Bobby’s Absolutely Amazing Adventures

Bobby’s Absolutely Amazing Adventures in the Capital Cities to be released in 2018.

Bobby Wiring is ten years old. He’s a fifth-grader at Lewis & Clark Elementary. And, he lives in a capital city! Imagine the excitement at Lewis & Clark when teacher Mr Wilson announces the new Social Studies project — here’s a peek into Chapter One….

Bobby slurched his feet twice over the spongy black raincatcher mat at the school entrance and headed down the hall to Room 14. He turned in at the third flag-blue door on the right where the sign said:

Bobby dropped his backpack beside his desk and started to pull out books, homework, and his green-glow gel pen. Erasable. Mr Wilson was already at the board, intent on writing some mysterious announcement with a red marker. He wrote a few words and shielded them with his writing pad. Then he lowered the pull-down United States map a few more inches, to cover the words. The students in the front row were hunched forward, heads wobbling like bobble-head dolls as they tried to follow Mr Wilson’s big brown hand scribbling up and down, up and down, the markings hidden behind the pad. Even with eyes squinting, they could not decipher the secret message. Bobby could see a few letters at the right side of the board, a spot the map didn’t totally cover.

What did that mean? It was just like Mr Wilson to do something this way, to catch their attention from the first minute of class. He was the coolest teacher of Bobby’s life. He was big, he was strong, and he was smart. Before he was a teacher, he was a Marine, and he expected strict order in the classroom. Except, he was funny too. He could do the greatest accents you ever heard. When they studied another country in geography, Mr Wilson would slip into accent. Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, Chinese, and even the clicking noises of the little people in Africa’s Kalahari Desert. Mr Wilson had walked on all seven continents, a goal Bobby had set for himself. He knew he would do it, too. After all, he’d already been to both American continents. Two down, five to go!

Mr Wilson finished writing just as Mrs Green pushed Quang-Bao Mark’s wheelchair into his designated space in front of Bobby. She gave Bobby a knuckle-scrunch on the head and waved at the class before she scooted back out the door. Quang-Bao Mark Green was Bobby’s next-door neighbor and best buddy since before either of them could remember. He had never been able to walk, but he’d attended Lewis & Clark since Kindergarten. His wheelchairs got bigger as he grew, and the latest model had a nifty flip over desk top. All of his school supplies and books were in special side pouches. “The saddle bags on my horse,” he called them. His Uncle Levi had designed another attachment he wasn’t allowed to bring to school – Electronic Elmer – with music player, video games and even a GPS for global position satellite tracking. There was also a telescope mount for backyard stargazing. Quang-Bao Mark and Bobby were nuts about the stars.

Bobby pushed Quang-Bao Mark to Mr Chau’s grocery on Saturdays for treats – “Mr Chau’s for chow” they said. And Bobby pushed him to their baseball games, bats and gloves stashed in the Sports side pouch – the Dugout they called it — with drinks in the mini-cooler on the other side of the wheelchair. Quang-Bao Mark was the team statistician and record keeper; Bobby played first. “Stop trouble before it begins,” his Grandma Lucinda always said. He figured a good first-base player had a chance to do just that.

The 8:30 bell rang and everyone sat up straight, all eyes up front, waiting for Mr Wilson to speak.

“Bonjour class,” he began.

“FRENCH!” they called back to him. That was their morning game, to guess the language he spoke.

“Buenos dias!” he offered, and they quickly shouted “SPANISH!”

“Mangandáng umága!” Mr. Wilson came back. There was a moment of silence, then Lita DePano spoke up.

“That’s Tagalog Mr Wilson. That’s the first words I hear every morning when my Mom wants me to get out of bed!” Lita’s remark brought a laugh from the class and a smile from Mr Wilson.

“Correct Lita,” he said, slipping into an accent. “That’s a ‘Good Morning’ in Tagalog, a language of the Philippines. You are fortunate to have a mother teaching you to be fluent in two languages. Can you say ‘Please’ in Pilipino?”

“Pakisuyò is ‘Please,’” Lita answered.

“How about ‘I am sleepy’?” queried Mr Wilson.

“Inaantòk ako,” said Lita.

“And there you have it,” Mr Wilson grinned. “Pakisuyò, Inaantòk ako! Please, I am sleepy! Let me sleep another sampû minutes!”

“Yes!” Lita laughed, “ten more minutes of sleep!” Everybody was laughing now, in an unusually good mood for a rainy November Monday. Mr Wilson stepped back towards the board and attention once again focused on the secret message behind the map.

What was it?

“Class, we are beginning a new tradition here at Lewis & Clark,” Mr Wilson told them. He pointed to the big hand-lettered sign that always hung over his desk.

See The Possibilities!

“You are about to have an opportunity to see a LOT of possibilities,” he continued. “Your principal, Mrs. Nielsen, has asked all of the 4th and 5th teachers to announce the Greatest Social Studies Project ever. For the first time, Lewis & Clark will participate in the National competition. Here it is.”

He gave the map a tug, and it rolled up into its holder, revealing, at last, the message.

© Linda Lou Burton 2017. Your World – Know It! Show It! Grow It!