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The Revenge of Mrs. Pott
By Colleen Messina

1     Home economics class was a troublemaker's paradise. Mrs. Bernadette Pott tried to maintain sublime order in her classroom, but her name didn't help her professional life. Her nickname was Berna. The name "Berna Pott" seemed to inspire the inquisitive spunk of some of her students. For example, mischievous Darin Class could imagine all kinds of fun when he saw the well-furnished home economics classroom. Sewing machines! Blenders! The possibilities were endless!
2     Mrs. Pott began teaching in her thorough way. She didn't expect any trouble, and ordinarily the introductory sewing lesson went well. Mrs. Pott carefully gathered her students around her as a mother hen collects her chicks. She showed her students how to thread the bobbin and the needle. Then she demonstrated how to position the cloth, gently push on the foot pedal, and sew a straight seam. Meanwhile, Darin imagined a racecar whirling around a track at an incredible speed because the foot pedal perfectly mimicked the sound of a car!
3     Naturally, Darin was in a competitive frame of mind when Mrs. Pott told everyone to go to his or her machine and prepare to sew a sample square. Darin raced to his machine. When Darin sat down, it just seemed that flooring the foot pedal was exactly the right thing to do. He was quite wrong.
4     The revving sound reverberated throughout the squeaky, clean room with a sickening roar. Other students looked up from their bobbins and gasped as billows of black smoke poured out of the machine. Darin finally lifted his foot from the pedal, but it was too late. The classroom's smoke alarm went off and triggered consecutive alarms throughout the high school. (The principal, a frustrated inventor, had designed the system so that the teachers could move their students with optimum speed. Then the maintenance department could isolate and solve the problem.)
5     Students pushed and shoved in the halls on their way outside. Irascible Berna Pott glared angrily at Darin as she herded her bevy of bobbin-threaders down the hall. She had had a feeling that he was a troublemaker, and she was right! Berna moved her charges outside with precision, and she looked for the principal so she could explain everything. Fire sirens wailed nearby, and the denouement of Mrs. Pott's humiliation was when she spotted a television crew from a local news station. They squatted on the lawn and filmed the mass exodus from the school!

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