophie watched in horror as they disappeared into a cloud of debris and dirt.  “No! I won’t let you do this to my world!”  Sophie cried, and ran to the gasoline cans lying in the field.  She pulled the pack of matches out of her pocket. Shakily, she tried to light one.  The alien ship was descending closer to her, and when she looked up, she was able to see their tiny nose holes twitching like a bunny nose.  She could see past one of the aliens into the ship, and saw Laurie (the girl from the hospital) lying on a metal bed. Her body had been ripped open, and she watched with horror as an alien lowered itself into the girl’s body and then zipped it up again, like her human body was a jacket.  The girl-alien stood up and twitched her nose, then stared down at Sophie.  Beside her was the doctor from the therapy group. Sophie was propelled into action.  She tried four more matches before one of them caught fire, and she threw it down onto the gas cans.  Suddenly, there was a blast of fire, and the ship moved higher into the sky like a giant hand pushed it up.  Sophie squatted down close to the ground, and watched the fire snake across the field towards the hospital. The flash was blinding when the fire hit the first fertilizer pile, and she kneeled down with her arms over her head.  The sound was deafening, and Sophie felt the heat as each pile  131 exploded.  She looked up, only to see a giant piece of concrete heading right for her.  “NOOOO!” she screamed, but there was nowhere to go.  The world went black.  Sophie woke with a start.  She found herself lying in a hospital bed, weak with hunger, and a giant bandage covering most of her head.  She tried to sit up, but found that her arms were restrained to the rails on the bed.  A nurse came into the room.   “Oh!  You’re awake!  That’s great!” the nurse said in a chipper voice.   “What happened?”  Sophie asked groggily.   “Well, there was a fertilizer explosion at your uncle’s farm.  You got hit with concrete.  You almost died.  Thankfully, we are here to take care of you,” the nurse said.  Then her eyes narrowed.  “You are lucky we are here.  We are here to take care of everyone on earth.  Forever,” the nurse said.  She twitched her nose.  Sophie stared at her, and she was certain she could hear the sound of someone’s nails on a chalkboard coming from the down the hall.   The End.  132  February 8th  Dear RJ,  It’s official.  I’m totally screwed.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  133  A Rose By Any Other Name... Help support the drama department’s costume fund by buying a rose for your Valentine!  Roses will be on sale in the cafeteria at lunch hour everyday until February 14th.   Cost: $2 a rose Show someone you care!  Two colours available! Red Roses: True Love Pink Roses: Secret Admirer All roses will be delivered on February 14th during sixth period.    134  Junior Authors Contest This is your final reminder that your stories are due on February 17th at the end of the day. One more week to put your final touches on your story!  Good luck to everyone entering the contest; it’s been a pleasure working with all of you and seeing the creative juices flowing.   Choosing the finalists will certainly be difficult!   135  Assignment Fourteen:  We have studied points of view this week, and now we will put that study into practice.  Write a short paragraph (no less than seven sentences) using one of the points of view we have discussed.  Follow that paragraph with the same scene, but written using a different point of view.  Here is a reminder of the points of view we have read:  First Person: The protagonist tells the story, or a character that is closely related to the protagonist, using pronouns “I, Me, We.”  As a reader, we are given insight into what the narrator thinks and feels, but not other characters.    Omniscient: The narrator uses third person pronouns (he, she, they) to tell the story.  The narrator can move from character to character, and can access the thoughts, feelings, actions, and motivations of all the characters in the story.    Limited Omniscient: The narrator uses third person pronouns (he, she, they) to tell the story, but limits the thoughts, feelings, and movements shown to the reader to one character.    Due Date: February 11th   136  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: February 9th  Worked On: Point of View  Ms. W: Artie tried to explane limitted omnishent by telling me a storey about rehercals for drama.  It was realy boreing, and I still don’t get it.  -Robbie Ms. Whitehead: It’s possible I don’t really understand limited omniscient anymore.  I mean, I used to get it, but then I tried to explain it, and it didn’t make any sense.  Besides, how can something be “all-knowing”, but still not know everything?  That’s weird.- Arthur Bean  137  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 9th at 19:08  Hi Arthur!  Have you had a chance to read my story yet??  I never heard back from you!  Maybe you think it’s terrible, and don’t know how to tell me :(  Do you think it’s okay?  Did the ending make sense?  I tried to get your attention during lunch today, but you didn’t see me I guess!  There’s a rehearsal tomorrow at lunch, so maybe you can give me your feedback then!  I would really really appreciate it!  Normally you’re so good at getting back to me really fast!  You’ve got me worried!   Kennedy :)  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 10th  at 16:23  Hi Arthur!   Mr. Tan said that you said you had extra work to do in math today, and couldn’t make rehearsal!  I missed you!  We ended up working on the scene I have with Ben instead!  He’s going to be an AWESOME nurse... so funny!  I was looking forward to talking to you about my story!  You must be pretty busy finishing your story!  I haven’t heard from you at all!  Maybe before the poetry reading we can chat, and you can give me some feedback!  I would really like that!  Hopefully see you tomorrow! Kennedy :)  138   Assignment Fourteen: Point of View by Arthur Bean First Person: I looked in the mirror and I saw a monster.  The mad science teacher had burned away all the skin on my face.  He was standing behind me, and grinning. “Now you will have to live underground forever!” he said.  I felt terrible, like this mad man had ripped both my soul and my face to shreds.  I knew that I would never look at my true love again.  She was off becoming a famous writer, and I was left here forever. I knew my future.  I was going to become a janitor, live in the school basement, and scare the kids away.  I put my mangled head in my hands and cried.   Omniscient: He looked in the mirror and cried. In his place stood a monster.  Behind him stood the mad science teacher, looking very pleased with his work.  He had finally succeeded in making someone as ugly on the outside as he was on the inside.  This kid deserved it.  He had ignored his true love, and everyone knew it.  The mad scientist was only doing what he should do.  But the boy didn’t know that. All he knew was that he was going to have to live in the school basement, work as a janitor, and scare all the girls away forever.   Dear Arthur,   Once again, your creativity is present and you have a good grasp of the concepts covered in this point of view exercise. However, your story is very dark.  I hope that this is not how you feel about Mr. Everett in real life!    Ms. Whitehead  139  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 11th at 16:51  Hi Arthur! I’m starting to think you’re avoiding me!  PLEASE PLEASE can you send me even a short email saying that my story is OK!  I’ve been reading it over and over to see if there’s something I should change, but I don’t know what that would be!  Is it full of spelling mistakes?  Does it suck??  I’m going CRAZY over here!  I just want it to be good enough to not be embarrassing!   Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: February 11th at 21:09  Dear Kennedy,  I’m really sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier.  I didn’t get a chance to read your story.  I was hoping to find time to read it, but I’ve been really busy writing my own story and stuff.  But don’t worry! I read the first bit and it seems really great!  I like your characters, and I think you have set up the aliens really well.  I am sure that your story is awesome! I think you are probably my fiercest competition!  And there’s spell check on the computer to catch any spelling mistakes, so I don’t think you need to worry there.    Anyway, I should get back to writing my own story, but good luck with your final draft!  I’m sure it’s perfect!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  140  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 11th at 21:19  Thanks Arthur!  Of course you didn’t have a chance to read it!  You’re like the busiest person in the world!  I should’ve thought about that more, especially knowing that you’re in the play, and writing for the newspaper, AND writing your own story for the competition!  It’s crazy!  Can you imagine what it will be like when we’re adults with JOBS LOL!  Anyway, I’m so RELIEVED to get your email!  And you said such nice things!  You are TOO sweet!  See you at the poetry reading!  Kennedy :)  141  JUNIOR AUTHORS CONTEST  REMINDER: All entries are due for the Junior Authors contest on February 17th!  Please submit your stories to your English teacher directly, or to the office.  All stories must have a title page with your full name, your teacher’s name, and your class in the right-hand corner.  Example:  John Doe Mrs. Ireland Class 8B The first page of your story should be a short description or synopsis of your story.  Good luck everyone!    142  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 14th at 22:34  Hi Arthur!! Happy Valentine’s Day!!  Did you have a good day?? I had a wonderful day!!  I got TWO roses at school!  One was RED and the other was PINK!!!  I have a secret admirer LOL!!    AND the impossible happened!  Sandy came to my house after school, and told me that he had sent the red rose, and asked me to be his girlfriend again!!!!!!!!  OF COURSE I said YES LOL!!!  It was soooo romantic!  It was like a movie or something!!  I was starting to think that he didn’t care anymore, but then I thought maybe his poem at the poetry reading was about me but I didn’t want to seem conceited or anything but then it WAS about me!!  It’s so awesome!!!  BEST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER!!!   And then there’s still the pink rose!  Kayla said that one of them HAD to be from you because you are SO into your role as Romeo LOL!!!  I told her that there was NO WAY it was from you because the spelling was so bad on the card!  You would never spell something wrong, even to try and trick someone LOL!    ANYWAY, I wanted to make sure you’ll get your story into the contest.  I never got to read it!  I guess I will have to wait and see what you wrote!  I am sure it’s brilliant!!  Good luck!  Maybe there can be TWO winners LOL!!!  OK, I will see you in rehearsal Monday!  Oh, but I PROMISED Sandy that I wouldn’t kiss Romeo until the real show LOL!  Otherwise he would be so jealous LOL!!  Kennedy :)  143  February 14th  Dear RJ,  I hate her!  I hate Kennedy and I hate Sandy and I hate Valentine’s Day and  everything!   Why would she send me an email like that?  What’s her problem?  Does she think I want to hear about her stupid boyfriend sending her a stupid rose and showing up on her stupid doorstep? I hate him.  He thinks he’s so romantic but he doesn’t see how awesome Kennedy really is.  He doesn’t understand her.  Kennedy is amazing.  She is kind and smart and super talented and Sandy Dickason probably just dates her because she’s pretty.   I don’t get it!  What does she see in him??  Doesn’t she realize that I’m her soul mate?  I do all the same things she does, and I like the same stuff, and I’m always there for her.  Why doesn’t she notice that?  I KNEW I should have sent her a rose for Valentine’s Day, but I thought that would be lame, and I wanted to do something more. I was going to knit her mittens, but now STUPID Sandy Dickason comes back and ruins everything!  Stupid Sandy.  Or should I say Stupid Arthur.  I can’t do anything right.  I’ll probably be alone forever.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  144  Cupid Misses Mark During Poetry Reading By Arthur Bean Mrs. Ireland’s grade nine English class performed original works they wrote for Valentine’s Day in a noon hour poetry reading February 14th.  The poems ranged from mushy to heartbroken to downright depressing.  No one should be forced to sit through an hour of rhyming couplets that end with the words “heart” and “part”.  I, for one, can think of one more word that rhymes with “heart”, and it smells about as good as most of the poetry at the reading.  School events like this are excellent reasons as to why the lunch hour should be shortened to 30 minutes.    Of course, there were a few poems that stood out in the sea of banality.  Daisy Yau’s poem “Grandfather Clock” was simple and moving, capturing the love between granddaughter and grandfather.  Anila Hazmeet wrote and performed a ballad called “Heartbroken Annie”.  Although the lyrics were forced at times, her guitar playing was good, and broke up the monotony of the poems.  The worst poem award goes to Sandy Dickason for his poem titled “Love Is All Around My Heart”.  It’s possible that this was plagiarized, because it sure sounded like it was written by a six year old.  It is expected that he will be suspended for writing terrible poems.    Hiya Arthur,   Ouch!  You’re being a little harsh on the grade nine class!  I’m sure it couldn’t have been that bad… I know I find it difficult to write objectively about something when I’m stressed out or upset about something else.  You’ve got a lot on the go right now, so I’ve asked Kennedy to write up something on the poetry reading that is more positive.  Don’t feel  145 bad!  It’s possible that poetry readings are not for you.  I remember writing a scathing article about the basketball team when I was on my school newspaper that didn’t get published. (OK, I admit it. I still hate basketball).  Don’t worry: we’ll find you a better fit for the next edition!  Cheers!  Mr. E P.S: What kind of flower are the worst gifts on Valentine’s Day?  Cauliflowers! 146  February 16th   Dear RJ,  Stories are due tomorrow.  I have nothing written. Not even a word.  Why did I ever think I could be a writer?  I have all these ideas in my head, but I don’t know how to write them down.  Or else I tell Nicole or Luke about them, and then when I try to write them down, all my ideas are gone.  It’s like someone took them away as soon as I said them out loud. I can’t make my brain work. I can’t even make my fingers type.  Or if I get an idea that I don’t talk about, I don’t know where to start.  Then I think about the ideas, and they’re stupid.  All of them are stupid.  I’m stupid.  I’m never going to be famous.  Ever.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  147  February 16th  Dear Ms. Whitehead, Please excuse Arthur Bean from school today.  He is sick. He will need to hand in his story for the contest later. Yours truly,   Ernest B. Bean  148  February 17th  Dear Ms. Whitehead, Please excuse Arthur from school today.  He is still sick. His story is finished. I have seen it, and I have to say it’s very good.  Excellent, actually.  I think he shows real promise to be a great writer.  Yours truly,   Ernest B. Bean  149  From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: February 17th at 18:40  Hey Artie Ms. W told me to bring ur homework 2 u 2nite.  anyway we live kind of close I geuss.  anyway she said that u need a doctors note if u r sick tommoro.  anyway send me ur adres or come get it at my house tonite b4 10.   robbie From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: February 17th at 18:45  Dear Robbie,  I guess I will come by and get it. We will be there in an hour or so.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean February 18th  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   I have been sick for the last few days, and I need two weeks to put the finishing touches on my story.  Can I have an extension please?   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Arthur,   I am sure your story is fine, however, I did speak to your father and he mentioned that you have been working on your story every night and that you seem worried about it.  Two  150 weeks is a lot of time; I will need your story by Monday, February 21st at the latest.  I look forward to reading your masterpiece!    Ms. Whitehead  151  Romeo and Juliet- a Star’s Reflection Act One, Scene Four In this scene I have to be devious.  It’s important that I get into the party at Juliet’s house, but they can’t know that I am not invited.  So I have come up with a plan to sneak in.  It’s very sneaky.  I don’t know if it’s the right idea or not, but I am pretty desperate to get into the greatest party of the century.  We all have to do things that aren’t morally right sometimes to get ahead.  I know that will all turn out right in the end though.  I’m sure of it.  Because it has to, right?  I am the hero, so things are going to work out for me, I think.  Your reflections are getting stronger, Arthur.  Next time try focusing on something specific in your life, rather than being very general. Find the poetry in the everyday emotion… I think you will find it easier to fully immerse yourself in Romeo that way, rather than focusing on the action of the scene.  Believe!    Mr. Tan    152  February 20th  Dear RJ, I’ve been thinking about it all weekend, and I’m still so mad about Kennedy getting back together with Sandy. I made all the right moves. She’s the one missing out.  I’m smart.  I’m nice.  I’m fun.  I’m going to be famous one day.  