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>SHE WENT TO HIS WEDDING
>Teddy Stallard certainly qualifiied as one of the least.
>Disinterested in school, musty, wrinkled clothes; hair never combed.
>One of those kids in school with a deadpan face, expressionless- sort
>of glassy, unfocused stare. When Miss Thompson spoke to Teddy he
>always answered in monosyllables. Unattractive, unmotivated, and
>distant, he was just plain hard to like. Even though his teacher said
>she loved all in her class the same, down inside she wasn't being
>Whenever she marked Teddy's papers, she got a certain perverse
>pleasure out of putting X's next to the wrong answers and when she put
>the F's at the top of the papers, she always did it with a flair. She
>should have known better, she had Teddy's records and she knew more
>about him than she wanted to admit. The records read:
>1st grade: Teddy shows promise with his work and attitude, but poor
>2nd grade: Teddy could do better. Mother is seriously ill. He
>receives little help at home.
>3rd grade: Teddy is a good boy but too serious. He is a slow
>learner. His mother died this year.
>4th grade: Teddy is very slow, but well-behaved. His father shows no
>Christmas came and the boys and girls in Miss Thompson's class brought
>her Christmas presents. They piled their presents on her desk and
>crowded around to watch her open them. Among the presents there was
>one from Teddy Stallard. She was surprised that he had brought her a
>gift, but he had. Teddy's gift was wrapped in brown paper and was
>held together with Scotch tape. On the paper were written the simple
>words, "For Miss Thompson from Teddy." When she opened Teddy's
>present, out fell a gaudy rhinestone bracelet, with half the stones
>missing, and a bottle of cheap perfume.
>The other boys and girls began to giggle and smirk over Teddy's gifts,
>but Miss Thompson at least had enough sense to silence them by
>immediately putting on the bracelet and putting on some of the perfume
>on her wrist. Holding her wrist up for the other children to to
>smell, she said, "Doesn't it smell lovely?" And the children, taking
>their cue from the teacher, readily agreed with "oo's" and "ah's".
>At the end of the day, when school was over and the other children had
>left, Teddy lingered behind. He slowly came over to her desk and said
>softly, "Miss Thompson...Miss Thompson, you smell just like my
>mother...and her bracelet looks real pretty on you too. I'm glad you
>liked my presents." When Teddy left, Miss Thompson got down on her
>knees and asked God to forgive her.
>The next day when the children came to school, they were welcomed by a
>new teacher. Miss Thompson had become a different person. She was no
>longer just a teacher; she had become an agent of God. She was now a
>person committed to loving her children and doing things for them that
>would live on after her. She helped all children, but especially the
>slow ones, and especially Teddy Stallard. By the end of that school
>year, Teddy showed dramatic improvement. He had caught up with most
>of the students and was even ahead of some.
>She didn't hear from Teddy for a long time. Then one day, she
>received a note that read:
>Dear Miss Thompson:
>I wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in
>Four years later, another note came:
>Dear Miss Thompson:
>They just told me I will be graduating first in my class. I wanted
>you to be the first to know. The university has not been easy but I
>And four years later:
>Dear Miss Thompson:
>As of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that? I just
>wanted you to be the first to know. I am getting married next month,
>the 27th to be exact. I want you to come and sit where my mother
>would sit if she were alive. You are the only family I have now; Dad
>died last year.
>Miss Thompson went to that wedding and sat where Teddy's mother would
>have sat. She deserved to sit there; she had done something for Teddy
>that he could never forget.
>---taken from speech given by Winston Churchill, "A Colossal Military
>Disaster" June 4, 1940 before the House of Commons.
>|* Dan Severino *|* SEVERINO'S Piano-Keyboard LAB *|
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