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Orson Scott Card's trip to Jakarta, Indonesia

Stories from students at Jakarta International School

"Hi, Mom, how was work today?" Ashlie asked.

"It was okay. I just got fired that's all," her mom, Ms. Myre answered, as if it were nothing.

"WHAT?" Lenie, her other daughter screamed.

"Yeah. Worst part is, I didn't even get a recommendation letter," Ms. Myre said.

"What? Why not?" Lenie asked, still confused.

"I don't care about that! What are you gonna do now???" Ashlie panicked.

"Gee . . . I really don't know," Ms. Myre responded.

Ms. Myre was a mother of two children. She raised her children on her own. She was such a good mother and she knew that made Mr. Hugo, her boss (also with no wife) really mad. She didn't think he would go this far. She knew Mr. Hugo was a terrible father and he was always jealous of her. Ms. Myre wanted to go back to her boss's office to straighten things out with him.

* * *

"Okay, Mr. Hugo! I want you tell me right now why I was fired yesterday!" Ms. Myre demanded.

"Me? Oh . . . I don't know . . . I just . . . kinda felt like it . . . ya know!" He yawned.

"No, I don't know!" she said.

"Too bad. Hey, how are your kids?" Mr. Hugo asked, changing the subject

"They're fine," Ms. Myre answered giving him the evil look.

"Good to know. If you'll excuse me, there's someone here to visit me." Mr. Hugo, left his chair.

"NO! I won't leave. Where's my letter??????" Ms. Myre screamed.

"Oh right! That thing! Well . . . there's nothing you've done that should be recommended to anyone!"


"Okay, calm down. Look if you're that desperate, I'll write one. He he, I'll try my best not to lie a lot, although, you know that'll be hard."

Ms. Myre went charging out of his office.

"See ya! I'll fax it to you!" he yelled.

Ms. Myre went straight home. When she came home, she found her daughters in the living room with papers scattered everywhere.

"What's going on girls?" she asked.

"Oh, nothing. I just got the forms for the trip to China! Remember? You said I could go!" Ashlie cheerfully explained.

"Hmm, I did, didn't I? There's just one problem," Ms. Myre said looking very worried.

"What is it?" Lenie asked.

"Um . . . my job . . ." Ms. Myre said.

"What? Why don't you just get a new one or something? You have your letter

don't you?" Ashlie asked.

"Well, yes. He's gonna fax it to me, but . . . I don't know. I'll see what I can do about it. Okay?" Ms. Myre said.

"Sure . . ." Lenie answered.

Then the phone rang. Lenie went over to pick it up.


"Oh, hello there!"


"May I speak to Myre?"

"Sure. Just a sec. May I ask who's speaking please?"

"Um . . . yes . . . Mr. Hugo."

"Mom! It's Mr. Hugo," Lenie whispered

Ms. Myre walked over to the phone.


"This is she."

"Yes, I'm just calling to tell you that I'm faxing your letter right now."

"Alright, bye."

Ms. Myre hung up the phone. She waited for the phone to ring a second time. After three rings, the paper came out of the fax machine.

"What does it say?" Ashlie asked. The letter said:

Dear whomever it may concern,

During the past eight years, Ms. Myre can type 10 or 20 words per minute. Not so good, but good enough . . . I guess.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr. Hugo

"Is that it???" Lenie yelled.

"What is wrong with him? Okay, this is definitely not going to get me anywhere. I'll have to see what I can do!" Ms. Myre said.

* * *

"Good morning, Ash! Good morning, Len!" Ms. Myre greeted as she gave them each a bowl of cereal.

"Morning Mom," they both said together.

"Mom, did you think of something yet? I mean, you're running out of money!" Lenie said.

"Yes, I have thought of something."

"What is it?" Ash asked.

"Hmm . . . you promise not to tell."


"Well . . . Mr. Hugo does have an easy signature.

"What? No way! You're not actually gonna write a fake letter are you?" Lenie asked.

"Well, I don't know what else to do," Ms. Myre sighed. "I'll just give it a go. I've already written one!" The letter said.

Dear whomever it may concern,

For the past eight years, Ms. Myre has been nothing but an excellent employee. She always shows up at work with a positive attitude, and is always willing to do anything she can for this company. She always gives work in on time sometimes even weeks before it is needed. Her work shows how much effort she puts into it. She also has excellent typing skills.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Hugo

"Cool! Just get rid of the typing skills part! It's stupid!" Ash laughed.