I think she was trying to hurt me because she knows that I should win the story contest.  I should win the story contest.   Kennedy doesn’t understand what it’s like to lose something really big in your life. She’s one of those people where everything goes right in her life all the time.  I HATE those people!  And now I’m going to lose the contest and I guess I’ll just add that to my list of lost things: my mom and my potential girlfriend and my future. I need to do something.  Something BIG.  I’m going to prove to EVERYONE that I am smart and strong and I don’t need people.  People just leave you anyway…  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  153  February 21st  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   Here is my story for the competition.  I’ve attached a description of the plot on the top like you wanted.  It’s a pretty long story.  Thank you for the extension, and I look forward to hearing the results of the competition.   Attached:  THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW By Arthur Bean Ms. Whitehead 7A Jane wakes up in the hospital remembering how she killed aliens.  She is told by the nurses and doctors that they are only dreams.  She goes to therapy in the hospital, but learns that there are other girls who have had the same experience, then they are taken back to their rooms. She breaks out of the hospital with the help of the other girls.  Once she is out, they realize that the town has been deserted and only the hospital is left.  Jane leads the girls to her uncle’s farmhouse, where they find John and he is almost dead.  He tells the girls to blow up the aliens, and they find fertilizer to build a bomb to blow up the hospital.  All goes to plan, but at the last minute, the aliens attack the girls.  The building blows up anyway.  When Jane wakes up, she is in the hospital, and the “nurse” tells her that she was in an accidental fertilizer explosion at the farm, but that she is in safe hands now.  We never know if the “nurse” is telling the truth.    154  February 21st  Dear RJ,  What have I done?  I totally handed in Kennedy’s story for the contest as though I wrote it.  I was so mad!  Mom told me never to do things when I was mad and now I know why.     I need to get it back before Ms. Whitehead notices.  I don’t even know why I did it.  It was so stupid.  So so stupid.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  155  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: February 22nd  Worked On:   neither artie or i wanted to do anything today so we didnt. then artie went home early anyway-Robbie  156   JUNIOR AUTHORS CONTEST! Terry Fox Junior High is overwhelmed by the number of entries in the Junior Authors contest! Over one hundred students have submitted a story; that’s many more than we expected. We are so pleased to have such creative minds in our school! The finalists will be announced by March 1st.  Should you have any questions about the process, please speak to any member of the English department.   157  February 23rd  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   I realized yesterday that I need my story back for the contest.  There are a few spelling errors that I have to fix for the story to make sense.  Can I come by your classroom after school to get it? Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Dear Arthur,   I’m sure I can see past a few spelling errors.  No need to worry.   Ms. Whitehead  158  February 24th  Dear Ms. Whitehead,  Are you reading all the entries yourself? You have three English classes!  That’s a lot of stories to read for one little contest.  It’s important that you don’t shirk your other teacher duties for this contest.  I know that we will be starting a new unit soon in English class.  You will want to devote a lot of time to preparing the class for that. Yours truly,  Arthur Bean Dear Arthur,   I appreciate your concern, but I think it will be fine.    Ms. Whitehead  159  February 24th  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   I couldn’t help but notice that you seemed very tired in class today. Perhaps you should take a rest from all the reading you are doing, probably late at night.  If I could get my story from you, that would make it easier.   Arthur Bean Arthur,  I am fine.  If you are worried about your story, I will be reading it tonight, and could discuss it with you tomorrow if you wish.    Ms. Whitehead February 24th   Dear Ms. Whitehead,  Are you reading the stories in any kind of order?  Have you read a lot of them so far?   Arthur Bean Arthur, I am reading the stories in order alphabetically by author’s last name.  Is there any reason you need to know?  If there is anything you want to discuss with me, please feel free to drop by my classroom after school.    Ms. Whitehead  160  February 24th  Dear Ms. Whitehead,  Nothing to discuss.  Just asking for no reason at all!   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  161  Assignment Fifteen: This week we studied Conflict in short stories. There are different kinds of conflict: 1) Person versus Person: a conflict between your characters 2) Person versus Him/Herself: Your character has an internal struggle over what is right or wrong 3) Person versus Nature: Your character struggles against natural forces, such as an animal or the weather. 5) Person versus Supernatural: Your character struggles with forces outside our earth, like ghosts, aliens, or werewolves, etc.   Think of a conflict that you have dealt with in your life and describe it.  If you decide to use a conflict that is ongoing, create a good ending for your story from your imagination. Please underline the climax of your story, like we did for the other short stories we read in class.  Due date: March 1st   162  February 28th  Dear Ms. Whitehead,  Did you read the story I handed in for the contest yet?   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean Dear Arthur,   I did read your story, and I thought it was excellent.  I was very impressed by your language, your story-telling ability, and the tightly woven plotline.  You should be very proud of yourself. I know you were having trouble getting through the creative process, but you’ve done a wonderful job on a very imaginative and well-written manuscript.  Great job!  Ms. Whitehead  163  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: February 20th  Worked On: Conflict  Artie helped me alot with my conflict assignment for next week he said that it was good he thought but hear it is anyway in case I should change it. - Robbie My mom has a job. She travels alot for work.  She goes to the States alot and leaves me and my brother at home with my dad who can only cook omelets.  One day my mom comes home and says that she has a trip to North Carolina for two weeks.  She leaves for work but then her sister (my aunt) gets into a car accident.  My dad tries to call her in North Carolina but she is not staying at the hotel.  She doesn’t call back, and finds out about her sister (my aunt) when she comes home.  My dad and her sister (my aunt) are suspicious when she has a tan.  My dad and mom fight alot more.    My mom’s company gets downsized and she loses her job.  She cries alot but then she still goes to North Carolina, and my dad gets really mad about it. My parents take my brother and me to Hawaii to tell us that they are getting a divorce.  My mom is now in love with a salesman in North Carolina and is moving away.  My dad cries alot, even though my dad never cries.  My dad puts the house up for sale, but no one will buy it.  We still live there, but my dad gets really nervous about finances and paying for stuff alone. We eat alot of omelets.    Ms. Whitehead: Robbie still doesn’t believe me that a lot is two words.  You have to tell him. Other than that, you should probably give him an A on this.  I think it’s pretty dramatic.  –Arthur  164 Assignment Fifteen: Conflict in My Life By Arthur Bean Arthur Bean goes to junior high and is surrounded by a bunch of new people. Arthur meets a girl in his gym class.  She is awesome at playing volleyball, but she is also nice to the people who can’t play volleyball.  She is very competitive too, and she swears at the other team when she loses her first game.  Then she gets really embarrassed and apologizes to the class.  Because she is so cute and nice and earnest, the teacher doesn’t report her for swearing.  Arthur is in love with this competitive but nice girl.  Arthur is paired with the volleyball girl for a writing competition.  Their love grows. The volleyball girl wants to spend more time with Arthur, but his busy schedule doesn’t allow him to see her very often.  The volleyball girl goes away at Christmas on a ski trip, but writes Arthur long love letters. Arthur feels conflicted about entering the story contest because the volleyball girl’s story will also be in the running for the best story.  The volleyball girl falls madly in love with Arthur while rehearsing Romeo and Juliet, and decides not to enter the competition so that Arthur can win the story contest.  Instead, she decides to focus on becoming a famous actress and volleyball player.  Arthur is touched by the volleyball girl’s generosity in stepping aside for his career.  Their portrayal of Romeo and Juliet is heartfelt and passionate in the school play. They stay together forever, and after high school Arthur proposes at the top of the Empire State Building.  They are happy and famous forever.   Dear Arthur,   You have failed to identify a real conflict between your characters.  In a short story, the conflict should happen quickly to engage the reader.  When we work on our short stories  165 for class, try and make the inciting action the beginning of your conflict.  I’m certain you have better real-life examples of conflict than this one!    Ms. Whitehead  166  March 1st  Dear RJ,  Ms. Whitehead wrote a note on my assignment today that I have better real-life examples of conflict.  Do you think she knows? What should I do?  Is she playing with me, waiting for me to confess?  I won’t do it.  I could have written Kennedy’s story.  In fact, maybe she will think that Kennedy stole it from me.  Do you think her and Mrs. Ireland will share stories and find out?   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  167  Romeo and Juliet- a Star’s Reflection Act Two, Scene Two In this scene I am considering changing my name, because then I will be happier with my true love Kennedy Juliet.  This is our first meeting where I get to speak to her, and it is both exciting and terrible.  It is a happy encounter because I learn that Juliet feels the same way about me as I do about her.  This reminds me of a time Kennedy wrote me an email telling me she was excited to be my partner in a writing group.  I knew then that the universe had linked us to be soul mates.  But it is also torture, because we can’t be together.  This is kind of like the disappointment I feel when my cousins come to town, and we have a really fun time together, but then they leave.  So I really like it when they visit, but then I’m really sad that they don’t live closer to me so that we could hang out all the time.  It’s not romantic at all, but it definitely sucks in the same way that it sucks for Romeo that he can’t be Juliet’s boyfriend because their parents hate each other.  Lucky for me, I don’t think Kennedy’s parents have ever met my dad.  Not that they would hate him.  He’s a nice guy, but he’s really quiet and doesn’t do much.  Maybe they would hate him for that.  I doubt it though.   Beautiful work Arthur. Such true emotions will be a powerful beacon for dramatization as we run through the scene…the best actors are able to direct their emotions through someone else’s words.  Now that you have tapped into something tied to your soul, try and use these things as your motivation to get to the end of the scene.    Mr. Tan   168  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: March 2nd  Worked On: Stuff  notheing to report- Robbie Ditto-Arthur Bean  169  March 2nd  Dear RJ,   BIG NEWS!  It turns out ROBBIE ZACK was the guy who sent Kennedy the secret admirer rose!  AS IF!  He told me today during tutoring! He kept making comments about this girl he liked and how she totally led him on and stuff.  So finally I asked him what he was talking about, and he totally spilled the beans to the Bean (hahaha, that’s a little name humour for you RJ.)  So then he tells me about how his dad finally sold their house and he’s moving away and Kennedy is too busy with her boyfriend to notice that he’s moving to a whole other neighbourhood.  Then he told me about sending her the rose but how his romantic gesture was lost because Sandy came back.  It made me so glad that I didn’t send her a rose too, mine would have been the same!  Then he actually asked ME for advice.  I didn’t have any advice.  I just told him that she was really nice and didn’t mean to ignore him or something.  But no WONDER he was upset about not getting to be Romeo!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  170  Assignment Sixteen: It’s time to put together all the elements that we have studied this month and exercise our creativity by writing short stories! This major project is not due until May, so feel free to talk to me throughout the process.  You can use any element of a previous assignment as your jumping off point if you wish.  A few reminders: Choose your protagonist and your point of view- who is telling the story?  Who is the story about?   Develop your characters.  Make them real people with real problems.  Pick a conflict- what is your character trying to achieve?  What obstacles are in his or her way? Resolve your story- don’t leave your reader hanging.  Choose a plotline that is short enough to fit into a short story; I don’t have time to mark 30 novels!   The hardest part about writing is getting started.  Don’t be daunted by a blank page; you can go back and fix things after you’ve started.  Don’t think; just write! Don’t leave your story until the last minute!  I’ve given you a lot of time to work on your story, but there will be other assignments during the year!  I hope you will use your time wisely and write an outline and a few drafts.  A piece that is thrown together the weekend before the due date is easy to spot in a sea of polished stories.   Due Date: May 25th  171  MS. WHITEHEAD  We are sorry to announce that Ms. Whitehead has broken her hip in a skiing accident this weekend, and will not be at school for a few weeks.   She is recovering comfortably at home, and is in good spirits despite the accident.    If you who would like to sign a get-well card for Ms. Whitehead, please visit the office before Thursday.    172  March 7th  Dear RJ,   I can’t believe Ms. Whitehead broke her hip!  I knew she older, only old people break their hips.  But she can’t be that old, she was skiing!  She must be very fit for her age.    I asked at the office about the writing contest, but they said that Ms. Whitehead has already read all the stories in her classes and put forward the selected stories for the newspaper.  I hope one is mine!  If I can get past this part, then I can write something really great and no one will ever know that I didn’t write the first one!  It’s a good thing that she will be away when the stories are published!  The fates have smiled on me!  Oh, I also feel bad for Ms. Whitehead.  I will write something really nice in the get- well card.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  173  JUNIOR AUTHORS CONTEST WINNERS!  We wish to thank all of you for your creativity, your ideas, and your fantastic writing.  You made our jobs very difficult to choose finalists for publication in the spring edition of the Marathon newspaper!   Thank you again for your entries, and also for your patience while we found a solution to Ms. Whitehead’s injury and absence.   Without further ado, the finalists are: Anu Anders Arthur Bean Chris Chang Ami Hooper Asira Jaffer Kennedy Laurel Danil McMurray France Thibault Xian Wei Watch for a special Junior Authors edition of the Marathon before spring break, and don’t forget to vote for your favourite story!  174  Dear Finalists,    First of all, congratulations!  Your stories stood out in a sea of excellent work, and you should be very proud to have been chosen as a finalist for the school-wide competition.    Secondly, you may wish to edit your stories.  Your teacher has provided feedback on ways to make your story stronger; take a look at their feedback and use it to strengthen your manuscript.  Please submit your final stories to Mr. Everett by March 17th.  As you know, all the stories will be published without the author’s name in an effort to promote fairness and discourage nepotism in the voting process.    Congratulations and good luck!   Mrs. Winter  Principal  Terry Fox Jr. High     175  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 9th at 16:39  Arthur!  WE WON!!! I can’t believe we’re both FINALISTS!  This is AWESOME!!  I’m so happy to have gotten this far!  And now, I will win and get published, and then I will take over the world LOL!!! Just kidding!  I’m so excited to be published in the newspaper!  I mean, it’s different than being published writing just a boring old ARTICLE LOL!   And CONGRATULATIONS to you!  I never read this masterful piece that you wrote, and now I will get to when it’s published LOL!  It’s so exciting!  What is your story about? Doesn’t it suck to be Ms. Whitehead?!  Are you going to send her a card to thank her for choosing you?  I think I will send one to Mrs. Ireland!    Sandy is taking me out to a movie tonight to celebrate!  What are you doing to celebrate?  Something with your dad maybe?  If you want to come with Sandy and I, you can totally tag along!  I’m sure he won’t mind!    Kennedy :)  176   March 9th   Dear RJ, I made it.  I was chosen as a finalist.  