Original writings by Adrienne Nater

The Disappearing Act

She remembered that across from her old school at Hancock Park there was a store.

The store front was plain, butted against the sidewalk which was covered with gum wads and cigarette butts. The front window displayed a sign, Stationary Store. She would go in, find the ink eradicator. The fix was in. She had the weekend to spend on this project; Bs and a few As, that was enough.

The next events: Her parents signed the forgery they barely looked at it, she took it back to school, she handed it in. Nothing happened then buta few days later, on the way to an assembly, Miss Dutton pulled her aside and escorted her back to the classroom.

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The ensuing confrontation, being shown the ersatz report card, the "Ill have to call your parents" created a hysterical me. I sobbed out my story: The divorce, the loss of my daddy, my new daddy, the strictness of my mother, who was not just strict, but who was predisposed to yelling and slapping around. All true.

Damn, what a kind woman. She finally asked me "what kind of grades do you want?"

"Good grades that will make them like me and be proud." Miss Dutton took out a fresh report card, put my name and grade on the cover, looked over to me. As she was putting pen to paper, I stopped her. "Will you make it look like Sonya Coopers card? You know with the big brackets from top to bottom for "As?" "Will you work to earn these pre-given "As"? I was so astonished by this offer. She believed in me. I achieved the grades.

This became the foundation for desiring to be a teacher, to be a good, kind understanding of children when I grew up.