Star Ford

Essays on lots of things since 1989.

My name is Donna Lee

Hello, my name is Donna Lee. I don’t really exist but if I did, I would live in Somerville with my mom and my little brother who’s a brat. His name is Brad, so I just say Brat. We get along fine except when we don’t and we fight all the time except when I don’t feel like it any more which doesn’t happen very often. Yesterday everything was normal until I found a million dollar bill on the street. I was so excited I went to the mall. I got a big box and piled all the clothes I could ever wear in it. I got ten of each color so I’d never have to wash them. I could just throw them away. I made my brother drag the box all around the store and when I was finished I went to the check out counter and gave them the million dollar bill. They said they couldn’t take it because they didn’t have enough change. Actually I was just kidding about the money. The reason I like to go to stores and pretend to buy so much is to get practice in case I ever really did find a million dollars. And then I just hide in the dressing room and my brother gets in trouble for messing up the whole store and my mother has to come and get him then I usually go get ice cream with my friend Trina until things cool off at home. By the way Trina doesn’t exist either. I just made her up even though she’s my best friend.

Life is pretty good here in Somerville. I go to school and learn lots of things. I can’t think of any of them right now, but I must have picked up some things along the way. Actually it’s pretty boring if you ask me, but no one ever does. I always have to wake up my friend Lisee in math because she can’t stay awake. Most kids have to go to bed at a certain time but in Lisee’s family she isn’t allowed to go to bed at all. Other than that things are pretty good in Lisee’s house. She doesn’t have a brat brother coming into her bedroom bugging her all the time like I do. I lock him out but the little piglet always figures out how to get in. Lisee’s little brother is a brat too but she doesn’t have a bedroom so he can’t come in. She doesn’t have a bed so of course she doesn’t need a bedroom. She’s really close to her dad. She reads to him all the time. She mostly reads Guns & Ammo magazine because he can’t read and he likes guns. He has lots of guns and he likes to pretend to shoot Lisee if she falls asleep. That’s why she’s scared, but he’s only teasing and I think she should just relax. Once in math Lisee was dozing off and I poked her and she yelled so loud that Mr Hays came over to see what was going on. She claims she has nightmares every time she takes a nap in school. Lisee’s a pretty good friend but she always looks exhausted for some reason so you can’t really talk to her. She failed every class for three years in a row.

Most people know I’m not really here but once in a while, someone will talk to me and Trina like we were real. That really bothers me. For instance, once this guy in 8th grade was following me around. He must have been desperate for attention because he wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I just didn’t feel the same way. So I didn’t say anything. Finally one day he stopped paying attention. He must have finally realized I didn’t exist.

After school I usually watch TV until dinner. TV is pretty boring because it doesn’t matter. It’s just a huge amount of pictures that don’t make a bit of difference to anything. It isn’t like my cousin’s new baby. They haven’t even named it yet but you can tell it changed them a lot. I guess a baby is something you have to take care of but a TV doesn’t even care if you throw those styrofoam bricks at it. Since I don’t exist, I fit right into TV land which doesn’t exist either.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing to you. I guess I’m lonely and there isn’t anything else to do. I told you everything about my life in Somerville, so now it is your turn.

Your friend,

Donna Lee

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Contracting Game – Jr High curriculum

The Contracting Game is a pilot six-week curriculum developed by Ian Ford for trial offering at Powderhouse Community School in Sommerville, MA April through June 1993.

Over the course of six weeks, students will carry out various kinds of work on a contractual basis. Students will be responsible for organizing into groups and competing against other groups for a limited number of projects. They will write proposals that aim to get the contracts. The teacher, who acts as the contracting agency, may award multiple contracts for the same work or no contracts at all for a particular project, depending both on the quality of the proposals and the available budget. Student groups then carry out the work by their own design and initiative, and write a final report. If the work meets the initially stated objectives, the students receive compensation for any financial expenses including modest salaries.

See attached 21-page pdf: 19930301ContractingGame

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