Which is great, because now I can write my story, something really fantastic that’s even better than Kennedy’s story.  The best part is that no one will know that it isn’t the same story that I originally submitted. Everything is going to work out!   AND, in even better news, Kennedy invited me to a movie tonight!  She said that Sandy is going, but I bet she really just wants to go with me.  After all, we are both authors, and we can talk about writing and Romeo and Juliet and stuff. I’m sure this is her subtle way to ask me on a date.  It’s so devious, right under her boyfriend’s nose like that.  But that’s ok.  I can hide stuff too.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: March 9th at 17:50  Dear Kennedy,   Thanks and congratulations to you also! I am not celebrating with my dad tonight, so I’d love to join you at the movies.  Call me and let me know what movie you’re going to, and I’ll meet you there!  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  177 March 9th Dear RJ,   Well that wasn’t a date AT ALL.  I went to the stupid movie with Kennedy and Sandy, and they barely talked to me. They shared a pop and a popcorn, and giggled together all through the previews (the best part of going to the movies!)  Then they whispered really loudly in the movie, and twice I had to ask them to be quiet because it was really distracting.  Sandy made some stupid remark about me being annoying to go to the movies with.  Overall, it was terrible.  I’m never going out with them AGAIN.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean    178  Romeo and Juliet- a Star’s Reflection Act 2, Scene 3  In this scene, I am debating whether Juliet really wants to be with me.  I mean, REALLY wants to be with me.  It seems that I am making all these plans for our future together, and all she does is talk to her nurse about stuff, and occasionally say nice things about me from her balcony.  It’s very infuriating.  So I am sitting back and taking stock of what is really important.  I know I love her, but does she love me back?  She seems to be really into Mercutio instead.  I mean, maybe she loves me in secret and that would be okay, but at some point, she has to commit to being my girlfriend.      I think you have misread this scene Arthur.  This is not quite what Romeo is doing in the play, and I’m not sure that he really ever questions Juliet’s love in this manner.  You have any questions about the language Shakespeare uses, we can discuss it after rehearsal.   I find it’s best to read it with your heart, not your head.  Trust in your soul!  Mr. Tan  179  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: March 10th  Worked On: Short Story Assignment  Artie helpd me with my storey ideas.-Robbie I did.- Arthur Gentlemen: I understand that you are working together on a weekly basis, but in my books, this is an unacceptable synopsis of your work.  I am certain this would not fly with Ms. Whitehead and it certainly does not fly with me. In the future, I expect to see something concrete that you have worked on together.   Mrs. Carrell   180  Assignment Seventeen:   We will be continuing our active reading by discussing different techniques that can be used to keep the reader’s interest.  Please read the first short story in your anthology.  After you’re done, please fill in some of your own reflections on the story on the worksheet and hand them in to Mrs. Carrell by the end of the period.   181  Arthur Bean 7A “The Lake” Worksheet 1. Who is the protagonist of the story? How do you know? The protagonist is the main character of the story.  I know because he is the one the author talks about the most.  2. Where does the story take place? What is the time of year?  The story takes place on a farm, because all of the most boring Canadian stories take place on farms.  This one is different because it takes place in the summer and Canadians normally only write about winter. 3. What is the mood of the story?  How do you know? The mood is quiet and sleepy.  I know because I fell asleep reading it.   4. Describe the plot of the story in three to five sentences.  The main character Johnnie goes to the lake.  Johnnie drops a ball in the lake and cries about it because his father is mean.  Johnnie gets the ball out after thinking about it for a long time.  Johnnie decides to leave the farm and but he leaves the ball on his bed.   5. What is the theme of the story? The theme of the story is that balls prefer sleeping to swimming.  6. Many authors use symbols in their stories.  What do you think the ball symbolizes? The ball symbolizes Johnnie’s love for his father.  It might symbolize the world, since it is also round. It could also symbolize how the author wants to  182 drown himself because he knows that he is really boring and ruining the lives of Canadian junior high students everywhere by being in the world’s worst story.  183  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   Mrs. Carrell is making me write you a letter to explain my answers on the worksheet.  I explained to her that my best work is not done working within such restrictions, and that I did the best I could answering the questions.  It is her fault that she reads my answers as being “impertinent” and “disrespectful to the learning process.”  I think that my answers to her worksheet show my creative thinking and my attempt to go above and beyond the exercise. At least when you were here we didn’t just fill in the blanks on a stupid worksheet.    Get well soon.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  184  March 11th  Dear RJ,   How am I supposed to come up with ideas for a new story when Mrs. Carrell is ruining my life?  She is making me do extra homework because she hates me.  From now on, I am not answering any questions in class, even if she calls on me! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  185 March 12th  Dear RJ,   I’ve been trying to think of ways to change Kennedy’s story and make it different so that no one notices that it’s the same story.  First, I tried to change the aliens to vampires, but then I got stuck trying to find reasons that the vampires didn’t just suck the blood of the girls when they were in the hospital.   I tried changing the hospital to Disneyland, but I think that Mickey Mouse is copyrighted.  I even tried changing the main character into a puppy, and made the aliens people, but it didn’t make any sense. Then I was thinking of using a story from this book I found at Nicole’s house, but I think I would get caught.  I bet Mrs. Carrell would read every book ever written just to get me into trouble.  I just don’t know what to do RJ!!  HELP!! Yours truly,  Arthur Bean 186  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 13th at 02:04 Dear Robbie,   I know you don’t owe me any favours at all, but I have a big one to ask of you.  I need to use the short story that you showed me the other day. I think it’s really really good!  There’s a long explanation, but I don’t have anything to put into the school newspaper for the competition I won.  It’s hard to explain.  I don’t have a story, and I need a new one, and you have really great ideas and the ghost story you wrote would be perfect.  I’ll give you anything you want.  I can pay you for it.  I just really need it, and I would be so grateful if I could have it.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 13th at 10:42   I dont get it.  why do u need my storey?  why should i give it u anyway?  i dont want ur money.  tell me why u need it, and ill decide from there. From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 13th at 11:03 Dear Robbie,   I need your story because I kind of accidentally used the wrong story for the competition.  I didn’t mean to do it, but I ended up putting in a story that someone else helped me write.  That person doesn’t know that I did that, and I don’t want to tell them.    187  Please don’t tell anyone.  I need to put a story in tomorrow and I need your help.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 13th at 12:08 so u stole someones storey?  u r a badass artie!   i also think, u owe me something big.  heres the deal: u tell mr. Tan that u r dropping out of the play and i get to be romeo and i will give u my storey… From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 13th at 14:22 Dear Robbie,   I don’t think that’s a very good trade.  I have a lot of money.  I can pay you as much as you want, but I really really want to be in the play.  How about $50?  I can give you $50 for your story.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 8th at 14:44 i dont want your $. romeo for storey.   From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 13th at 16:19 Dear Robbie,   188  What about $100? I would have to give it to you in two parts though, but I can get the money.    I don’t think you want to be Romeo anyway.  There are so many lines to memorize, and Mr. Tan is really strict in rehearsals.  Also, the reflections are a total pain to write, and the rehearsals can be really long and boring.  I’m sure you have better stuff to do.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 13th at 19:05 Dear Robbie,   Do you want more money?  Write me back and we can discuss a price.  Please don’t make me give up the part!  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 13th at 20:00 Dear Robbie,  Fine.  You can be Romeo.  Can you send me your story tonight?  I am sure there are things I need to fix in it.   Arthur  From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 13th at 20:03  189  THANKS ARTIE!  Heres my storey for you.   im really glad to be playing romeo  i think i will do a good job.  anyway i am taller than kennedy so i think we will look good onstage next each other more than you guys did.  this makes my year. anyway i thought this year would suck!  Attachment included: Ghost Love Storey  March 14th  Dear Mr. Everett,  Here is a copy of my story for publishing in the special edition of the Marathon.  In case you were wondering, it’s because I am a finalist in the writing competition, and I wrote this story myself.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Attachment included: Ghost Love Story  190  Ghost Love Story By Arthur Bean  Before he died, Jack sat behind Kaylee in math class.  Instead of learning about integers, he studied her back.  Her brown hair often covered her neck.  She rarely put her hair in a ponytail.  Sometimes the tag of her shirt stuck out.  She wore a medium, mostly.  Her shoulders tensed whenever Mr. Briar went by during a test, like she thought he would catch her cheating.  She didn’t cheat.  At least, Jack didn’t think she cheated.    These are the things Jack knew about Kaylee: She wore a medium shirt.  She was pretty, but didn’t really know it.  Sometimes she did know it, and on those days, she was really annoying.  She played volleyball.   She was nice to everyone at school, but she wasn’t friends with everyone.  She wasn’t friends with Jack.    Jack was average.  He didn’t do very well in math, and he hated English.  He was pretty good at gym, and he liked art.  He had a few friends, but he could have used more.  His parents worked a lot, and so Jack watched a lot of TV.  His parents didn’t care about where he was at any time.  So he went to school and he did art and gym and then he went home and watched TV.  Then June came and school ended and summer vacation began.  The only reason Jack cared about summer vacation was the fact that he wasn’t going to see Kaylee for two months.  Seeing Kaylee everyday in math class made Jack so happy.  191  Then it was summer vacation, and Jack went to camp.  Jack liked camp. It was at a lake and the kids were nice and they didn’t have to finish everything on their plates every night like they did at environment camp.  That sucked about environment camp.  He preferred this art camp, where they drew pictures of nature and did rubbings on rocks and acted out funny skits at night.  Art camp wasn’t all art either.  They got to learn to sail and swim in the lake, and played capture the flag and stuff.  It was like gym and art class put together.  The only thing that sucked about camp was that Kaylee wasn’t there.    It was a Saturday when it first started raining at camp.  One rain day at camp is okay because the camp had a few movies and stuff that could be done in the big lodge.  But then it rained on Sunday.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  All rain.  By Friday everyone was so sick of the lodge that when Jack suggested a rainy swim in the lake, lots of kids agreed.  The counselors were tired of coming up with indoor activities, so they agreed too.  The counselors played rock paper scissors to see who had to stand on the shore in the rain.  Brooke lost.  It was fitting that a girl with the name of water watched the lake.    The lake seemed really warm compared to the cold rain.  Jack preferred to stay under the water for as long as he could.  When he couldn’t hold his breath any longer, he would burst through the surface with a big gasp of air.  Jack dove under over and over.  He would grab the little kids by their ankles and listen for them to shriek and kick him away.  He did this for hours until he was the only kid left swimming.  Brooke was cold and wet and grumpy.    “Jack!  Are you going to be in there all day?”  She called out through the rain.   Jack waved to her and nodded.   192  “You okay if I go inside?” she said, pointing to the warm lights of the lodge.  Jack nodded again.  Then he dove under the water, into the warmth of the reeds.  When he surfaced again, he was alone.  He smiled, and swam out a little farther, then ducked under the water.    It was a few hours before anyone noticed that Jack hadn’t come in from the lake.  The counselors were scared about getting in trouble, so instead of telling any of the adults, they set up search parties with the other campers.  They pretended it was a scavenger hunt that Jack was a part of.  “He might be in the forest,” they told the campers.  “You might have to chase him.”  Then the campers ran off.  Jack watched them run off, and tried to yell at them, but no one saw him.  He floated above the lights in the lodge, trying to get warm, but all he could feel was the wind of the door opening and closing rushing through his body.  Jack knew they wouldn’t find him in the forest. No one was going to look for him tangled in the reeds at the bottom of the lake.    Later, the counselors called the police.  They came in the morning with the search and rescue boat.  Jack was pleased that he was so important, and he sat in the bow of the boat when they went out into the middle of the lake.  The police were grumpy in the rain.  They called him a “stupid kid” for swimming out so far.  He tried to punch them in the face, but his fist never hit anything.  They found his body in the reeds and it looked like he was waving to them, but it was just the movement of his arm from the turbulence off the  boat’s motor.  The police pretended to be sad when they pulled up to the dock, and they hid his blue corpse from the other campers.  “Now find me in your scavenger hunt,” Jack said with a laugh.  No one heard him though.    193  Jack’s parents were sad, of course.  They even took some time off work, and Jack saw his father cry for the first time ever.  He tried to make him feel better by hugging him, but every time he touched his father, Dad just shivered violently.  His mom spent more time at work then she ever had before.  Jack was glad when school started again.   Things at school weren’t any different.  This was sad for Jack.  He was sure that people would be wearing black armbands and maybe he would have a large photo in the trophy case like in schools do for killed students in schools in movies.  But no one did anything.  He thought maybe his favourite teacher would leave his desk in homeroom empty as a tribute.  Instead, everyone moved up a desk to replace him.  He thought that maybe there would be a moment of silence for him at the beginning of every art class, but his teacher just started teaching pastel techniques on the first day.    The worst was Kaylee.  Kaylee didn’t notice at all. She didn’t cry or even ask anyone about him.  It was like he had never been alive in the first place.  It sucked.  Jack sat on the tip of the desk behind hers and stared at her back.  She still wore a medium.  Her hair was longer.  She flipped her hair differently, as though she was aware that her hair was brushing his face.  She stared at Olivier the French exchange student, and purred “bonjour” at him when he looked at her.  Jack thought that was really annoying.  But other than that, she was still nice.  She was lovely actually.  She was nice to everyone still.  She was good at gym.  She wrote poems in the margins of her math book.  Jack didn’t know that before.  They were beautiful poems about flowers and nature and loneliness and volleyball.     She didn’t notice he was gone.    So Jack made a vow.  He would make her notice.    194  Now that he was dead, Jack spent every hour with Kaylee.  He followed her home and watched TV while sitting next to her on the couch.  He curled up beside her on her bed when she was reading.  He went to every volleyball game, every play rehearsal, and every swimming lesson.    Then Kaylee started to complain.   She was always cold at night.  Her mom bought her a new comforter.  She flipped her hair less. She smiled less.  She seemed...sad, somehow.  Kaylee never seemed sad before.  Jack worried about her.    “Maybe she is sad about me,” he thought to himself.  “Maybe she is realizing that I am gone.”    Jack started to follow her more.  He was getting stronger as a ghost.  He found that he could move the curtains, just a whisper. He would rush back and forth through the curtains, and they would flicker, like a small breeze had run through.  Doing this pleased Jack. He felt like he was getting somewhere.  