Mondays always came too soon for all the kids in Weaver House . Not that weekends were a time of relaxation for the student athletes, but academics – and homework in particular – were the bane of their existence.

Everyone seemed more tired than usual when fourth period began – several students, like Gisele and Spencer, ended up stumbling in after the late bell. Ms. Kelly waited for them to take their seats before starting class.

"At this time would all those who I requested rewrites from please pass them forward?" she asked, only having to talk over several of the students who weren't athletes and Spencer as he babbled at Cassidy about something Adam didn't even care to listen in on. Everyone else was tired and subdued.

"Yes, these look much better," Ms. Kelly said as skimmed over the opening paragraphs of the essays as she collected them. "A family and a house in the mountains . . . to see an aurora . . . a cottage and vineyard on the coast of . . . Idaho . . ." The teacher looked at Spencer, exasperated.

There were quite a few chuckles at that – in fact Ms. Kelly and Adam were probably the only ones who didn't crack a smile. Ms. Kelly, because she'd intended for the students to take the assignment seriously. Adam, because he knew Ms. Kelly was going to give him that same agitated look as soon as she found his essay.

"The chance to give something back to the community by building a rec center, very good, Jase. To learn how to cook without setting the kitchen on fire . . ." Ms. Kelly turned to the next essay in her pile and paused.

And there it is, Adam thought, trying to mimic the nonchalant expression that Cassidy was so good at.

"Adam," Ms. Kelly said, looking up, "could you please stay after class for a few minutes?"

"I have weight training," Adam said flatly.

"Well I really need to talk to you about your essay," Ms. Kelly told him, "or perhaps lack of."

"I'm sorry, but I don't see what there is to talk about."

The teacher sighed. "The assignment was to write about what you wanted out of life that was not sports related," she said slowly as though she was talking to someone who wasn't too bright.

"But the original assignment was to write about what we wanted out of life with no limitations," Adam reminded her. "I turned it in."

"And I instructed you to rewrite it to be non-sports oriented, which you failed to do." Ms. Kelly looked quite annoyed now.

Adam shrugged. "I did the best I could."

Ms. Kelly stared at him for a moment, then sighed and set the stack of essays down on her desk. "Unfortunately we don't have time to discuss this any further today. We'll talk about this another time, Adam."

Adam tried to mimic the fake smile Trent always used when he was annoyed – the one that made him look like smiling hurt his teeth. He probably failed miserably, but oh well.

"Right now, it's time for us to start our unit on Shakespeare," she continued. "You athletes should especially pay attention to these lessons, because it's a tradition here at Aiming that every year the freshmen athletes put on a production of one of Shakespeare's plays."

Now that he was off the hook Adam found it easier to concentrate. A quick glance around the room showed that all the other students had turned their attention away from him and were either pretending to listen as Ms. Kelly droned on about how they were going to be reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, or abandoning all pretense and sitting with their heads down on their desk, trying to catch up on some sleep.

Adam was able to give a real smile as he fished his notebook out of his bag and started scribbling down what he thought were the key points Ms. Kelly was trying to make. Spencer didn't look awake enough to be paying attention and would probably want to borrow Adam's notes. That was the least he could do for his roommate in return for Spencer having helped him see that the stupid rewrite assignment wasn't worth the time he'd spent worrying about it. Ms. Kelly probably didn't appreciate the one sentence essay in which he claimed that, "Right now I don't need to know what I want out of life other than hockey," but after finally getting that through his head Adam had been able to breathe easier. For now, that was enough.





Thanks for reading! I hoped you enjoyed the latest installment in my Aiming High series. In my next story, it's Parents Weekend at Aiming Academy, and the families of four unfortunate athletes can't make it. And coming up soon, if Ms. Kelly didn't appreciate Adam's rewrite, she definitely won't appreciate Spencer's attempts at directing. Shakespeare's going to be rolling over in his grave when the Weaver House kids are forced to put on one of his plays.