Once there was a girl named Crystal. She was really smart and beautiful, on the inside and out. Since she had excelled in elementary and middle school, her parents decided to move her to a better school for exceptionally talented students.
At this new school, Crystal realized she was the only girl in her Grade 10 ADVANCED class. She was surrounded by boys. “It doesn’t matter. I KNOW I’m going do well”, Crystal thought.
She was quite invisible at school so no one really paid attention to her. One day, the Homeroom teacher, Mrs. Turin, asked the students to pair up. Crystal waited patiently to be chosen. All the guys had to do was find their best buds and BAM, they had instant partners. Mrs. Turin, then asked the class, “Who doesn’t have a partner?” Crystal raised her hand. All the boys stared at her, snickering. Seeing that Crystal was by herself, Mrs. Turin decided to pair her with a few of the boys. The question was, WHICH ONES? Tom and Luke? No-they always goofed off. The same thing with Vic and Claude. Then, Mrs Turin had her answer.
“Calvin, Noah, your new team member is Crystal. No excuses from you two.” Crystal walked over to their desks. “I can do this. Maybe I might make some friends,” she thought nervously.
“Now that’s settled, I want your group to create a poster describing an arthropod. Turn to page 23 of your Science textbooks to get more information. This is due in 3 days, on September 15. Jay, write that on the board, please,” Mrs Turin said with a flourish of her hand.
Soon enough, the class groups were discussing which arthropod to choose as the focus of their project. Crystal heard a boy shout, “GH CLAUDE! I WANT TO CHOOSE THE SCORPION, NOT A CENTIPEDE!”
She was worried. The boys were staring at her like she was an alien from some faraway planet. To break the tension, she said, “So, um guys…? I was think of choosing a-” She was cut short by Calvin.
“No. Noah and I have an idea.”
“We…. we do?” Noah asked uncertainly.
“Um yeah… we’re choosing a…. um LION” Calvin finally announced proudly.
“That doesn’t make sense…A lion is a mammal, NOT an arthropod!” exclaimed Crystal.
“No, a lion is an arthropod. Besides, what do you know? Your name is CRYSTAL! That’s not a smart-girl’s name!” Calvin snapped back. Crystal was annoyed. Seriously, these silly boys thought she was clueless? TOO FUNNY. She would show them who the GENIUS is in this group…
She sighed, “Since you OBVIOUSLY have everything planned out and don’t want my input, I’m leaving this group. I’m going to complete my own project, and let’s see who gets a better grade. Peace out.”
“WAIT,” said Calvin, “”Let’s make this INTERESTING. If you get an A+, you win and we’ll admit you’re really talented and smart, in front of the whole class. If WE get an A+, you’ll have to admit you’re stupid and useless. DO WE HAVE A DEAL?”
“WOW… these pathetic guys think I’m NOT going to ace this?” Crystal thought.
“Deal. Good luck. YOU’RE GOING TO NEED IT.” Crystal laughed after her remark and walked away filled with confidence.
A day later, Crystal was putting the finishing touches on her poster. She chose the ant, and her project board looked AMAZING. She was thorough and detailed and her drawings were very creative and inspired. She had something to prove to these boys who miss judged her. Maybe then they could move on and become friends.
“There’s NO WAY the guys can beat my hard work,” she thought out loud.
On September 15, the due date, Crystal was ready. Mrs Turin addressed the class,
“Class, I give you Crystal, who was investigating THE ANT!” Crystal gave her presentation. It was flawless. She didn’t mumble or stutter- Mrs. Turin was in awe. “Wow! Congratulations. Excellent work Crystal! An A+ for all your effort. Class congratulate Crystal for the highest grade in the class!” She said in astonishment.
“Thank you Mrs. Turin ,” Crystal said as she stared right at Noah and Calvin. They looked TERRIFIED, and Crystal relished this moment. “Crystal 1-Silly boys 0” She pleasantly thought with a grin on her face.
Suddenly, Calvin and Noah got up from their seats.
“A deal’s a deal… ugh I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Calvin muttered, “Mrs Turin, Crystal is the smartest, most talented student here. Any objections?” There was a long silence finally followed by APPLAUSE.
“Now I get respect,” Crystal thought, grinning from ear to ear, filled with girl power. She showed those boys what she was made of and now would be respected and hopefully better understood for who she was and NOT by her name alone.
Crystal believed in herself. You can too, and you’ll be surprised what happens when you do. Be free to be yourself!