"Ha ha, yeah. I'm gonna try this today."

"Really? Good luck!" Lenie said.

"Yeah. I'm going to get dressed now. I'll be late for my interview!"

* * *

"MOM!!! HOW DID THE INTERVIEW GO???" Ashlie yelled.

"Ahh . . . not so good," Ms. Myre said sadly.

"What? What happened?" Lenie asked.

"I GOT THE JOB!!!!" Ms. Myre screamed.

All three of them started yelling and jumping up and down, laughing.

"When do you start?" Ash asked.

"Tomorrow," Ms. Myre answered.

"That is sooo cool! Hey can I try faking letters in school?" Lenie asked

"No," Ms. Myre said.

"Why not? You did it!" Len, pointed out.

"This is different. Is that the phone? Len, would you mind getting it?" She asked.

"Ugh, Mom, it's Mr. Hugo," Lenie said.

"What does he want?" Ms. Myre asked walking over to the phone.


"Hello, Myre."


"Well, I just wanted to ask you. Any luck with your new job?"

"Yes. In fact I just got a job this morning with the G.U.P.I.E company."




"I don't know and bye." Ms. Myre hung up on him.

"What did he want?" Ashlie asked.

"Wanted to know about my new job," Ms. Myre answered.

"Really? Was he surprised?" Lenie asked.

"Yup," Ms. Myre replied. "Anyways, you girls better get some sleep. You have school tomorrow."

"Yeah, night Mom," the two of them said.

* * *

Ms. Myre arrived at work early. On her way to her office she bumped into Mr. McFee.

"Good morning, Mr. McFee," she greeted.

"Yes, good morning Myre. Listen there's something we should talk about and it has to be now. Just step into my office," he said.

"What's wrong?" Ms. Myre asked.

"Well, I got a call from someone last night."


"Hmm . . . Mr. Hugo?"

Ms. Myre started to worry.

"What did he want?" she asked.

"Nothing really. He just wanted to let me know that the letter you gave me..."


"It's fake."

"What? What makes you think that?" she asked.

"He said so. I'm sure he knew what he wrote, hmm?"

"Yeah . . . I guess."

"So I'm afraid, I'm not going to allow you to work here."

Ms. Myre just sat there staring at the window.

"So, please leave."

Ms. Myre got up and left without saying a word. She drove home slowly and quietly. When she got home, her kids weren't there yet. At 3:30 p.m., her kids came barging in the house. The first thing Lenie said was,"Mom! I am sooo sorry!"

"Sorry for what?" Ms. Myre asked.

"Well . . . you see, I'm kind of suspended . . . from school."

"What? Why?"

"She faked a letter!!" Ashlie interrupted.

"Wel, that's okay dear," Ms. Myre said, surprising both her children.

"Really?" Lenie smiled.

"Yes. I, myself got caught. And so . . . I'm jobless again," she explained.

"MAN!! What is wrong with you two?? I've had enough of this! I don't want to live with a messed up family who doesn't even have money!!" Ashlie yelled. She headed straight for the door and slammed it shut.

"ASH!! Wait!!" Ms. Myre yelled. She was about to go chase after Ashlie, but Lenie grabbed her arm.

"Mom, it's okay. She'll come back . . . I know."

Ms. Myre waited by the phone for six hours. It wasn't until 10:30, the doorbell rang.

"That must be her!" She said, running over to door. She expected to see Ashlie. When she opened the door, she saw two cops with Ashlie.

"Ashlie! Where have you been?" She asked.

"Is this your daughter?" one of the cops asked.

"Yes," she answered.

"We found her with these," he said holding two bags of crack.


"Yes. We're going to have to take her to the police station right now," the

other one said.

"Yes, okay. Let me just get my bag. Lenie you stay here. I'll be home soon." The four of the left.

It was almost a month since all this happened. It was even worse this time. Lenie was expelled from school. Ashlie was still in jail. Ms. Myre who was jobless, was trying hard to get food any way she could. Sometimes she even stole from the supermarket. She didn't want to continue living like this. She was going to Mr. Hugo's office to ask for help.

* * *

"Yes, may I help you?" Mr. Hugo asked as Myre entered the room.

"It's me, Myre," she said.

"MYRE? What happened to you??" he asked.

"I don't know. Look, I know our marriage didn't work out well . . . but does that mean we have to be enemies?"


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