It's been almost 15 years since I've been assigned homework by a teacher. Who would have thought that sending my daughter off to 7th grade would change that? Her Language Arts teacher sent home an assignment for the parents to tell her about your child in "a million words or less". So... for posterity's sake, here it is. (I can neither confirm nor deny whether Brandon got teary eyed and choked up when I read it to him. I'm just sayin'.)
Million Word Assignment
My daughter, Mercedes Sowards, is an amazing young woman and I feel lucky to have her as my oldest child. She is a very responsible person and not only is she fun to be around but she is very helpful here at home with her three younger brothers. I feel very envious of her teachers who get to spend the day with her. I miss her when she’s gone but I know that when she is away she is learning lessons both academically and socially that will shape her into the woman she will someday be.
Mercedes has enjoyed school ever since she was in Kindergarten. She always received above satisfactory marks as well as great compliments from every one of her teachers. Once she started earning letter grades in 4th grade she came to realize how much fun it was to receive A’s on her report card. She made the decision to strive for straight A’s all through school and thus far she has been able to accomplish that. She’s even gone as far as to tell her 5th grade teacher at the beginning of the school year what her intentions were, grade-wise, and challenged him to teach her well so she could study the material and “ace” her tests so as to complete her first goal of earning Principles List for all of her elementary school years. Mercedes becomes discouraged if she earns a B on a test or assignment but takes that as her cue to regroup and plow ahead in order to make up for it.
Mercedes is an avid reader. She loves most books but as of late has found it hard to sit through any type of fairy tale or mythical material of any kind. She is currently reading the Hunger Games series for the fourth or fifth time, I’ve lost track. She started reading the Harry Potter books when she was in 3rd or 4th grade but although she loves the movies she’s lost interest in the books. Some would say she is quite sheltered as we have not allowed her to read the Twilight series or see the movies yet. Mercedes once asked me why that was. True to her naturally obedient form she has never once questioned my parental judgment on the matter again.
Mercedes is quite the “girly tomboy”. She loves clothes, makeup, shopping, dancing, and has even had a few crushes. But she also owns a dirt bike, loves to surf with her dad and brothers, wakeboards, skates and feels immense pride when she beats any of the boys at running. She was quite disappointed that sports have been cut from Rancho. She ran Cross Country as a 6th grader and was ready to join the Track and Field team.
Mercedes is a friend in every sense of the word. She has her close friends that seem to be attached at the hip but she is very aware of those around her who might need a friend. When courage to extend herself to these lonely ones fails her she is at least good for a friendly smile and a shy “hello”. She is very loyal and even when she has been hurt or has felt left out she is very quick to forgive as well as forget.
My word count at the end of this sentence will be 556. Trust me; I could fill volumes with praises and outspoken love and adoration for my only daughter. But I know that there are many other wonderful students you still are waiting to read about. I hope my “Million Word Assignment”, though much less than a million words, has given you some insight to my daughter and what a great girl and student she is. She is very loved here at home and I am confident that you will soon know why. Take good care of her, please. She’s worth more than a million. A million dollars, a million words … a million anything.