Each time he would blow the curtains in Kaylee’s living room, she would look up. It was like she could see him.  He smiled to himself.  She was starting to notice him.  Jack knew then that he had to work harder than ever.   The next night there was a lightning storm.  Kaylee was curled up on the couch watching television, wrapped like a cocoon in a quilt.  It was dark in the house, darker than normal. Jack felt so powerful. It was like the electricity in the air was fueling his ghost powers.  He flew around the house, seeing what he could do.  When he went in front of the television, the screen was only static.  This made Kaylee swear at the TV, so Jack did it a few times.  He pushed the curtains about.  He flew around the cupboards and rattled the glasses.  Every time he was able to do something new, he would fly back to see Kaylee’s reaction.  She curled deeper into her quilt as the storm grew closer and Jack’s power grew stronger.   195 She squealed in fright when he slammed the bathroom door.  Jack smiled.  He was getting her attention now.  She spoke to him, calling out “Who’s there?” when he rattled the doorknob on the front door.  She even got up from the couch and peered out the window.  Jack rustled the curtains.  Kaylee’s eyes filled with tears, and she dove onto the couch, hiding under the blanket while the sky tore open with flashes of light late into the night.    “I think my house is haunted,” Kaylee told her friends the next day before school.  They made noises of concern.  “Seriously.  It was so scary last night!”  Jack smiled as he perched on top of Kaylee’s locker.  She had noticed him!    “How do you know?”  one of the blonde girls asked.  Jack didn’t know what their names were.    “Well, it was really cold in my house.  Then when the storm started, the curtains started moving, but I had the windows closed.  And then I heard him moving around in the kitchen.  I could hear his chains rattling, and then the bathroom door slammed shut on its own AND THEN it sounded like someone was trying to open the front door.  But I got up to look, and there was no one there!”  Kaylee told her story with enthusiasm.  Jack laughed aloud.  She liked having him there!  She thought it was exciting!    “Oh My God!  Do you know who the ghost is?  Maybe someone was murdered in your kitchen!”  said one of the shorthaired girls.    “Maybe.  I don’t know though.  Our house is pretty new.  I think my family is the first family to have ever lived there.  But still, it’s so WEIRD!”  exclaimed Kaylee.    Jack flew around the halls in glee.  Tonight he would make her notice him again!  196  Everything cooperated with Jack’s plan.  Kaylee’s parents went out to bowling, leaving her alone again.  The rain started around 6:00, and by 7:00, the storm was in full force.    Jack started off small.  He swooshed the curtains around.  He rattled the glasses.  Kaylee was sitting at the kitchen table, and shivered when he moved around her.  He slammed the bathroom door again.  She screamed, and got up to lock the doors to the outside.  Jack flew back and forth in front of the television and turned up the volume louder. The static was more intense. He made sure it was longer and louder than before.  He jiggled the doorknobs.  He pushed her pens so they would roll off the table.  “Ghost?”  she called out to Jack.  He tried to answer her, but the only thing she could hear was the wind outside.  “I know you’re here!”  She cried.  But the only answer was the sound of her pencil clattering to the floor.  “Go away!”  She yelled into the air.  He flew through her in response, making her shiver violently.    “It’s so cold,” she whispered to herself.  Jack moved back and forth, causing Kaylee’s teeth to chatter.  Finally, she stood up and went upstairs to her bedroom to get a sweater.  She grabbed a hoodie off her floor and struggled to pull it on.  Jack took hold of one of the sleeves and pulled as hard as he could.  The sleeve twisted around to the back.  Kaylee had her head in the sweater and was pulling on the sleeve, trying to unwind it from the back.  She walked towards the stairs.  Just then, there was an earth-shattering crash of lightning.  The walls and roof shook with the power of it.  Kaylee was caught off guard, and she tripped down the stairs.  Jack was helpless as he watched her tumble headfirst down the stairs.  She lay still at the bottom.  Her hoodie still covered her face. Her neck was at a funny angle.  Jack yelled, but there was no noise.  He cried, but no one heard him.  Finally, he curled up next to  197 Kaylee and cried.  He tried to hold her hand.  “I love you,” he wept.  “I really really love you.”    Then he felt something cold and clammy tighten around his fingers.  Kaylee’s ghost blinked at him.  Then she smiled.  “Are you my ghost?”  She said.  Jack nodded.  She sat up and looked down at herself.  “Am I a ghost?”  Jack nodded.    She noticed then that they were still holding hands.    “Will you show me around Ghost?”  She smiled at him and flipped her ghost hair.    Jack nodded.    “You’re cute Ghost.  What’s your name?” she said.    “Jack.”  Jack whispered.    “Jack,” she said. “Did I know you before?”    Jack nodded.  “I’ve loved you forever.”    Kaylee smiled shyly.  “I guess I better catch up then.”  She kissed his cheek.  “Now, can you show me how you do that curtain thing?”    And they died happily ever after.   The End   Hiya Arthur!  Your story looks great, I’ll add it the to pile of finalists.  I’m going to be working on the science fair (and hey!  I didn’t get your proposal… ), and track and field tryouts are this week, so I might not get to read everything before printing- there are a few “hurdles” for this new track coach! The newspaper will be out just before spring break, and voting will start after we get back, so watch for the ballot.  I’m sure you will want to cast a vote for yourself; you can get a leg up on the competition!  Speaking of spring break, the spring fling dance is coming up.  It’s a Sadie Hawkins theme, which means that the girls ask  198 the boys!  Very old-fashioned thinking, in my opinion, but I’m not leading the social committee, am I?  Would you be able to cover the dance for the newspaper?  Let me know! Cheers-   Mr. E Dear Mr. Everett,   I was thinking that I could write my own article for the next edition.  I was thinking it could be like “An Insider’s View On the Competition.”  It would be about winning the writing competition and stuff.  I’m sure that other students would be interested in that for sure.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Hiya A,   Don’t know that would be as widely read as a piece on the dance.  The dance is on the Friday night after Spring Break, starting at 7pm. Are you ready to bust a move? Cheers-  Mr. E  199  Romeo and Juliet- a Star’s Reflection Act 2, Scene 4  In this scene I am planning something with the enemy.  Well, not really the enemy anymore but Juliet’s nurse.  We have to be devious to get away with what I am planning, so we make secret plans that no one knows about.  I feel good and bad about it.  I am glad that I am getting what I want (marrying and kissing Juliet), but I have to give up something as well (my family).  I feel very torn about it.  It is like a time when I was seven and my cousin Luke wanted to switch Christmas presents with me.  I really really liked my present, but I really really wanted his present too.  But I couldn’t have both, so I chose his present over mine.  I still think about that Christmas.  I don’t know if I should have switched.  I miss my real present, even though it was only mine for a day or two.    Arthur, you’ve tapped into a strong memory to work from, and I think this will translate nicely into your acting.  This week we’re heading into some of the scenes with some heavy feelings.  Keep digging into your memories and building your character!    Mr. Tan  200  From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 15th at 15:54 i saw u in the drama room today practising R&J.  u r NOT in the play anymore anyway.   u better tell mr Tan tomorrow or i will tell some one about “ur” storey. robbie From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 15th at 20:14 Dear Robbie, You hadn’t brought up the play in a few days, so I thought maybe you had decided that you didn’t want to be in it.  I figured that you would have thought about that over the weekend and realized how much work it is.  But I will tell Mr. Tan this week.  You do know there are rehearsals through spring break, right?  If you are going away for the week, you can’t be in the play.  Are you going to visit your mom?  I bet she misses you.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 15th at 21:13 i will be hear for spring break anyway did u want me to come with u to talk to mr Tan? Robbie  201  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 15th at 21:32 Dear Robbie,  No need for you to join me.  I will talk to Mr Tan tomorrow I guess.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  202  Romeo and Juliet- a Star’s Reflection Dear Mr. Tan,  I’ve realized that I can’t participate in the play anymore.  My duties as a student are more important, and I need to focus on my writing.  Acting is really a secondary skill for me, and since I want to be a writer and not an actor, I am hereby dropping out of the school play.    Robbie Zack, my understudy, has agreed to take my part as Romeo very seriously.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Dear Arthur,   PLEASE come and see me at anytime today.  I would like to discuss your decision with you.  This is not something I take lightly.    Mr. Tan   203  Assignment Eighteen:   Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought we would write limericks in class.  As you know, a limerick has a very specific rhyme scheme and syllable count.  Marks will be awarded based on the adherence to the specifications of the limerick poem.  Remember, the limerick is often a cheeky and fun poem, but this is a school classroom.  I don’t want to see anyone crossing over any lines of good taste, so keep your poems clean or I will have to bring your behaviour to the attention of Ms. Whitehead for discipline upon her return.  -Mrs. Carrell Due date: March 17th   Assignment Eighteen: My Limerick By Arthur Bean There once was a kid who’s a nerd He never liked following the herd When a trend they would keep He would “BAA” like a sheep So they treated him like a turd Mr. Bean,  The language and subject matter is clearly inappropriate, despite clear instructions in the assignment.  See me after class.  -Mrs. Carrell     204  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 17th at 19:39 ARTHUR!!  What is up?!?!?!  Mr. Tan told us today in rehearsal that you QUIT the play?!?!  I thought you LOVED being in the play!!  We missed you today!  I mean, Robbie is really nice but we have to start rehearsing scenes ALL OVER AGAIN!  What happened?  Why aren’t you in the play anymore?  I totally don’t understand!    Kennedy :(  205 March 17th  Dear RJ,  I hate myself! I can’t believe I am stupid enough to give up my ONE chance to make Kennedy fall in love with me just so that I can be famous! Does every famous person have to make difficult decisions like this?  What if she falls in love with Robbie and then they get married? I’ll be famous and alone, and people will always look at me with pity in their eyes.  It will be worse than when Mom died because they will look at me like that FOREVER.  I’ll go on talk shows to promote my book and I’ll have to joke about “the one that got away” but it won’t be a joke!    Now it’s spring break and we’re not even going to visit Luke’s family.  I’ll just be at home or sitting at Nicole’s house, thinking about how I will be alone forever.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  206 From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: March 18th at 11:03 Dear Kennedy,   I’m sorry to quit the play like that.  I did what I had to do for my art.    Are you doing anything for Spring Break?  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 20th at 11:04  hey artie  i heard u r in town for the break. did u want to come to a play with my brother and me.  my dad was gonna come but he cant and now we have another ticket and i know u like plays and stuf. the play is on wed nite so let me kno -robbie From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 20th at 12:29  Are you serious? From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 20th at 12:36  No nerd i am writing u for fun. OF COURSE im serious -do u want to come or not. From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 20th at 14:15 Dear Robbie,   207  I can go to the play on Wednesday.  Thanks for the invitation.  Should I meet you there, or...? Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 20th at 19:54  can ur dad drive us there?  my bro and i can come to ur place b4 if thats easier.   From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: March 20th at 21:41 Dear Robbie,  I asked my dad and he can drive us on Wednesday.  We can pick you guys up at 7:00.  See you then. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  208 March 23rd  Dear RJ,   Weirdest night ever!  I went to a play with Robbie and his brother.  I know what you’re thinking- and I know, It WAS weird.  Robbie’s brother is a total jerk.  Robbie actually even apologized to me because his brother was so strange.  I thought Robbie was bad sometimes, but his brother was yelling at people in the lobby and laughing, and he kept trying to get people to spill their drinks by bumping into them in the lobby.  It was super embarrassing.  I was glad to get into the play.  It was pretty good.  I liked the way the actors flew on harnesses, and I thought Tinkerbell was pretty hot.    And Robbie totally loved the play.  I think he even cried at the end.  It was Peter Pan!  But I’m sure he was wiping his eyes at the end when Wendy and the boys came home.  His brother saw him crying too, and made fun of him the whole way home.  I wish my dad had told his brother to stop, but Dad didn’t say anything.  He never says anything.  Anyway, when they got out Robbie asked me if I wanted to come over and play video games this weekend.  I kind of hate video games especially if you have to shoot things. I think they are super boring.  But I said yes anyway.  I don’t know why he asked me.  I kind of had to say yes.  I mean, would he beat me up if I said no?   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  209 From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 28th at 15:50 Hi Arthur!    Sorry I didn’t respond about spring break!  I went to visit my grandma and she has NO INTERNET!  It was TORTURE LOL!!  Well, it was okay but kind of boring!  My little sister was SUPER annoying too and wanted me to HANG OUT with her!  So frustrating!  It’s way better when there’s something to keep her busy like the computer LOL!  At least I had lots to time to learn all my lines for the play!  Speaking of the play, I can’t believe you aren’t in it anymore!  I went to rehearsal today and you weren’t there and it wasn’t as fun!  You always make me laugh when I see you!  I mean Robbie tries really hard and he’s super sweet, but it’s just different, you know?  Anyway, I guess you’re really busy writing and stuff!  I read your story in the newspaper over the break too! It’s sooo good!  I really liked it a lot!  (I’m still voting for mine though LOL!)    Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: March 28th at 19:22 Dear Kennedy,   I had a nice break. I had some time to work on my writing.  I also saw a good play with Robbie and his brother, and went to a few parties.  It’s too bad you weren’t here to come to the parties.  They were really fun.  It’s too bad that I am no longer in the play, but I have told Mr. Tan that I will learn all the lines just in case Robbie gets sick or too scared to go on stage.  One of the reasons I stepped aside for the play was to give Robbie a chance to play  210 Romeo.  I know his mom left and I thought it would be good for him to have something good.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: March 28th at 16:23 Arthur that is so sweet!  I knew there was something behind your motives to leave the play!  I had no idea that you and Robbie were so close!  That is just the nicest thing I’ve ever heard!  We’re both so lucky to have you as a friend Arthur!    Kennedy :)  211 March 28th  Dear RJ,  The voting is over this week for the stories.  Do you think I will win?  If I get published, I’ll totally thank Robbie in the acknowledgements.  I’ll even dedicate the story to him.  I’ve already starting dreaming about what I will do with the $200 prize money.  I think I’ll give some of it to my dad or buy him something nice.  Maybe we can buy a new television or something.  He’s starting sleeping in front of the TV all night now, he doesn’t even go to bed.  I’ve tried different stuff too, but he only smiles and says things like “another time champ” when I suggest that we go to a movie or something.  I think I will ask Nicole if she has any suggestions about what to do.  Maybe if I win the contest and the money we can go on a trip somewhere.  Something fancy, with a nice hotel and a swimming pool.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  212 Assignment Nineteen:  Ms. Whitehead has asked me to start the next unit on Famous Authors.  We’ll be studying the lives of some of the great poets and novelists of yore.   I would like each of you to write two to four paragraphs about your favourite author.  Please talk about his or her life and their careers.  Are you inspired by their life story or something they wrote? Why is he/she your favourite author?  Do you have a favourite book by them?  Make sure your grammar and spelling is correct and that you use different types of sentences.     