Unexpected Inspiration

Unexpected Inspiration
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.71

     challenging words:    aquamarine, auburn, chromatic, emerald-green, galvanize, ghastly, gusty, renegade, sojourn, steel-gray, tawdry, tempera, terse, uninspired, wood-paneled, yaks
     content words:    New York City, Metropolitan Museum, Nicholas Roerich Museum, Nicholas Roerich, President Roosevelt

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Unexpected Inspiration
By Colleen Messina

1     Stacy sighed and slouched down into her chair, hoping to disappear from sight. Her green eyes rolled in exasperation as her bald, middle-aged art teacher rambled on about their next project. Stacy wanted to create works of art, not crafts, and the assignment to make a gadget out of shoeboxes seemed like a tawdry imitation of true art.
2     A shrill bell sounded the liberation of the bored high school art class.
3     "And be sure to use a lot of color in your project!" shouted the teacher, as hordes of students exited into the cool, dark hallway.
4     Stacy walked home, enjoying the gusty spring breezes laced with the smell of freshly cut grass. She decided that she would assert herself and figure out how to avoid this ridiculous assignment. Surely, she could negotiate something.
5     "Mom, I'm home," Stacy called, as she burst through the front door. "Can we hop on the bus and take a sojourn into the city this afternoon? I am going crazy in my art class!"
6     "That is a great idea, sweetie. I just finished talking with my clients about the closing date on their house, so I am free this afternoon. Let's go!" Stacy's mom said. She was a real estate agent and loved a spontaneous excursion into New York City.
7     Stacy tucked her auburn hair into an emerald-green beret that perfectly matched her eyes and slipped into a classy tweed jacket. Then she swung a matching fringed scarf over her shoulder. Stacy was pleased with her reflection in the mirror; at least she looked artistic!
8     The creaking, overcrowded bus departed from a nearby street corner. Soon mother and daughter watched the scenery gradually change from lush, manicured lawns to tall skyscrapers poking like black fingers above the smoggy haze of the city. Stacy told her mother all about art class.
9     Stacy was excited when they finally reached the broad stone steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Huge, sporadic flags hung perpendicular to the building, announcing the latest exhibits inside.

Paragraphs 10 to 29:
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