What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Cancer Helped me Be Alive

My teacher developed cancer and shortly died. I had had her for less than three weeks. She was though, and always will be, my teacher. (You know what I'm talking about. We all have a teacher who makes a dramatic impact on our life.) I'm only in eighth grade but I must admit I might as well be a forty year old. My mind works and functions in such a way that I feel like I've been on earth for a millenium. Anyways, I stick out like a sore thumb. I mean I have friends from school, soccer, and other things but everyone who is like me is like eighty years old. Everytime I start to thinking how different I am (everyday) I wonder if others think the same way. I have concluded that most do not (or they are just better at hiding it). Lastly, people in my grade, even the smartest ones, don't seem very smart to me. I get straight A plusses and school's a breeze, but others work so hard and are proud to receive a B minus. After my teacher, Ms. Walz died, my school set up this page where you can post your comments. Of course I posted a comment,... and a poem. Well of course this made me stand out. My assistant priciple liked it and wanted me to speak at the memorial. (something else to make me different) So I spoke and I cried and I freed the chains gripping my heart. But during that night the teachers accepted me into their group because I was the only 8th grader to speak and my school became a family; a family that I was part of. :) So for one night my dead teacher, excuse me, my FRIEND, made me feel alive.

So I want to thank you Ms. Walz, because even though your life is done and you are free from blessing us in that certain way that you do, you still blessed me. I think that even in that short time you knew me, you sensed I was......odd. During those days though I knew that you knew and I want to thank you for the days you showed me that it is a good thing. No one else has ever been able to show me that. Thank you for being my teacher, and more importantly the world's teacher.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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