Due Date: April 7th   213  Spring has Sprung, Fling is Fun by Arthur Bean  Terry Fox Jr. High hosted its fourth dance of the year and finally got it right.  The spring fling dance held last Friday was a Sadie Hawkins’ dance.  Sadie Hawkins was a originally an character in a comic strip from the 1930s.  She was the ugliest girl in the town, and then her dad had a race in her name.  If Sadie Hawkins caught a man and dragged him across the finish line, he had to marry her.  The comic strip was pretty popular, and soon Sadie Hawkins’ races and dances were celebrated in Canada and the United States.   The highlight for most was definitely the opportunity to dance with some of the prettiest and most popular girls in school.  For example, Kennedy Laurel’s invitation to dance was met with enthusiastic yeses. Those of us lucky enough to be asked by such a graceful and energetic dancer as Kennedy were clearly watched with envy by the less fortunate of our gender.    There is one more dance this year for the entire school (not including the graduation class party held only for grade nines and their dates), and this reporter suggests that it also be a Sadie Hawkins’ dance.    Nice work on covering the dance Arthur, and I’m glad that you had fun at the same time!  I’m going to make a few changes to your work to be less specific about who danced with whom (not to take away from your pleasure in dancing with the delightful Kennedy, but I don’t want our readers to mob you in their jealousy!)  I’m glad to see that you researched Sadie Hawkins too!  Researching your subject is the key to great journalism, so well done!  Next up for you is a preview piece on the Spring Art Show.  Most of the work will be up in the  214 art room in a couple of weeks.  Would you be able to do an article talking about the background on a few artists and their works?  Remember though, just because a picture might be worth a thousand words doesn’t mean your article needs to be too long! Cheers-  Mr. E   215  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: April 2nd Worked On: Famous Authors Artie read the draft of my author piece and said it was good.  he fixed alot of misstakes and showed me where I used anyway alot.  he fixed it and now its better. - Robbie Robbie’s essay on Chris Van Allsburg was interesting.  I didn’t know anything about the guy at all, and now I learned something.  He’s a pretty good illustrator, and I like that Robbie added some of his pictures into his essay.  I never really read any of his stuff, but Robbie was showing me some really cool books that are cool even though they are picture books for kids.  I don’t know if they really are for kids.  Robbie’s paragraph about magic in books was interesting too. –Arthur  216  Assignment Nineteen: My Favourite Author By Arthur Bean  Arthur Bean (1999-    ) was born in a hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  His parents, Ernest and Margaret Bean, were ecstatic and proclaimed his talents early.  Moving to Calgary when Arthur was only two years old, Arthur quickly became a fixture in the literary scene.  He was reading chapter books before his seventh birthday, and decided to be an author quickly thereafter.  His first poem, called “Rain” was published in the school newsletter in grade five, setting his career into motion.  After “Rain”, Arthur’s stories took on a more serious tone.  The playful nature of his first poem was subtly mocked in his first short story called “Lightning Storms over Disneyland”.  He began developing his characters in more realistic ways in his story “Sockland”, a break-through story that got highly positive reviews from his grade six teacher.   Arthur’s writing career was put on hiatus after Marg Bean died last year.  She was his muse, and greatest fan.  But he has come back full force this year with a strong manuscript in the citywide writing competition.  He expects to win $200, his first prize in what promises to be a very long writing career.  He is also an amateur actor and investigative journalist.   Arthur’s career means a lot to me because it is mine.  I think that he captures what I am feeling and thinking in what he writes, and he is very clever.      217  Mr. Bean,   This is an unacceptable interpretation of this assignment.  This kind of snide mocking of the school system is juvenile, unoriginal and rude.  I expect you to take home this letter to your parents and return it with a signature tomorrow.     Mrs. Carrell     218 April 8th,  Dear Ms. Whitehead,   I hope your hip is healing and you’re able to move around now. When you are coming back to school?  We really miss having you teach the class.  I, for one, like that you are more open to a creative mind such as my own.  Mrs. Carrell and I have creative differences on how English class can be interpreted, and it’s getting kind of difficult to work with her.  Anyway, I hope you come back soon. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  219 April 10th  Dear RJ,   It’s been a while since the school finished voting for the winner of the writing competition, and still Mr. Everett hasn’t published the results.  I asked him in the newspaper meeting Friday if I could write an interview piece with the winner to see if I could find out who it was, but he said that the science fair had been taking up a lot of his time and he hasn’t had an opportunity to count the votes yet.  I offered to do it for him, but he just laughed.  Doesn’t he realize what it’s like being on the other side of the competition?  We’re just sitting here, WAITING.  My whole future is based on this story!  Why can’t he just sit down and count the stupid ballots?  No one cares about a science fair anyway!!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  220 Assignment Twenty:  Many works of fiction are based on the works of others.  Writers will respond to another work by writing a prequel or sequel to someone else’s work, or focusing on another character.  For this assignment, choose a novel you’ve enjoyed and write a short response to it.  Your response can be anything you wish: a diary entry from a secondary character, a scene starring the main character before the book starts, an epilogue about what happens afterwards, etc.  You will be marked on your grammar, insight, and direct connection to the original novel.  Ensure to clearly indicate in your title what novel you are referencing, and who wrote the original piece.    Due Date: April 15th   221  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: April 12th  Worked On: Novel Response Artie helped me choose a book that I liked and we worked on an outline of a dairy response from a caracter.  I am doing a dairy entry for Harris Burdick.  Hes a guy who is in a book by Chris Van Allsburg but hes not really in the book he only has his name on the cover.  - Robbie Robbie helped me choose a novel to use for my project.  It was very collaborative.  We also talked about how much better Ms. Whitehead was at understanding our creative approaches to English assignments rather than being stuck with worksheets and silent reading in class. - Arthur  222 Assignment Twenty: Diary Entry- The Grand High Witch Original Novel: The Witches by Roald Dahl Dear Very Evil Diary,   I, The Grand High Witch of England, am thinking of moving.  I am tired of Norway and England.  After this meeting of the RSPCC, I will pack up all my wigs and fly across the ocean.  I find the children in England have funny accents and weird words for things like candy and sweaters.  Not only that, but all the children will be gone due to my Mouse-Maker potion!  It’s a perfect plan!  I’m thinking of moving to Canada and becoming a substitute teacher.  This way I can torture children before I kill them.  Of course, I may bore them to death.  That would be fun too!  Anything to make their lives miserable!  I will probably teach math. Of course, I hate math too so that will make it even worse for the children.  It will be worse because I will always be in a bad mood when I am teaching.  It’s just too bad I can’t use the strap anymore in class.  I miss the old days!    My plan is to kill all the other witches who are so dumb that they can’t do anything themselves, and then I can be a substitute in every school across Canada.  I will use my substitute teacher powers to put my Mouse-Maker potion in the cafeteria food, and BAM!  Instant Mouse School!  After I torture the children with my boring math classes, of course.  It’s a perfect plan!    Now, I better go to sleep.  I have to run a meeting in the morning.   Yours truly,  The Grand High Witch  223  Mr. Bean,   I am very tired of your overt displays of rebellion in your assignments.  I expect that Ms. Whitehead will be discussing your recent behaviour with you upon her return next week. Your lack of decorum and respect towards your superiors will not be tolerated.  Principal Winter is expecting you in her office after school today.   Mrs. Carrell  224 April 16th  Dear Mrs. Carrell,   I, Arthur Aaron Bean, am very sorry for being disrespectful to you in class.  I realize that even though my assignments still followed all the rules you set out, they weren’t written “properly”.  I now understand that I should have written my assignments in the same way that everyone else wrote them and that creativity can be very subjective.  I also understand that my assignments showed disrespect to you, and were also disrespectful of all my classmates.  I am told that by writing differently, I somehow annoyed my classmates too, and I’m sorry.   I also understand that you felt that I was persecuting you specifically in my last assignment.  I want to assure you that I was not talking about you.  I think this is clear since the high witch becomes a substitute math teacher, and you are a substitute English teacher.    Please take this letter as my apology and that I won’t do anything at all to upset you until you leave and move on to teach other students in another school far away.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean   225  The “I” of the Beholder: The Art Show Preview By Arthur Bean  Next week the Terry Fox Jr. High cafeteria will be turned into an art gallery of the highest degree.  Students from all three grades have submitted their best artwork for this public showing.  The art will be up all week, with a special Art Opening for family and friends on Monday night from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.  Artists will be in attendance Monday night to answer any questions about their work and inspiration, but I had the opportunity to interview a few students about their work ahead of time.    Grade Seven student Parvis Ahluwahlia has been a fan of comic books his whole life.  He has drawn a series of comic strips that make humourous observations on school life.  He has adeptly captured the horrors of eating the same food every day of the week at the cafeteria in one.  In another, he uses humour to show the viewer the social divide between comic book nerds and jocks.  His drawing style is simple and cartoonish, and his main character looks a lot like the famous Garfield the cat.  When asked about his work, Parvis said that he just draws all the time, and especially likes doodling in textbooks.  He is very excited to have the chance to show off his comics in frames like real art, and is hoping that his comics will be effective in sharing their message of anti-bullying.    Grade eight student Kristina Perkins prefers watercolours.  Her landscapes are predominantly blue, and are very peaceful.  Kristina said that she has been painting in every spare moment she has ever since she was a kid, and she likes painting pictures of her family’s cottage on a lake.  She says that she hopes other students find looking at her work relaxing and that her watercolours remind them of a perfect summer day.    226  Finally, I spoke with grade nine student Sandra Chu.  Sandra says that she prefers to work with “found objects” and work them into her avant-garde sculptures.  To the untrained eye, it might look like she’s gluing garbage together, but she assures me that her work is very post-modern.  “I am trying to show how material goods are just being thrown away, but that we can recycle them into something meaningful for someone else,” Sandra told me in her interview. “My sculptures are an attack on current government environment policies as well as a comment on how commercialized Christmas has become.”  Sandra’s main goal is to make people think differently about what is art.    These are just three of the artists that will be in attendance of what promises to be an interesting art show in the cafeteria.  Come and see the rest for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed!    Hiya Arthur,   Excellent work buddy!  I don’t think there’s a word that needs to be changed!  You’ve captured the spirit of the art show along with pertinent facts about the show and some of the artists.  You’ve piqued the interest of the reader with your insightful interviews, and chosen three very different artists to highlight. You’ve done some fantastic work here and you should be very proud of your article! Cheers!  Mr. E  227  JUNIOR AUTHOR WINNER! Terry Fox Jr. High would like to congratulate Arthur Bean on receiving the highest number of votes for his story “Ghost Love Story”!  The results were extremely close, and we would like to thank all the finalists for sharing their excellent stories with us.  Arthur’s story will be published in the annual junior edition of Writers’ Write Now magazine in June alongside the works of other winners across the city.  Please take a minute to congratulate Arthur on his success when you see him!  228  April 19th  Dear RJ,  I won the contest.  I know that I should be more excited, but I feel so weird.  It’s like I ate too many chocolates and instead of being happy, I feel gross.  I mean, I did do a lot of work on that story.  There were parts of it where it didn’t make any sense, so I changed it around, so it’s practically like I wrote it, right?  It’s almost like it was Robbie’s idea, but I wrote it.  But then I should be more excited.  Maybe it just doesn’t feel real yet.  I should probably tell my dad, but I don’t even feel like it.  Do you think I will feel better when I see my name in the magazine and get the money?  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  229  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: April 19th at 20:03 Hi Arthur,  Congratulations on winning the competition.  That’s great for you.  There’s always next year for me I guess.  Kennedy From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: April 19th at 20:05 Thanks Kennedy! It’s pretty exciting!  I thought your story was really great.  I wish we could have both won!   Yours truly, Arthur :) From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: April 19th at 20:37  dude did u win the contest?  is that the 1 where u used my storey?  what did we win? From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: April 19th at 22:28  Dear Robbie,   I did win!  It’s so exciting!  And I won some money too, so we could maybe go to the movies together sometime.  I’ll pay. We can even get popcorn!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  230  Assignment Twenty-one:  First of all, I would like to thank you all for your kind words and good wishes for my recovery.  Your get-well cards kept me in good spirits while I recuperated, and I’m very glad to be back at school!  I’m sure Mr. Fringali will be happy too, especially since he’s been walking Bruno for me while I was cooped up!  All that time watching movies and bad daytime television gave me lots of time to think of new writing exercises for you too.  I can hear you groaning!  I promise it will be fun!  I thought we would have some fun now that I’m back!  Comic books and graphic novels are often overlooked as “literature”.  Write a short comic strip about a recent event in your life.  It doesn’t need to be funny or long.  Try and use both words and pictures to convey the emotion of your characters.  Don’t worry; I won’t be marking you on the quality of your artwork, just how you choose to blend the two together!  There will be copies of several different types of comics and graphic novels on the “Great Reads” table if you are looking for examples or inspiration.    Due Date: May 2nd   231 April 22nd Dear RJ,   Kennedy seemed so sad in school today.  I tried to talk to her during gym but she is being really weird.  For one, she normally looks right at me when we talk, but today she kept looking around at everything else.  I think she’s upset about losing the writing contest.  But like she said, there’s always next year, and I told her that her story was really good.  She told me that she just kind of wanted to forget about it.  I tried to tell her that she had other stuff going for her too, like being Juliet in the play, but the more I talked to her, the more upset she seemed, and finally she told me she had to go and ran away into the girls’ change room.  Her friends told me I was being a jerk and rubbing it in, but I told them they were wrong.  I was just trying to be nice and make her feel better about losing.  That’s what I would want.    Robbie’s being weird too. He talks about being in rehearsals all the time.  He said that him and Kennedy were getting together almost every day after school to rehearse.  I don’t know why Kennedy has time to run lines with him, because she never had time to rehearse with me.  Maybe she feels sorry for him because he needs more rehearsal time.  I bet that’s it.  I hope so.  With everyone being so weird I sure don’t feel any better about winning.  I’ve been thinking of ways to celebrate, but I can’t think of anything.  I still haven’t said anything to Dad or Nicole or Luke.  I don’t even want to think about it, but then I have nights like tonight when I can’t sleep and my mind won’t stop thinking and I have this knot in my stomach that won’t go away.  