Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Straight A Miracle

By William Pettifer, age 13, Ohio


I looked down at my paper, and with a nervous content, I began to take my test. I had studied really hard. As I filled out the questions, a noise kept repeating in my head: “Cheap, cheap, cheap.” For Science Club, they would hatch chickens, and since they were hatched, they just kept getting louder and louder. It felt like the hammer to my head. It was annoying, like somebody throwing up on me when I was attempting to read a good book or doing a homework assignment. If I could illustrate my thought, it would be a big, red angry face.

Three weeks later when I looked on my computer, I was frozen. I could not feel my fingers, and soon I could not feel any part of my body. I tried to move, but my body resisted even though I wanted it to move. I felt my face turning red as a lobster. I felt my face, and it was like touching lava. I looked at my Blackboard and saw my science grade was no longer an A; when I saw it, I nearly cried. I did not know why my science grade was a B. I looked and saw everything was the same; I went straight up to Mr. Amlung. While I was looking up, I kept wanting to solve a problem; maybe this was a mistake. “Hello, is there a problem, William?” Mr. Amlung asked.

“Yes, Mr. Amlung, yes, I see my grade has dropped, but I do not know why,” I responded, desperately waiting for a response. I felt like I was going to explode.

After what felt like a minute, Mr. Amlung said, “William, you have to click here to get all the pages.” He clicked it, and I saw the terrors, 50 out of 100; I thought this must be a mistake. I could simply not have gotten a 50 on a test. I looked around the room, which felt like a bunch of people laughing at me. I thought of a TV show instead, the announcer saying, “We have come to an agreement: William Pettifer is an idiot that cannot do his work.” It felt like I was punched in the gut. “William, you can go back to your seat now,” Mr. Amlung said. I walked back to my seat feeling like my head weighed a thousand pounds. My brain felt small; it felt like I just got dismissed from my lifelong dream. I did not feel like the guy I felt like one minute ago. I put my head down on the table; you could feel the air reverberating when my head hit the desk. I wondered how the desk supported my head; waves of tears came through my eyes. It was like everyone was kicking and laughing at me; it felt like being naked at school but much, much worse.

After what felt like an hour, the bell rang for lunch. I sulked my way down the hallway and sat down at an empty table. I began to eat. My friend sat next to me. “What is wrong, William?” he said.

“Nothing,” I said back as a regular person would always say to get attention from the person’s attention.

“William, I know something is wrong, I mean, you have not eaten your sandwich, and you are not smiling. It is Thursday, and you were in a good mood before.”

“Okay, ” I said. “Mr. Amlung gave me a bad grade on the science test, and he will not let me retake it.”

“Oh, well, let me cheer you up.” We had fun by watching Captain Underpants trailers, and I nearly choked to death laughing so hard.

Later in lunch I ran into one of my friends, Jackson, and my bossy friend, Jayme. “What is going on?” I said.

“Oh, nothing, except the fact that my grade is a 92,” Jayme said.

“Well, it cannot be that bad,” I said.

“Guys, guys, please,” Jackson said. “You can talk all you want, but sometimes you can rise above this.”

I was inspired when the study hall bell rang. I darted to Mr. Amlung’s room ready to take a test. It was like there was a cake in Mr. Amlung’s room and I was hungry. My feet ran like a cheetah fighter. It felt like the classes zoomed by like one speed-up camera. When I got to Mr. Amlung’s room, I went up and asked Mr. Amlung about the retake. I do not remember much more, but I just remember wanting to travel back in time and change my grade. It was like I did something wrong, and I desperately wanted to fix it. While Mr. Amlung was talking, I just kept thinking, William, you can take a retake. All I heard was, Get out of my sight, you stupid boy; I will never let you retake. It felt like a million people laughing. The thing Mr. Amlung finally said was, “I will let you retake it, William.” My heart lit up. I imagined myself jumping up to the moon and landing on a cloud. I felt like I had enough strength to punch a wall and break it down. I felt like a piece of cotton candy. When Mr. Amlung gave me the test, I answered all the questions, checking them over and over again. When I gave Mr. Amlung the test back, he said, “Good job, William.” I kind of zoomed through the rest of the day, next chorus class, and I do not even remember my other classes.

When I got home, I went to my computer and looked at my grades. I saw a grade that was annoying: 89.47. I needed an 89.50 to get an A at my school, but I did not fear. It was like a drag race, and I was about to catch up to the car in first place and beat him.

The next day at school, I knew I needed a boost to get my grade up. I waited for all four bells because science was my fifth bell. When I finally had waited through the whole class, it was a weird feeling, like I was forced to eat broccoli and mushrooms before I could eat my ice cream. Finally, I got to ask Mr. Amlung, “Hello, Mr. Amlung, in case you have not noticed, my grade is very low, and I was wondering if I could raise it by doing an assignment.”

Mr. Amlung went to his computer, typed in his password, went to his Blackboard page, and said, “Sorry, William, there is nothing I can do.” I stood still; it was like I got punched all over. I felt like I wanted to fall backwards or just wake up. Maybe it was a horrible dream I could wake up from and take the quiz. So, none of this would happen, but no, this was not a dream.

I asked him, “Why?”

“Well, William, you have worked so hard to get this far.” All I heard was, Sorry, William, you are not smart, and I am too lazy to put in a grade that will give you a few points. A few weeks later, I looked at my grade, and I shot up to the sky. I felt like I was wearing a jetpack, and I was on the moon. It was like on a hot day when I had just drunk a cool, refreshing glass of lemonade. My science grade was 90.80, and I was a straight-A student. The lesson I learned was that if at first you don’t succeed, try again; and miracles sometimes happen.