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{Straight From the Heart}   *A "D Minus"*  1/9/01


If you enjoy this free daily email service, I encourage you to
spread the word to family and friends and see if they might
want to join, that we may bring inspiration into the lives
of many!  If you are not on the list and this has been passed
along to you, join us by sending a blank email to:

I appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism, so feel free to
write me (Michael T. Powers) and let me know what you think!

Just joined us and want to see all the past stories we've run? 
Visit our inspirational website at:
Straight From the Heart


We have another great story by author Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
If you have not purchased his book yet, you are missing out on
one of the greatest reading experiences of your life...
I guarantee it!

A "D Minus"

By Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

I remember my Landon Junior High School seventh grade math teacher's
name very well. It was "Mr. Young" and he stood out because the kids use
to make fun of him because he was missing one of his fingers and always
pointed at students with his middle finger.
I was not very good in school anyway and English and Math were my worst
two subjects. There was just something wrong with me, inside my head and
no matter how hard I tried I just could not figure out why I could not
understand what all the other kids found so easy to learn. I don't think
that there was ever a day that I went to school that I was not afraid
and scared.
One day I was told by Mrs. Winters, the head matron of the Children's
Home Society Orphanage that if I got one more "E" on my report
card that I would be taken to the Juvenile Court in down town
Jacksonville, Florida and that she would tell the judge to send me away
to the big prison for kids.
I tried real hard for weeks and weeks to learn how to multiply and do
fractions and compound things. But I just couldn't understand how to
make different parts of numbers into whole things. I really tried too,
but my brain just couldn't do it no matter how hard I tried.
The day before report cards were to come out I knew that Mr. Young would
give me an "E" grade just like he always did, because no matter how hard
I tried I just could not understand anything that he talked about in
math class.
After class ended I went up to Mr. Young and I told him that the
orphanage was going to send me to the big prison if I got another "E"
grade on my report card. He told me that there was nothing that he could
do because that would be unfair to all the other kids if he gave me a
better grade than I had actually earned.
I smiled at him, turned and walked towards the door and then I stopped.
I turned around, looked at Mr. Young and I said "Mr. Young you know how
all the kids make fun of you because you're missing your finger?" He just
looked at me, moved his mouth to one side like he was biting the inside
of his gum and he did not say a word. "They shouldn't do that to you
because you can't help not having a finger Mr. Young. Just like I can't
help not being able to learn numbers and stuff like that", I said. He
said not a word as he looked down at his desk and began grading papers.
The next day when I got my report card I tucked it into my school book
and on the school bus I opened the report card envelope and I looked at
my grades which read: Geography "B+", Mechanical Drawing "C-", English
"D-", History "C-", Gym "B+", Art "C", Math "D-".
That "D-" math grade was the most favorite grade that I ever received in
my whole entire life. Not because I didn't get sent to the big prison
for kids. It was because I knew that someone in the world finally
understood what it was like for me to be missing a finger inside my

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

Send Roger an email and let him know what you thought of his story!
Roger Dean Kiser Sr. and his wife Judy have been married for five years
and live in Brunswick, Georgia. They have four cocker spaniels (Lady,
Prozac, Precious and Little Bit), a large chow named Cody, as well
as Roger's aquarium with fifteen tiger barbs. Roger loves to fish
(catch and release) on his small fishing boat but rarely went out
the last year or so as he spent most of his time working on his book
"ORPHAN", which hit bookstores in December, as well as working on
child abuse issues, about ten to fifteen hours a day.

You can purchase Roger's book, "ORPHAN"
in major book stores or order from at:

If you want to read more of his stories, check out our archives at:
Straight From the Heart

From the EMail Box:

From: (Marsha Boinski)

Dear Michael,
Today I lost my friend, companion of 12 years. Kalega in
polish means, friend. My husband and I moved to a new town 12 years ago.
While getting the local paper one day, there was a small puppy outside,
someone had left him there. I felt so sorry for it, asked my husand if
we could take it home. We did, and he
was named Kalega.He was a German Sherpard , Very smart and loving, loved
being with us.Today, sadly he was hit and killed by a car.We buried him
in the yard he always loved to guard He was BOSS of the neighborhood and
will be sorely missed by all.  
Marsha Boinski

I received this email recently and just wanted to share it with everyone.
Since writing the story about the "The Boys of Iwo Jima," I have received
hundreds and hundreds of emails from around the world, most of which have
made me more aware of the incredible sacrifices that have been made, and are
being made by those in the military.  This particular email touched my heart and I
wanted to pass it along to all of you....
From: (MaryAnn Gramig)

Dear Mr. Powers,
Your email about the D.C. field trip and the Iwo Jima monument was forwarded to me by a friend as I am sure it has been the world over.  You see, I am the wife of an Army officer in Korea.  My husband lives and works 5 miles from the most tense border in the world between North and South Korea.  This is our chosen lifestyle to serve our country as a family.  At times, it is discouraging when we hear politicians arguing over giving soldiers a pittance pay raise while they continue to send them the world over as the global police. They leave families behind for months, even years at a time on a regular basis. Some of my husband's soldiers qualify for food stamps because their pay is so low.   Instead of valuing their work and dedication by paying them a fair wage the WIC dispersement program was just modified to include more of those unable to make ends meet.  And congress wonders why we are having the retention problem we are.  The list of reasons are too numerous to count.  These boys and men are just as dedicated as those of WW II.  The morale is low and a concern to  men, like my husband, who as the operations/planning officer for his air assault battalion, writes the mission plan that these soldiers may have to execute someday in combat on behalf of a nation where the average citizen does not even realize we are still over here.  I say all this to simply say thank you to you for helping educate and instill respect and pride in these youngsters for the United States Armed Forces and the men and women who have devoted their lives and given their lives to her cause of freedom.  Thank you for teaching them that "Freedom is not free."

A proud Army wife,
MaryAnn Gramig

Yongsan Army Garrison
Seoul, S. Korea  


Thought For The Day:

"Most of man's troubles comes from his inability to be still." - Blaise Pascal

Verse for the Day:

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be
exalted in the earth." - Psalm 46:10

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Chasing the cat is a lot more fun than actually catching it."

Parent's Thought For The Day:

"Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that allow their children to come
back home." - Bill Cosby

Coach's Thought For The Day:

"If you chase two rabbits, both will escape."

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One went to Hollywood and became
a famous actor. The other stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted
to much. The second one, naturally, became known as the lesser of two weevils."

\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but
\_\/\ \   Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live for the Son
   \_\/   of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 

The copyrights to the stories that appear in SFTH are owned by the
authors and are used with their permission.  This email may be forwarded
in its entirety, but please do not cut and paste the stories to be used
elsewhere unless you have contacted, and been given permission,
by the individual writer.  Thanks!

Video Imagery (Michael's Video Production Business.)

"I thought of you first after my family sat down to watch the video we gave
them. They loved it, to say the least!  Within thirty seconds my mom was
crying and my dad did too.  They said it was the best Christmas gift we could
have given them!!  You did such a beautiful job!  They were so surprised and so
touched---they really, really, really loved it.  Thanks for helping to make it so
special to us all.  My mom mentioned how the songs were perfect for the
video too!  Thanks again!"
Kelli  (    College Station, TX

Let me make you a video from your pictures or home movies!
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