Mystery May
The Mystery of the Fifth Window, Part One

The Mystery of the Fifth Window, Part One
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.18

     challenging words:    continuum, gold-flecked, homey, reverie, theoretical, time-space, waif, wormhole, phenomenon, looming, presentation, teaching, grad, mathematical, chaotic, existence
     content words:    Professor Bean, Golden Medal, Quantum Physics, When Professor Bean

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The Mystery of the Fifth Window, Part One
By Colleen Messina

1     Professor Bean was an odd fellow. His hairstyle mimicked the great Albert Einstein's. The difference was that his hair was luxurious and black instead of shades of gray. However, even though he had a rumpled appearance, his mind worked like a meticulous Swiss clock. His day-to-day life outside of his research was chaotic, but Professor Bean was a genius in his field.
2     When Professor Bean talked about quantum physics, people in the field took note. Professor Bean's goal was to win the university's Golden Medal of Science. This award had two parts. First, it came with a prestigious opportunity for publication of the research. There was also an additional $10,000 prize. This cash prize would ensure that the professor could carry on his wormhole research by purchasing additional equipment for experiments.
3     Professor Bean worked on his theory in between teaching classes. His office was on the second floor of an old house on campus. The university had purchased some old Victorian houses close to the campus and used them as office buildings. Professor Bean and some of the other older professors enjoyed the homey atmosphere of these houses. He often shared a cup of tea with his best students in the large kitchen at the back of the house.
4     The professor's small office suited him perfectly. Two large windows let golden light stream in and bathed the room in a warm glow for much of the day. Piles of papers littered the professor's desk, but he knew exactly where to find everything. Thick leather volumes about physics made the bookshelves practically groan in protest. The cluttered office was the perfect environment for the birth of theories that seemed like sci-fi movie material.
5     When Professor Bean wasn't working on his theories, he was often helping his students. Students who needed extra help from the professor for his courses could come into the old house at any time. They climbed the central staircase to the second floor and had to knock loudly to get the professor's attention. Only then would he come out of his mathematical reverie and answer the door.
6     Tap, tap, BOOM. The last determined knock made the door shake.
7     "Professor, are you there?" asked a timid voice.
8     "Yes, come on in," said Professor Bean in a slightly annoyed tone. It was 3:30 P.M. on a Monday, and he didn't usually have many students come in until later in the week.

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