Dear Fictionpress readers and writers,

This is Tathwem Essenujal writing a formal apology to all of you who have been waiting patiently with anticipation of the next chapter of Earning Wings, or have been waiting for me to review stories. I have been busy working on a "Head to Toe Expo," as part of the State of Massachusetts' required academic curriculum. Due dates of all parts of the project were set a week apart, and consisted of a lot more work than I am used to doing in one week. The topic I chose was very complex in itself, being a study on the "Health Effects of Radiation from Chernobyl." This project stressed me out every weekend for the past 6 weeks. I was unable to continue writing anything for that amount f time, but this project has been a story in itself.

This project was supposed to be due this Wednesday, March 24; however, due to MCAS (the state of Massachusetts' form of standardized testing) the due date of the project has been pushed back to Thursday, April 15. That, my friends, is three weeks from today. The news came today after I had slaved all week not getting to sleep before 1:00AM any night for the past nine days. I have not had a life to myself, which makes me angry. I have not even shaved my beard for the last week, though today in school a girl noticed it, and remarked on how striking it appeared on me; needless to say I'm considering not shaving it seeing as I've never received a compliment even close to that good from a girl, but anyway I am getting off topic.

Both MCAS and the science fair formatted project are part of the state academic curriculum, and are graduation requirements. They also are both extremely pointless. The science fair based project is to "give students a hands on individual assessment on the vast opportunities of scientific community." All I have to say is take that scientific opportunity, and shove it up your… spinal column (what did you think I was going to say). Some people after they graduate will never use science like that again. Some of us have future plans in maybe English, or something that doesn't involve this horse… manure. MCAS is a standardized test that shapes the state's whole entire curriculum. It isn't based off of life needed skills. For the English portion of the test they love to give you poems that have loose interpretations so they can give you multiple choice questions, and you can guess how the state academic administrator interprets it. In the math portion they love to put so many advanced words to make you fail. If you fail MCAS it's okay, but your teachers get fired. My theory is, the state is trying to find an excuse to fire teachers, because they can't afford to keep them.

Anyway this is why I have been inactive in the Fictionpress community. It is not that I have been ignoring all of my friends, but it is because my state doesn't know how to prepare students for real life. I am appreciative of everybody's comprehension.

Yours truly,
Tathwem Essenuejal