Any ideas on how to get rid of it? Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  232 From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: April 25th at 11:16 Dear Kennedy,   I haven’t seen you around school much lately, and I just wanted to say hello!  I know you’ve been really busy with the play and homework and stuff, but I miss hearing from you.  How are you doing?  I’ve been pretty busy.  I am working on a new story for class and I am hoping that Ms. Whitehead likes it.  I’m glad she’s back.  I hated our substitute!  Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and make sure you’re doing all right.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  233  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: April 27th Worked On: Comic Strips artie found a graphic novel version of R&J for me to look at.  twas awesome, dost thou know it?-robbie We mostly read comic books.  It was a research session. - Arthur     234  Assignment Twenty-one: A Day in the Life Comic Strip By Arthur Bean    Dear Arthur,  You’ve done a nice job using different sizes for emotional effect, although this is a sadder version of your contest win than I expected from you.  I hope that you had some real celebrations for your success, and perhaps learned a lesson about the power of humility?   Ms. Whitehead 235 From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: April 29th at 22:43 Dear Arthur,   I know I haven’t written much lately.  I don’t have too mush that’s good to talk about! For one thing, Sandy broke up with me. Again.  He’s such a jerk!  I hate him sooo much! He said that I was “too busy being Kennedy that I didn’t have time to be Kennedy AND Sandy”.  Is that not the STUPIDEST thing you’ve ever heard??  It’s not MY fault that he just wants to sit around the house watching TV and playing VIDEO GAMES! I actually want to DO something with my life!  Can you believe him???  To think that I was in LOVE with him!  MEN SUCK! I’m done being sad about him!    Then, to top it off, my DAD spent like an HOUR telling me that I have to do better in science!  He can be such a jerk!  Not EVERYONE wants to be a doctor or something!  I just want to punch something!   This year sucks!  I can’t believe how much it sucks!  I can’t wait until this school year is OVER and I don’t have to deal with anyone for TWO months!    K From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: April 30th at 10:20 Dear Kennedy,   I’m sorry that life sucks!  I hate Sandy too!  I’m not surprised he’s being a jerk.  I don’t think he understands what people like you and I want in life.  We are dedicated to being better people and being famous.  You don’t need him.  Your boyfriend should be someone who understands that you like to be busy and that you are talented and fun.  Your  236 talents are wasted sitting on the couch!  I mean, any guy in the school would be so lucky to have you as his girlfriend.  I promise that we don’t all suck- I’m a pretty good guy  ... If you want someone to talk to, I am here always for you.  Maybe we can go to a movie or the mall this weekend, and we can talk about it.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: April 30th at 14:30 Thanks Artie.  I’m totally just going to stay in my pyjamas all weekend and waste my talents on the couch LOL!  I don’t care!  I’m taking time to be KENNEDY!  Screw you Sandy LOL! Kennedy :) From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: April 30th at 13:22 artie did u here that kennedy broke up with sandy?  how awesome is that??  i m totally going to make my move in rehersal monday.  any smooth moves u can pass on lolol?  237 April 30th   Dear RJ,   I need to move in on Kennedy FAST!  Robbie is going to tell her he likes her and I need to beat him there.  I KNEW I shouldn’t give up being Romeo.  That was so stupid RJ!  What can I do?  I tried asking her out this weekend and she said no.  So now what?  I want it to be romantic and special and show that I understand how great she is.  Any great ideas RJ?  Anything at all? Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  238 May 1st  Dear RJ,   OK, I talked to my dad and to Nicole about what I should do.  Nicole said that I should write her a poem.  Dad said that he didn’t know but he thought the poem was a good idea.  So I made a list of words that could rhyme with Kennedy:  kennedy remedy lemony secondly tremendously  extremity melody As you can see, I didn’t get very far.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  239 From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: May 3rd at 17:24 ARTHUR BEAN!!!!!  How could you CHEAT like that??  Are you so low that you STEAL from your friend?  I can’t believe I thought you were a good guy!!!  What the HELL is going on? YOU SUCK!!!  ALL MEN SUCK!! From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: May 3rd at 17:24  artie i need to talk to u cuz i might have told kennedy today about my storey.  can u call  me? kennedy was really really mad.   From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: May 3rd at 17:26 YOU TOLD HER???? WHY WOULD YOU TELL HER???   From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: May 4th at 18:03 AND ANOTHER THING...  I’m going to tell Mr. Everett and Ms. Whitehead what you’ve done! I can’t believe you would do this!!! I’m just sitting here and I’m so mad I don’t even know where to start!  I wish you were right here- I would punch you in the face! In fact, I still might PUNCH you!  Maybe I will come to your house! Robbie seemed SOOO upset that he told me but he should be mad AT YOU!  What were you thinking??  He said you NEEDED it!  I thought YOU WROTE YOUR story!  You said that everything was perfect!  You LIED to me and you STOLE from Robbie and you CHEATED!!!  YOU ARE A TERRIBLE FRIEND!!!  240  From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: May 3rd at 18:19 artie u need to answer ur phone.  i need to tell u what happenned cuz it just slipped out.  r u mad at me?  u gotta call me.  u gotta hear what happened.  She cornered me! I got all nervous and  we were talking and i wanted to tell her that i like her and i told her that my storey was about her.  and she was all like “what storey” and i said “the one in the newspaper”.  and she said “artie rote that storey” and i said “no i did but i gave it to artie 4 ur contest to win” and she didnt kno that.  then she got all mad and stormed off and i still didnt tell her i like her. it was a disaster man!  call me! From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 3rd at 10:08 Dear Kennedy,   I wish you would answer your phone, or text me back!  But whatever you do, please don’t tell Mr. Everett and Ms. Whitehead! I can explain everything!  I would rather explain it in person though.  It’s very complicated, but there’s a good reason for it, I promise.  Believe me! I never meant to cheat! I had no other choice! I feel so terrible!  Please let me explain!  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  241 May 3rd  Dear RJ,  This has been the worst birthday EVER.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  242 Assignment Twenty-two:  We all have a tendency to think about the “what ifs” in our life.  I would like you to focus on one moment in your life, and think about the “what if”.  Your moment can be as big as “What if my family had moved to France?” or as small as “What if I had been given a hamster when I was six?”  Write three paragraphs as though your “what if” had come true.  How is your life different? Has it changed for better or for worse?    Due date: May 12th   243 From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 5th at 01:24 Dear Kennedy,   I looked for you at school today but I didn’t see you.  Well, that’s not true. I did see you, but you seemed really into the conversation you were having over lunch.  Then I looked for you after school, but Mr. Tan said that you were in the theatre setting light cues and couldn’t be disturbed.  I waited for you after rehearsal, but I didn’t see you leave with everyone.  I want to explain what happened with my story and the contest.   I really wanted to win.  I feel like my life has sucked since Mom died and I wanted something to go right.  Then the story contest came along, and I thought that I could win it and win the money and be happy!  I knew your story was really great and I wanted to write a story that was as good as yours. I thought you would want to hang out with me if I was more talented.  I just couldn’t write anything good.  I tried.  I really tried, and then one day when I was tutoring Robbie I read his story and it was everything I wanted to write!  So we made a deal.  I used his story in exchange for my part in Romeo and Juliet.   It’s really important to me to win the contest and be in print.  I always told my mom that I would be famous.  Now that she’s gone, I have to be famous so that my dad and I can live in a big house and have stuff and my dad will be happier and we won’t even miss my mom at all! I just can’t write a story as good as your story right now.  I loved your story. You’re an amazing writer and actress and person and I can’t keep up.  I just wanted you to like me.    Anyway, I’m really sorry.  I never meant for you to find out.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  244 Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: May 6th  Worked On: What Ifs What if we quit these stupid tutoring sessions?  They’re a waste of time for both of us, and Robbie doesn’t need me around.  All he needs is spell-check on his computer and maybe a thesaurus.  I’m not making things any better for Robbie, just more complicated.  Arthur don’t mind artie today.  hes in a bad mood- Robbie  245  May 6th  Dear RJ,   I don’t understand how this could have gone so wrong!  I have no idea what Kennedy has done or if she told anyone!  I can’t sleep.   I should be mad at Robbie, but he feels so bad that I couldn’t even stay mad at him.  I guess one good thing about it is that Kennedy isn’t really talking to him either.  He said that in rehearsal yesterday she just said her lines and talked only to Mr. Tan.   I just don’t know what I should do.  What if I get suspended?  Famous writers don’t get suspended from school!  Yours truly,  Arthur Bean 246 From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 6th at 02:42  Dear Kennedy,  Did you get my email?  Or any of my texts?  I’m not sure if you told anybody about my mistake with the story.  No one’s said anything to me, so I hope you decided not to tell.  I would be so happy if you could just keep it a secret.  I didn’t mean to make you mad at me, and Robbie is so happy to be in the play with you! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 8th at 19:33  Dear Kennedy,  I hope you had a nice weekend!  You must be very busy getting ready for the play.  I will be there on opening night to see you!  Maybe if you get a chance you could call to let me know that you got my last email? Yours truly,  Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 9th at 19:33  Dear Kennedy,   I haven’t heard back from you.  Did you get my last email?  I really want to talk to you!    Arthur Bean  247 Assignment Twenty-two: What If I Didn’t Win the Writing Contest By Arthur Bean  I didn’t put in a story for the writing contest, because I didn’t have a story to tell this year.  So instead of writing a story, I tried out for the badminton team.  I didn’t make it onto the badminton team.  I tried to start a movie club, but there weren’t any teachers who wanted to give up their lunch hours to watch movies.    Luckily, I got to be in Romeo and Juliet anyway.  My performance was very moving and almost everyone in the audience was very sad when Romeo died.  On stage I could hear them sniffling and blowing their noses. It was like being at a real funeral. Then after the play, the girl playing Juliet would be so overwhelmed by my performance that she would ask me out and we would become boyfriend-girlfriend.    The saddest thing about not winning the contest is that it was my only chance to be famous really soon.  I will always wonder, “what if I won”, and I will be sad about it.  I will feel like I have lost all my writing talent and I will end up working as a used car salesman or something terrible like teaching math.   Arthur,   This is a thoughtful reflection on a recent event.  You’ve done a nice job looking at both the positives and negatives that could happen if you did not win.  Your verb tenses, however, are muddled.  It would be best for you to choose a time frame (past, present, conditional past) and stick with it throughout.   Ms. Whitehead  248 From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 10th at 16:15 Dear Kennedy,   How are you?  Robbie said that the play is almost ready and that you look beautiful in your costume.  I can’t wait to see it!  He also said that you are really good at playing dead.  I would love to hear about the play from your point of view.  Maybe we could do an interview for the newspaper!  I could interview you!  Let me know- I promise I will do a really great job! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: May 12th at 20:04 Dear Kennedy,  Please talk to me!  I know you ‘re mad at me, but I really miss you as my friend.  I don’t know what else to do!   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: May 13th at 21:56 Arthur.  STOP WRITING ME.  I don’t need cheaters and losers in my life.   Yours ANGRILY,  Kennedy Laurel  249   Arthur Bean Apt 16, 155 Tormey Street Calgary, AB T3B 1A5 Writers Write Now Magazine PO Box 134 Stn M Calgary, AB T2P 4F0  May 14th  To whom it may concern,   There has been a mistake in the authorship of the winning entry for Terry Fox Jr High for the Junior Authors contest.  My name, Arthur Aaron Bean, has been attached to the story “Ghost Love Story”.  The real author is actually Robert Zack, although I helped him a lot with it so my name should probably be mentioned too.  The author should probably read “written by Robert Zack with help from Arthur Bean.”   Yours truly,         Arthur Bean  250 Assignment Twenty-three:  Spring is around the corner!  With spring come all kinds of changes in the world. I love planting my garden, and seeing the lilacs come into bloom!   Write a descriptive paragraph about spring.  Look around you on your walk home after school or around your house or the school. What are some of the things that you observe with the coming of spring?  Due date: May 18th  251  Assignment Twenty-three: Spring  By Arthur Bean  When spring comes, the windows get opened at home.  The air is crisp and seeps into the couch and chair, and even though it’s still too cold to open the windows, we do it anyway.  My dad and I have to have blankets up to our chins to watch television, but neither of us will be the one to suggest closing the window.  The living room feels brighter somehow.  Maybe it’s because the laundry gets put out on the balcony rather than blocking the fireplace and the dining room.  Spring smells.  It’s like the whole city has turned into a farm.  My dad says it’s the wind coming off the farms outside the city, but I’m pretty sure it’s just all the dog turds that people didn’t pick up over the winter thawing out and getting stepped in.    This spring there is a change happening.  Nicole convinced my dad to sign up for some kind of yoga class, even though he’s never done yoga before.  Nicole got a boyfriend and she says she’s in love.  Pickles has disappeared again, but you can still see some of her paw prints in the leftover snow outside the apartment building, so I know she’s close by.  I only have one sleeve left to finish on my sweater.  I wish my mom were here to see me wear it.   Dear Arthur,   I enjoyed how you focused on the changes that happen in your apartment and not just on the natural changes happening outside.  I appreciated your honest and straightforward description.  I hope you finish your sweater soon; I would love to see it!     Ms. Whitehead  252 REMINDER:  Your short stories (assignment sixteen that we began back in February) are due May 25th; that’s just a week away.  Feel free to speak to me if you have any questions.  Please make sure to spell check and proofread your story before handing it in!  Ms. Whitehead  253  Writers Write Now Magazine PO Box 134 Stn M Calgary, AB T2P 4F0  Arthur Bean Apt 16, 155 Tormey Street Calgary, AB T3B 1A5  May 20th   Dear Mr. Bean,  We have received your letter regarding the authorial change on the Terry Fox Jr High submission for the “Junior Authors” edition of WWN magazine.  In order to make such a change, we need a letter from the school, as well as a letter of affirmation from Robert Zack that he wrote “Ghost Love Story”.  These letters may be emailed as attachments, and must be received before June 1st for the change to be made before the magazine goes to print.      Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me during business hours.  My contact information is below.          Sincerely,          Erin Kennedy        Editor, WWN Magazine         Ph: (403) 274-8909        Email: erin.kennedy@wwn.ca    254 May 20th  Dear RJ,   Why is nothing easy?  I try and do the right thing, and now it’s even harder.  I just want to disappear.  It wouldn’t be hard.  I don’t have anything left. I gave Robbie credit for his story AND my role as Romeo.  Kennedy won’t talk to me.  Ms. Whitehead expects a story for class.  Mr. Everett won’t let me write my own article.   I did notice that a girl who has Kennedy’s name manages the magazine.  That’s a sign that I’m doing the right thing, isn’t it? Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  255  May 21st To Whom it May Concern,  Please excuse Arthur Bean from school today.   Thank you,  Ernie Bean  256  May 21st Dear RJ,   Today is the anniversary of the day that Mom died.  