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    (October 20, 2002 )


Ildiko wrote this story in response to an English 10 Assignment. Her novel approach solved the problem in a humorous and witty way. Read on and see for yourself!


Folktale About the Insoluble Project

    Our story starts on a nice day somewhere in the middle of the world in a twenty-first century school where adults were forced to learn the science of English and essay writing. In the English class the teacher, who was a really friendly, accurate but a little talkative man, read a folktale to the students about the Tsar and the Maiden.

     In the tale, the Tsar gave impossible challenges to the Maiden but she worked out all smartly. Finally, the Tsar married her because she was ingenious. Everybody loved that story in the class, and then the teacher said, “I want you to do a writing assignment similar to the story about the Tsar and the Maiden,” then he continued, “Your story have to be with modern settings.” The students acknowledged that, and they went home.

     Among the diligent students was one who always suffered from writing but believed that she would be experienced sometime. The next day, she tried to find a good idea for her assignment. She spent a couple of hours on thinking and tried to make a story up. She considered different topics like computer, spaceship, supersonic aircraft, nuclear submarine and gene technology but unfortunately she could not cook up any tale.

     “I have to do my homework,” she muttered, “but I have absolutely no idea about what.”

     A day after, she decided to get help from her sister who is a really good storyteller, knows lots of jokes and loves watching cartoons. From that minute they were doing brainstorming together but without success. Once, somebody knocked on the door. A friend came to visit. The sisters were happy for him and asked his help with the assignment. After several attempts he said desperately: “It is impossible!”

     “What did you just say?” asked him the student.

     “It is impossible!” repeated the friend fretfully.

     “Thank you!” said the student happily, “You just saved me. It is a really good idea.”

     “What?” they wondered, “What is a good idea? We didn’t conceive anything.”

     “Yes you do.” said the student, “I am going to write an assignment about our struggle. The teacher identical with the Tsar, I am the Maiden and the impossible task is the story with modern settings.”

     “What a comical idea!” replied the friend, “You create a story from nothing so you outreach your teacher.”

     It seemed everything is fine but one point was still missing.

     “And what is going to be your price for this job?” asked the sister.

     “Well, it is a good question.” replied the student.

     “After all we worked really hard to come up with an idea like this.” she said.

     “Yeah, you’re right,” said the student thoughtfully, “You know, in our Hungarian folktales, usually the hero gets half of the kingdom and the king’s beautiful daughter to marry him.”

     “Then what is on your mind?” she asked.

     “I think…, if the teacher likes my answer to the modern folktale and appreciates the effort I made, I am going to be satisfied with half of his properties and I will propose to his son!”


More Student Writing:

A Place to Live
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Free Tranquilizer
An excellent descriptive paragraph about the delights to be found at Central Park in Burnaby. By a former student who wishes to remain anonymous.  February 1

An Ordinary Day
Far from ordinary, Octavia's paragraph captures the sights and smells and sounds of an outdoor market. Sensuous writing with excellent detail! January 16

The Place I Long For
Jana's rich description makes it easy to imagine the peace she finds at a favourite place.  December 13

The Mosquitoes on Campus
Couch writes an amusing story of meeting the new, much smarter, urban mosquito!  November 28

Nothing Came to My Mind
Tina has written an intriguing narrative paragraph about finding quiet contemplation time in her car on an autumn day. November 9

A Smart Pig
Annie's amusing paragraph contemplates what it would be like to be a pig, but only for one day! 

Hanging Up the Clothes
Short paragraph with lots of detailed description. 

How to Reduce Stress
    Short essay in five paragraph standard style.

Smells of the Sun
Short paragraph demonstrating the use of the senses in writing.

Advice to New Students of the PALC
Lucky gives some straightforward and useful advice to new students. 

The PALC for Improving Your English
Ciprian has some good advice on how the PALC can help you with your English skills.




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