Monday, May 20, 2013

The Giant Spherical Boulder Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

We've already established that my daughter has the McGinley Family Superhero Creation Genes. Recently, she's been in an insane sea of writing assignments leading to upcoming standardized tests.  Obviously, since studies have continually proven each child learns differently, and the school has set up its entire theory of education around that fact, it makes perfect sense that the school itself should be judged by testing all of the children EXACTLY the same way to EXACTLY the same standards. 

Education has certainly improved.  It took forced assignments until High School to make me hate writing (taking years to remember the good parts of it again).  They’re managing to make her feel the same way by fourth grade.

Sorry, is my rant showing?


This assignment, to imagine herself as an archeologist of the type typified by a certain “obtainer of rare antiquities,” came smack in the middle of our Indiana Jones viewings.  Because she was actually interested and excited about writing something again, we let her run with it and stray outside of the “five paragraph format” drilled into their heads.  Also, because her parents are a pain in the patootie, we made her follow the instructions and find a real lost artifact.  Her original idea was “The Lost Gem of Sweden.”  When internet searches failed to come up with an existing item that could be bent to that description, she found an article with a list including Amber Room instead. 

However, she insisted on referencing a past adventure because:
“I’m putting the Lost Gem of Sweden in there somewhere!"

Not only was she one of the extremely few who did have an actual artifact, but she managed to find one that would correctly lead to an altercation with Nazi’s to recover it.

That’s my girl.


Arkansas Anabelle and the Adventure to Find the Lost Panels

                Hi there. You may not know me, but I am Arkansas Anabelle, the adventurous girl of the South. I have found many objects for American museums, such as the Lost Gem of Sweden. The panels I was looking for on this quest were built in Prussia and given to Russia, but the Nazi army stole them. They were made of amber, mounted on gold, and are worth over $170,000,000. The German castle where they were brought was bombed in 1943, but by then they were secretly transported to a country in the continent of South America. I am here to tell you the tale of how I found them. It may have been risky to enter the Amazon Rainforest in Bolivia, but I had to do it. I had to fight a guard to continue my search. Did I find it, you ask? Well, you’ll just have to read on.

I was strolling through my friend Lilie’s laboratory. She walked up to me and stated that she needed the gold and amber panels but didn’t know where to find them. It was a giant coincidence that I had just learned from my boss in the museum that the panels from the Lost Amber Room were hidden by the Nazi soldiers on the outer edge of the Amazon Rainforest in Bolivia.  I told her I knew where the objects were and that I would go retrieve them. Some would go to Lilie and the rest will be split between the panels’ artist’s home country, Denmark, and my base, the museum.

                I planned my several flights from Arkansas to the Guayaramerin Airport. When I reached my destination, I trudged onwards through the Amazon with my pack that contained a telephone, an axe, some string, and many items to protect me from wild animals. When I reached the edge of the rainforest it was 11:55pm.  Almost midnight I thought. Taking some branches, my string, and twigs, I built myself a hut. Whenever the birds started to chirp, I would be ready to continue my quest for the priceless panels.

                As I awoke, the sun was just beginning to rise. I grabbed my gear and walked a yard or two. When I stepped on dry sand, I noticed a giant trap door in plain sight. I turned to open it, when a young, skinny guard pushed me over. He was in a uniform that was so sandy and dusty that I could only tell what he was wearing when an old Nazi walked by and shook his hand. That soldier’s uniform was not so dirty. With a bloody lip and a cut near my spine, I took out my axe that I used to cut through the rainforest and scared the soldier away! Scaredy cat I thought. To get the old man away, I decided to throw a few punches at him to chase him off. It worked! I heaved open the trap door and climbed in. Inside, along with other treasures were the gold and amber panels, laid flat on the ground in stacks of two or three. I pictured the panels tall, but not as big as they really were. They were huge! I called the museum and told them to send two cargo helicopters and one passenger helicopter to take the panels back to Arkansas.

                When the helicopters arrived, I loaded half the panels onto one cargo helicopter and the other half onto the other one, which was traveling to the panels’ artist’s home country, Denmark. I sat down in the passenger helicopter and off I went. As soon as I returned to Arkansas, I told the pilot of the cargo helicopter to give me a few of the panels and leave the rest there at the museum. I called a museum truck to come pick up the panels and me. When I reached Lilie’s lab, I slid the panels down her cellar door on the outside of her laboratory and finally, I asked her why she needed them. This was her response: “I’ll use them to make a chamber, since it’ll help me find out more about what happened in The Amber Room, such as: Who used these panels? and What other artifacts could be hidden?. After all, I discovered that the gold and amber panels have the power to record sounds and preserve them. When you want to hear what it has stored, it can repeat it. This will only happen if you shine a UV light onto the panels and make a series of sounds that were thought to be a magic spell when they were made in the early 1700s. I don’t know the “spell”, though. Arkansas Anabelle, can you go on an adventure to find what it is?” As you may have predicted, I accepted.

                I had to go on a dangerous journey through the Amazon and fight some guards, just to go down a large trap door. The good side of it all was that I found the panels of the Lost Amber Room, which, as you know, was what I was aiming for. I learned that the panels have special powers and I will find out how to activate them. It was a fun adventure, though, don’t you think? I am Arkansas Anabelle, and don’t you ever forget that.

The end


Antonia said...

LOVE your rant about education. Double love Arkansas Anabelle. Someone is doing a great job as a parent!

Brian said...

Wow! She is an awesome writer!

Kim Luer said...


She really has a way with words.

I totally agree with your rant, as both a parent and (former) teacher, nothing frustrates me more than the standardized tests and the new core curriculum content standards.

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx to all of you for posting, and more thanx for support of my rant.

However, the greatest Thank You for praising my daughter's writing. Mostly for her, but also because it vindicates my being an incredible pain in the wazoo when I urge her on during proofreading and revising.

Grandma said...

What a girl !! What a story !! What a mind !! You take right after Dad. I am so glad you shared this story with Dad's readers. I am so proud to call you my granddaughter. I love you for just being YOU. Grandma

Unknown said...

Great job Annabelle, and not too shabby yourself Jeff!

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx for having the proper priorities, Ben.

Anabelle ;) said...

Thanks to everyone who posted about my story!!!!!! Thanks especially to Grandma for her comment. Thank you daddy for posting this on your blog!

Jeff McGinley said...

Any time baby girl! Thanx for filling in for one again.

Anabelle (as in Arkansas) said...

If anyone finding this somehow nowadays is wondering...gee...shouldn't Anabelle deserve financial compensation for the 2021 hit film Red Notice? The answer is yes. These panels were my life. Arkansas Anabelle deserved a feature film. Come find me. I am still down.

Jeff McGinley said...

Man, I thought I complained a lot over bad superhero movies. You should have heard her when we watched this.
She really predicted the plot though.