by Victoria Feng, Age 10, USA
Artwork by Lucy Zhang
The June drama prompt was “moving on.”
ACT 1, SCENE 1
ISABELLA is walking through the hallway. MR. WILTON, the principal, is outside his office.
MR. WILTON: Isabella, you are just the person I wanted to see. Meet me at my office after school.
ACT 1, SCENE 2
MR. WILTON is sitting in his office.
ISABELLA: Okay. Give me detention for my bad grades. I don’t care.
MR. WILTON: Unless you were involved in a verbal or physical harassment, you wouldn’t receive detention. What I want to know is the reason–
ISABELLA: Why I’m failing? I’m dumb, okay? I’m not good at English, math, or science!
MR. WILTON: Think, Isabella. Were you always “dumb?” You hold a school record! You won the town Academic Champion Award three years in a row!
ISABELLA: Well, I turned dumb in third grade.
MR. WILTON: Isabella, no one wins everything. And if you keep looking at your failures, you won’t have time to keep trying. I was once a fourth grader, not unlike you. I was recommended for a Little Einstein test, to test my abilities in all academic subjects. I was confident that I would pass. However, I didn’t. From a straight-A student, I became a student that occasionally received B’s and sometimes C’s. Finally, I went to high school, and a kind mentor helped me improve my attitude toward learning. It was hard, but I managed to get into a decent university, and, well here I’m now. Please, Isabella, try. Your future-self will thank you for it. None of your teachers will know. Just say, “I’m showing my full potential” when they ask.
ISABELLA: My present-self will hate me for it. But, fine. I’d love to keep a secret from Mr. Bloomburg. I’ll try for an A-minus.
MR. WILTON: That’s my student!
ISABELLA: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
ACT 1, SCENE 3
A few months later, ISABELLA is studying the Civil War in MRS. GOODRICH’S classroom.
Enter MR. WILTON.
MR. WILTON: May I borrow Isabella Wang for a moment? Thank you. (brings ISABELLA into the hallway)
ISABELLA: What now? I’ve been doing my homework, studying for tests, and getting ready for the 6th Grade Academic Champion Award.
MR. WILTON: Exactly. I wanted to commend you on your new behaviour. You have done something that many people struggle with, including me. You have moved on. Thinking about the future can change the present, but thinking about the past won’t help at all. I hope you’ll win the award this year, and for years to come.
ACT 1, SCENE 4
After the Academic Champion has been announced, MR. WILTON sends an email to MRS. GOODRICH that he would like to see ISABELLA at his office after school.
ISABELLA: I’m sorry that I’ve been really curt with you this year.
MR. WILTON: As long as you make yourself a better person, you’re forgiven. Why I sent you to my office wasn’t to make you reflect on your mistakes, but to cheer you on. Congrats on winning. I knew you could do it. Keep on moving on, and you’ll be successful wherever you go.
ISABELLA: Thanks, Mr. Wilton. Have a lovely summer!
ACT 2, SCENE 1
20 years later, ISABELLA becomes the school’s principal and meets a student who is ignorant, just like her when she was that age.
ISABELLA: Joe, could you please meet me at my office after school?
Victoria says, “I’m always full of creative ideas, and writing has always been one of my favourite hobbies.”