I didn’t go to school today.  I thought Dad would want to go to the cemetery again, but he didn’t.  He hasn’t really talked to me at all, he just went to some meditation class.  He just left me here in the apartment alone.  I thought dads were supposed to pay attention to their kids, not just do whatever they wanted.  Why should I have to stay here by myself, totally alone??  What am I supposed to do today??  Why should I have to be by myself on the worst day of the year???  I hate him!!!  I don’t even want to be a person today.  I would rather be a bug or something with no memory or even consciousness.  Is it tomorrow yet?   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  257  May 22nd  Dear RJ,   I thought today would be a little better, but it’s not.  And now my dad is creeping around the house really quietly because I yelled at him yesterday and he doesn’t know what to do either.  So even though I didn’t know it was possible, I feel even worse for making him feel bad.  I know he is sad too.  I think our sadnesses are too different from each other to really be sad together.  Is that possible?  Can two people miss the same person in different ways?   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean  258 May 25th  Dear Ms. Whitehead,  I don’t have a story for our short story assignment.  I have the beginnings of a lot of stories, but I don’t have any endings.  I think they all suck.  I tried to write something, but I don’t have any stories left in me.  I’m sorry to let you down.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Dear Arthur,  I wish you had spoken to me sooner about your short story assignment rather than waiting until the due date.  In the future, please come see me sooner when you have difficulties with the assignment.    That being said, I’m sorry to hear that you feel that way about your stories.  I think you show real promise in being a writer, and it can be very difficult to get started (or, in this case, get finished).  Even famous writers often get bogged down in their own ideas, or question their work.  Arthur, you are an excellent writer.  Your poems are well crafted, you think creatively, and you have a razor-sharp wit.  Your story for the writing contest was one of the few that I read, but it was very well written.  I can accept that story for your assignment.    Keep your chin up Arthur!  I know that writing can be very daunting, but keep moving forward!    Ms. Whitehead Dear Ms. Whitehead,   259  I don’t want to use that story for my assignment.  I don’t think it shows off my best qualities.  I would rather take a zero.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Arthur,   I will give you an extension on your assignment until June 5th.  Your story does not have to be long; a few pages are plenty!  Why don’t you make a list of your story ideas, and we can discuss fleshing out one of your ideas out into something more.  Sometimes it helps to talk something through with another person to know what you want to say or where you want your story to go.  Ms. Whitehead Story Ideas By Arthur Bean              See Ms. Whitehead?  I’ve got nothing.  260 Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: May 27th Worked On: Story Ideas i helped artie come up with some ideas for his storey for class. tables have turned haha- robbie I concur. -Arthur Bean  261  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Erin Kennedy  (erin.kennedy@wwn.ca)  Date: May 29th at 18:26 Dear Ms. Kennedy,   Here are the two letters that you need to change my name on Ghost Love Story to Robbie’s name. One is an email, and the other is a real letter on real school letterhead. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean Attachments included: email; letter From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: May 28th at 19:11 artie -Here is ur email saying that I wrote Ghost Love Story.  I wrote it and u edited it and stuff.  Is that what u need?  what do u need it 4? Do u want a sequel lolol? Also, r u going to the dance next friday?  can ur dad give me a ride home? My dad said that he has a date that nite.  Can you believe that guy, having a girlfriend after my mom left already???  He must be really good-looking.  I must get my charm from him lolol! robbie  262  Terry Fox Junior High 103 Berkley Drive, Calgary AB. T2K 4F4 Ph: (403) 274-7547 “Where perseverance meets excellence”   Writers Write Now Magazine PO Box 134 Stn M Calgary, AB T2P 4F0  Dear Erin Kennedy,   Please accept this letter as evidence that Terry Fox Junior High, “where perseverance meets excellence” is aware of the authorial change on our submission for the Junior Authors edition of Writers Write Now magazine.  The author of Ghost Love Story is Robert Zack, with help from Arthur Bean.  Thank you for making this change last minute.   Yours truly,   Alexa Whitehead English Teacher     263  May 29th Dear RJ,  I asked Mr. Everett if I could review Romeo and Juliet this week.  This is my chance to apologize and show Kennedy how much she means to me.  I hope she’s good, because I’m really tired of lying.  I also sent stuff to the magazine.  I guess it’s ok.  I’m kind of glad that my first story with my name on it will be my real story, not someone else’s.  I actually feel a little better, even better than when I won.   I wonder if  Kennedy will like me again when she sees that I fixed it.  I hope so.  I mean, I didn’t really have to fix it.  Robbie said that I should send her a bouquet too.  I asked him if I could use some of the prize money to buy them, and he said it would be ok as long as I don’t ask her out at the same time.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  264  A Standing Ovation for Romeo and Juliet By Arthur Bean  Terry Fox Jr. High was treated to the saddest version of Romeo and Juliet ever performed this past weekend.  The Drama Club has been working on the production for most of the winter, and their hard work has definitely paid off.    First off, the set was cool.  Mr. Tan decided to set the play like it was today, and so the set looked like two colourful apartment buildings, complete with the balconies needed for a proper version of Romeo and Juliet.  The chorus changed the scenes efficiently, using black cloth to create the tomb and the scenes with the Friars.  The contrast of colours to black also set the mood of the scenes very well.   Also, the acting was very realistic.  Mr. Tan had a small cast who split many of the smaller roles.  Through costume changes and a change in the way they walked, each character was very clear, even for those audience members who have never read the play like my dad.  Benjamin Crisp was hilarious as the nurse, especially when there was a costume problem and his skirt fell off.  His quick wit and improv skills really came in handy then.  But no one could steal the show from the very talented Kennedy Laurel who played Juliet.  She spoke her lines as though they were written today, and made the audience truly believe that she loved Romeo.  It was hard to believe that the girl in the ball gown is the same athlete who is so competitive on the volleyball court.  Robbie Zack (Romeo) was easy to understand, and he was really good in his role, especially since he didn’t start rehearsals until April.  Their scenes together were very strong and believable, and the audience was very sad when they both died at the end.  Even my dad cried a little bit, although he said it was just hay  265 fever.  It was a five-star performance from the drama club, and for those of us lucky enough to have seen one (or all) of the three sold-out performances, it was a play to be remembered.    Excellent review Arthur!  I’m glad to see that you were able to be so objective about the play.  With one issue of the Marathon left, would you like to write an article on your experiences this year?  I was thinking a kind of quirky “year in review” opinion piece.  Why don’t we call it “Arthur Unknown”?  Cheers!  Mr. Everett  266 From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: June 2nd at 18:05 Dear Arthur,   Thanks for your glowing review of Romeo and Juliet.  You wrote really kind things and it was nice to read it.  Also thank you for the bouquet.  The roses were quite a surprise on my dressing room table, and your card was sweet.    I still think what you did was really wrong. Robbie told me that you fixed it in the magazine, which was the only right thing to do.  Still, I can’t believe you would do that in the first place!  Next year you HAVE to be my partner in the competition so that I KNOW that you aren’t cheating!  Anyway, thanks for the review and the flowers.  I really liked both of them, and I accept your apology on the card.    Kennedy :) From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) Date: June 2nd at 18:26 Dear Kennedy,   I’m so glad you liked the flowers!  My dad said that roses were my mom’s favourite flower and he helped me find the perfect ones!  I really meant everything on the card. I think you are amazing and I’m sorry to have let you down.  You were great as Juliet, and I really believed that you and Robbie were in love.  So you must be a great actress, right?  Hahaha.    You aren’t dating Robbie though, are you?  I mean, you guys are still just friends right?    267  Maybe you and me and Robbie can go to a movie or something together as friends?  I think that could be really fun.   My dad can probably drive us there.  He’s been going to yoga almost every night and his studio is right by the movie theatre.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  268  June 3rd   Dear Ms. Whitehead,   Here is my short story.  Thank you for the extension.  I hope you like it.   Yours truly,  Arthur Bean     Assignment Sixteen: The Ballad of the Cat Thief  By Arthur Bean   Romeo Bean is the name of our man He is smart, he is handsome, he is really tanned He cares about movies and reading and pets If he could he would grow up to be a cinema vet.  His mother is dead, his father aloof Most of his classmates think he’s a goof But he’s really really great at thinking and sitting But also reading and writing and most of all knitting!  Our story begins in the spring at his home Romeo’s hanging out, reading a tome His dearest cat Pickles asleep in the sun  269 How could this Sunday be any more fun?  But Romeo’s day is interrupted rudely By Evil Frank Dack, a jock who is broody Pay attention now!  This is our tale’s genesis You must understand: Frank is Romeo’s nemesis.  Frank’s jealous and rude, and also quite lonely He always wanted a pet, especially a pony. He spies on our hero, and espies his cute kitten. And Frank is in love!  He is instantly smitten!  Frank wants Romeo’s cat, he wants her so badly It reminds him of his own past with his now dead cat Bradley And cuz Frank is evil, he does some quick plotting To steal away Pickles without anyone spotting!  So when Romeo’s asleep, Frank sneaks in at night And steals away Pickles who shows scaredy-cat fright! Frank hides away Pickles in his attic at home His behaviour is terrible!  Like a troll or a gnome!  The next morning Romeo awakens with the sun on his face  270 But there’s something missing.  The day begins in disgrace! He asks all his neighbours, but not one has a lead To help Romeo figure out who did this nefarious deed  Meanwhile Frank really loves spending time with his cat He dresses her up in sweaters and hats He shows Pickles off to Sophie, the girl of his dreams Whose love of cute kittens makes her coo, squeal and scream!  The weekend goes by and Romeo sinks into despair His cat has gone missing.  The universe ain’t fair!  Romeo, oh Romeo, wherefore art thou kitty? If she can’t be found, that sure would be a pity...  But come Monday morning while walking to school Romeo hears a faint mewing from the house by the pool He stops for a minute and listens intently It’s definitely Pickles!  So relieved he weeps, gently  He looks at the mailbox... Frank Dack lives inside! Romeo’s so fired up his insides feel fried! That guy, his own nemesis, has stolen his friend! And now this whole subterfuge must come to an end!  271  Romeo must go to school but thinks of Pickles all day (Then he trips Frank in gym class as his payback to pay) Romeo must find a way to get Pickles back! He thinks and he thinks and he plans his attack!  First he needs a disguise, something Frank won’t expect It cannot be messy; it must be perfect So later that evening, Romeo paints himself green  With his mask and disguise, he’s a sight to be seen!  He sneaks over three blocks where the lights are still on And espies his Pickles in evil Frank’s arms And Sophie is over! Romeo takes a step back Now he must wait till Frank’s alone for the smack!  She heads for her home around eight-fifteen She’s smiling and humming and giggling and skipping It looks to our hero like Sophie’s in love Could she have fallen for Frank?  Is her hand in his glove?  The thought of it all makes Romeo’s blood boil It was supposed to be him that made Sophie so loyal!  272 His envy of Frank set his jaw resolute Knowing that Sophie and Frank are now in cahoots!  Romeo sneaks in the back door, and flickers the lights He hopes that Frank is afraid of the nights He creeps up the stairs to find Frank is his room It’s time to get Pickles and seal Frank’s doom...  “Frank Dack,” Romeo said, “I am from outer space I’m an alien man with particular tastes I’ve come for your kitten or your right frontal lobe Hand over the cat or I’ll use my alien probe!”  And was Frankie scared? No!  He laughed at the stranger! “You think masks and make-up make you look like you’re danger?”   “You’ll have to do better to get to my cat!”  Frank kicked Romeo’s shins, and he pulled off his hat  Our hero had no choice but run back downstairs Back at home he tears off his mask and he swears His plan didn’t work!  It was a crappy crap bust! But he must get Pickles back!  He must!  He just must!   273 Romeo stays up all night to plan a new plan And by the time the day breaks he knows that he can He’ll need to be spooky, he’ll need to be quiet But he’s sure to succeed as long as he tries it  On his way home from school he gets all supplies For evil Frank Dack is in for a surprise! He waits outside Frank’s house until Sophie leaves (The fact that she’s there is one that makes him quite peeved.)  Then Romeo sneaks back up the stairs and again, flickers the lights Then he turns them right off and throws on his whites... He stands in the hallway and wails and moans He jiggles door handles and wavers his tones  He plays with the curtains and he throws stuff around But Frank is unwavered by the spookiest sounds “You’re not really a ghost” he calls out to the hall “I know you’re a person who’s stupid and small”  Romeo takes his attack up one more level He tries to seem like he is the devil! But Frank is not frightened, not like the cat  274 Who is so scared by the noises she hides in a hat  “To whoever you who is under that sheet It’s time for your break-in to turn and retreat. I’ll call the police if you don’t leave right now So thanks for the laughs but it’s time to say ‘ciao’”  Romeo takes his exit.  He’s foiled once more He runs down the stairs and then slams the door. Clearly Frank can’t be frightened into submission but our hero must fix his own lonely condition.   He stays up all night fretting and thinking It seems as those all of his options are shrinking He slips into a dream as the sun starts its rising And then WHAMMO!  It hits him so hard it’s very surprising.  His new plan is brilliant!  His approach is secure His methods are shady but his motives are pure! He’ll need to get cat food and yarn, maybe three skeins Romeo knows this plan’s perfect, if not slightly insane  He runs home after school and gather supplies  275 It’s gotta be spot-on, there’s only one try He heads over to Frank’s house, right around dinner Hoping that today Frank doesn’t choose to be thinner...  He sneaks round the house and in the dining room peers And there is Frank and family, eating asparagus spears There’s chicken and noodles; Frank gnaws on a bone But Pickles is missing, he must be alone!  Armed with some cat food, Pickles’ fave brand And a net Romeo knitted for the occasion by hand Romeo whistles for Pickles, his old “c’mon Cat” song And Pickles comes to the window of the attic before long!  Romeo whistles again, and Pickles looks down He sees his old owner and responds with a “meown” Romeo opens the cat food so the smell can waft up And Pickles soon smells the delights of his old favourite sup  He then spreads open his knitting to create a safe drop Even with nine cat lives, the ground’s a hard a place to stop He motions to Pickles to trust him and jump And then the cat’s flying!  He lands with a “Whump!”    276  It’s Pickles and Romeo!  United once more!   With a rescue so bold it will be repeated in lore It was Romeo’s talents to knit up some wool that tugs on the heartstrings that are already pulled  And not only that, but the rescue is seen By Sophie, the cat lover and beauty teen queen She watches as Pickles flies like a dove And then she sees Romeo and falls madly in love  For who wouldn’t love a man who can knit? A man who’s well rounded with resource and wit And So Sophie and Romeo, and of course Pickles Ride off in the sunset to make millions of nickels  They patent their net, the cat-saving sweater And then after that, life can’t get any better! (And as for that Frank guy, he learned his lesson And works in a dead-end job at a delicatessan.) The End  277  Dear Arthur,   You’ve written a charming story poem!  Your sense of humour shines through, and your rhymes are nicely varied.  I’m glad you found a way to “knit” together some elements of your own life into your plotline.  Well done!  Ms. Whitehead  278 June 6th   Dear RJ,    I have come to a very important conclusion.  I, Arthur Aaron Bean, am a man of few words.  I don’t need long, drawn-out sentences to adequately describe a scene or a character or a plot.  I don’t need paragraphs to pull my readers in.  I am a poet.  My stories can be told in short bursts.  In fact, my stories are stronger that way.  I might be the next great American poet, like Alfred Tennyson and William Blake.  My work will be read in classrooms for years to come I bet.  They’ll say things about how my work centres on real world problems and how I came from a difficult background but overcame everything for my art I bet.  Do you think poets make a lot of money? Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  279 From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) cc: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: June 6th at 15:50 Dear Kennedy,   I never heard back from you about maybe going to the movies with Robbie and I.  I asked Robbie about it and he’s really excited about going, you know, as friends.  Anyway, let us know!  We’ll even treat you!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  280  Ongoing Reading Journals:   Remember your reading journals you began in September?  It’s time to polish them up and get ready to hand them in.  Since this assignment has been ongoing, it shouldn’t take you too long to prepare your journal!  I understand that there may be some entries that you don’t wish to share with me; there are times that your response to a book can be a deeply personal reaction that you aren’t comfortable sharing with your English teacher!  I will remind you that you won’t be judged on your reactions, and anything I read in your journals will remain confidential.  However, you may prefer to mark some of your entries as “private” entries, entries I will then skip over.  Due Date: June 17th     281 June 8th   Dear RJ,   Ms. Whitehead wants us to hand in our reading journals! I can’t hand you in!  What would you do without me? I don’t think I should hand you in.  You and I, we’ve been through a lot together this year.  Plus, even though Ms. Whitehead says she won’t read the private stuff, I think she will.  She’s nosy like that.  As if she wouldn’t want to know the private thoughts of her students.  If I were a teacher, I would totally read the whole thing!  But don’t worry RJ, I’ll figure out a way to keep you around! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean PS: I forgot to tell you RJ!  I saw Ms. Whitehead with Mr. Fringali at the mall today after school!  They were going into the bookstore together!  Do you think they’re dating?  Are teachers even allowed to date each other?   282 Assignment Twenty-four:   After reading your short story assignments it became clear to me that we never covered the writing of a strong ending.  The conclusion of any great story doesn’t need to say it all, but it does need to tie up most of your loose ends.  You don’t need to state your theme blatantly in your final paragraphs; your reader has read your whole story already so there’s no need to recap what has happened or have your character spell out what they learned.  Leaving the reader pondering a mystery can work, but you shouldn’t end too abruptly; this often reads as though the author didn’t know where he or she was heading with the story so they ended it.  The same can be true of ending your story by saying that the whole thing was a dream.    In this assignment I would like you to take a well-known fairy tale and re-write the ending.  As you know, all fairy tales end with a “happily ever after”.  Maybe Cinderella doesn’t get to try on the shoe; then what would happen?  Maybe the woodsman doesn’t save Red Riding Hood, or perhaps the Gingerbread Man breaks a leg.  Can you find a new and creative ending to a well-known story? Due Date: June 14th   283  Peer Tutoring Program-Progress Report Session: June 9th  Worked On: Endings artie and i killed off every prince charming ever created today.  it was awsome! Robbie Robbie and I both felt that the most effective endings are when the bad guys die.  In this end, we felt that by killing off all the Prince Charmings would be better for all girls out there waiting for their prince.  Robbie and I are both happy to jump into that role for any young beautiful princesses who are rich and have their own cars.  -Arthur Bean  284   It’s Arthur Unknown! By Arthur Bean Hello Devout Readers!  Welcome to my new column, an extremely entertaining observation of the world at Terry Fox Jr. High!    I’ve been asked to write a reflective “year in review” article of my opinion of starting in junior high.    I’d like to start with the grade nines.  Why do they not know who any of the grade seveners are?  I’m certain that I recognize the whole graduating class, but when I say hi to the them in the grocery store or wherever I might be, they look at me like I’m a total stranger.  That’s weird. Maybe I should follow them around and find out what they are buying.  Next time I can tell you who buys laxatives or zit cream!  Watch out grade nines!  I also think that our uniforms are really ugly.  Blue and gold? Did they buy them at Ikea?  At least our track and field team placed last in our division this year.  If they had been actually fast, they would look like someone was sick after drinking kool-aid and eating lemon birthday cake!  Maybe next year there will be real runners on the team!    There are a few things lacking as well from our school.  I didn’t expect to have to put up with the horrible smells coming from the grade eight home-economics unit on Polish cooking!  Pee-yoo-rogies  I say!  I have so many more observations, but I’d rather save some of them for next school year.  Keep your eyes on this space for the next Arthur Unknown!  285  Hiya Arthur,   Yowza! I’m going to hold this article back from printing; it’s not exactly what I had in mind. I’m a bit worried that you could get beat up if we publish these observations!  The biggest thing to remember: you don’t need to try to be funny!  Your wit comes across in your regular articles, and I know what you were trying to do here, but it doesn’t really work.  What I think you meant to be witticisms read more to an outsider as insults.  It’s just kind of mean instead of funny.  I was hoping you would share your fears and worries with your readers; you’re a good guy, so I’m sure they would delight in your triumphs and feel bad for your failures.  We can talk more about this in the new school year (I hope you stay part of the newspaper club in September!)   Have a great summer Arthur!  Cheers!  Mr. E  286  From: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) cc: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: June 14th at 21:12 Dear Arthur AND Robbie!  Sorry I didn’t get back to you about the movie!  I’ve been CRAZY busy studying for exams and stuff!  AND my family is going away for the summer- We’re going to Malaysia for my dad’s work.  DON”T ASK WHY!  Normally we have a pretty good time when we go away, but this year it seems to be TERRIBLE!  My brother doesn’t want to come at all, and my dad is forcing him to come on a family vacation!  I think it might be the WORST idea ever!   Also, did I tell you that I have a new boyfriend!  He’s my next-door neighbour’s babysitter’s brother...so complicated I know LOL!  ANYWAY, I’ve been seeing him lots!  I asked him if he wanted to go to the movies with us and he thought that sounded fun!  Plus he wants to meet Robbie... the boy who kissed me in front of the WHOLE school LOL!  He says that he’s jealous of him!  Watch out Robbie... he plays football LOL!!!   Maybe we can go on the last day of school, like an end of the year celebration!   Let me know!  Kennedy :) From: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com)  To: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) Date: June 14th at 22:35 did u get k’s response?  i hate that guy all ready.  i worked all year 4 her to like me.  screw him  From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com)  287 To: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: June 14th at 22:37 Dear Robbie,   Totally.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean From: Arthur Bean (arthuraaronbean@gmail.com) To: Kennedy Laurel (imsocutekl@hotmail.com) cc: Robbie Zack (robbiethegreat2000@hotmail.com) Date: June 14th at 22:42 Dear Kennedy,  I’m glad that you are able to celebrate the end of school with us.  I guess since your boyfriend is coming he can pay for you!  That means Robbie and I can get popcorn!  Let’s talk at school about what movie to see tomorrow.  See you in gym. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  288  Assignment Twenty-four: The Princess and the Frog- Alternate Ending By Arthur Bean  “No, you must kiss me!”  Pleaded the frog with the frightened princess.  “Ew!  No!”  She squealed and threw the frog against the wall of her bedroom.  He hit the pink painted wall with a loud thud, and slid to the ground.  Then the most magical thing happened.  The frog began to grow and transform, until he was the size of a real human man.  The princess was shocked.    The prince though, looked a bit... funny.  His cape was not in the princely colour of purple, but was solid black with red underneath.  His hair was not tousled and curly, but slicked back against his head and very oily.  He was unnaturally pale too, and his teeth were sharp and coming out of his mouth.    “You’re...you’re... a...” the princess whispered.  “A vampire,” the prince finished grandly.  “The Prince of Darkness, at your service.”    “But you said that you were a prince under an evil spell!”    “Did I?  I’m a little dyslexic.  I meant that I’m evil, under a prince’s spell.”  The prince smiled.    The princess thought back to the pond where they had met.  She gasped.  “All those dead frogs and fish were you??”    The prince nodded.  “And you thought they were an environment thing like acid rain or whatever,” he chuckled.  “Oh girls.  You can be so stupid!”  Then in a flash he had her by the throat.  “But you know darling... princesses taste the sweetest...” and he bit into her neck with a hungry sigh.    289  The End Arthur,   I was definitely surprised by your ending choice for this classic tale.  Do you think that it matches with the style of the rest of the tale?    Ms. Whitehead  290   Ongoing Reading Journal By Arthur Bean October 1st Dear Reading Journal,    I read Word Nerd. It was funny.  There were bullies in it, like the whole school in The Chocolate War. These are both books I read over the summer. I thought Word Nerd was good, but The Chocolate War was boring, and I didn’t get the ending. Did the guy die? I can’t tell.  Good night.  Yours truly, Arthur Bean  November 1st Dear Reading Journal,  I read lots of poems for school.  Some of them rhymed.  A lot of them did not.  I prefer poems that rhyme.  They’re mostly funny, and I like funny poems.  Some of them are just descriptive, and then I don’t really know what makes them poems.  Sometimes they just seem like a bunch of words strung together.  I wrote a poem about the poems.  Poems!  Poems!  Why don’t you all rhyme? When you don’t make any sense it feels like a crime! To try and interpret some dead white guy’s meaning I’d rather go to the dentist for a painful teeth cleaning! Yours truly,   291 Arthur Bean December 1st Dear Reading Journal,  We’re reading Shakespeare in class.  It sucks! Yours truly,  Arthur Bean December 15th Dear Reading Journal,  It’s almost the holidays, and I will be reading over Christmas.  I asked for some different books for Christmas, and then I will write about those books.  Of course I have been very busy with the writing competition so I haven’t written a lot.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean January 2nd  Dear Reading Journal,  I read a lot of books over the holidays.  The worst book was “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul”.  My aunt gave it to me because she thought it would be soothing or something.  I’m fully aware that other people’s mothers have died in this world.  Thanks Chicken Soup.  You’re dumb. Yours truly,   Arthur Bean February 1st Dear Reading Journal,   292 I think I’ve been doing very well by writing in you every month.  I would write more often, but I am very busy writing my own stories. Plus I work at the newspaper.  Luckily I do read too.  This month I read a book about winter.  It made me feel cold inside.  Brrrr... Yours truly,   Arthur Bean March 1st Dear Reading Journal,  I’ve been reading a lot of books on acting since I’ll be starring in the play.  Some of them have really good tips on acting. For one thing, I learned a tip on seeming really drunk.  To act drunk you just pretend that you have a ball on the top of your head and that you have to keep it there no matter where you walk.  This makes you move your head more and take funny steps.  I am going to try acting drunk today in rehearsal, which will work for the scene since I will have been at a ball so probably had a beer.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean April 1st Dear Reading Journal,   I’ve given up reading forever! April Fools!  I’ve just been really busy writing stuff! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean May 1st Dear Reading Journal,   293  I read a few novels this month that Luke sent me.  Luke is my cousin who reads a lot.  They were all science fiction novels.  I thought most of them were okay, but I don’t really like books that take place in outer space.  I know that must be weird since all nerds like Star Trek.  It must prove my utter coolness...HA!    Anyway, once I got over the space parts, the stories were pretty good. There was a lot of fighting, and then there was a bunch of weird alien sex scenes.  I mostly skipped those parts.  In the end Captain Mark Freeloader won the freedom of the universe.  I bet they make movies out of the books.  I would watch the movies probably.  As long as they don’t have Richard Gere in them.  My mom loved his movies, but I think he’s boring.   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean June 1st Dear Reading Journal,   I’ve been reading graphic novels because Robbie likes them.  I used to think they were for kids, but they’re really cool.  Robbie even thought maybe we would write one together.  I don’t know if I could write a graphic novel.  I can’t draw.  I guess Robbie could draw and I could write.  Or at least I could check his grammar...HA! Yours truly,   Arthur Bean The End  Dear Arthur,   I am glad to see that you wrote every month in your journal, but I expected more from you!  It’s also a bit odd that you wrote the first day of every month…  294 I see you reading a new novel every week, and I was looking forward to your opinions on what you’ve read.  Keeping track of what you read and your thoughts on it could be an excellent start to being a professional book reviewer!    Ms. Whitehead  295 June 23rd  Dear Real RJ,   Last day of school tomorrow!   My dad told me that he signed me up for arts camp this summer.  There goes my dream trip to Australia.  I guess it would be winter there anyway.  Arts camp might be okay.  There’s writing and painting and they even have video cameras.  I actually think I would make a really great film director.  I could be the next Steven Spielberg or Ed Wood!  Plus, Robbie is going to the same camp, so that might be okay.  I wish Kennedy was going to be there, but she is leaving this weekend for Malaysia. At least, I think that’s what she said.  She was crying a lot.  I think she also mentioned that she was going to miss her boyfriend.  It was kind of lame.  Girls are so weird sometimes.    My dad is going to camp too.  He signed up for this wilderness yoga retreat.  It sounded terrible to me.  He has to do yoga three or four times a day and all this meditation in between.  Not only that, but all the food is vegetarian.  I hope arts camp has hamburgers.  Artists eat burgers right?    I want to take you with me Real RJ, but I don’t know if I’ll have room in my backpack.  Plus, I don’t want Robbie getting his hands on you.  So I might start a new RJ.  I won’t call him RJ though, I promise.  Maybe AJ, for Arthur’s Journal.  I think you guys will get along, as much as journals can talk HA!   Yours truly,   Arthur Bean  296 Dear Arthur,   We’ve come to the end of our year together and I must say, it’s been a pleasure teaching you and watching you grow. I hear that I will have you in my class next year.  I expect that grade eight will hold more creative challenges for both of us!  Have a great summer!  Read lots of books, and write your heart out!   Sincerely,   Ms. Whitehead Dear Ms. Whitehead,   As long as you don’t break anything, and allow my creative spirit to shine, I think it might be okay.  Yours truly,   Arthur Bean      297 Arthur Bean English 7A- Ms. Whitehead Year Summary   My Introduction 82% Letter to My Future Self 80% Elegies and Odes 64% Acrostics 79% Call and Response Poem 76% Remembrance Day Poem 73% Me in Shakespeare’s Time 81% Midsummer Night’s Dream Diary Entry 62% Winter Free Writing Exercise 89% A Person in My Life 87% Interview 65% In Another’s Eyes: An Interview about Me 81% Character Scenes 77% Points of View 77% Conflicts 73% Short Story Worksheet 42% Limericks 49% My Favourite Author 51% My Favourite Book: A Character View 53% Comic Strips 79% What If… 72%  298 Spring Free Writing Exercise 87% Alternate Endings 85% Final Short Story Assignment 88% Ongoing Reading Journal 76%  Arthur was a pleasure to have in class.  He participated actively in discussions and showed a keen interest in the materials studied.  Arthur needs to work on meeting deadlines, respecting teacher authority, and allowing others the opportunity to share their opinions in class.  I look forward to teaching him next year.  Have a great summer!         299 Bibliography   Shakespeare, William.  Romeo and Juliet.  1599.  New York; Signet Classics, 1998.  Print.   


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