Dictionary 30. A Thoughtful Gift

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Catherine invited Nelson to dinner. Last semester she had been a student in Nelson's grammar class, but she had to drop the class because her son Kendall was having a problem in school. The problem was that he wasn't studying. Catherine decided that Kendall needed more motivation. She would provide that motivation by watching him like a hawk. She would also restrict his use of his Game Boy. He was allowed to play the computer game only on weekends.

Nelson was getting to be an old man. He had been teaching various subjects for almost 40 years. He could have retired 10 years ago, but he loved teaching. He said his students gave him something to look forward to every day. He planned to teach until he dropped dead in the classroom.

Nelson needed to take a little gift to Catherine to show his gratitude for the invitation. He couldn't think of what would be appropriate. Opening his kitchen cabinet, he found the perfect gift—an unopened box of tea. In a kitchen drawer, he found some fresh-looking wrapping paper. He wrapped the box of tea up expertly. Feeling proud of himself, he drove over to Catherine's and rang the doorbell.

He presented his gift. Catherine made a funny face. She said she loved the wrapping paper. Then she unwrapped the tea and made another funny face. "Nelson, I gave this tea to you at the end of last semester, and I wrapped it in this paper!"

Nelson gulped. His face turned red. He told himself he had to be more careful with gifts in the future. Stammering, he apologized to Catherine. She smiled and said, "It's okay. It's the thought that counts, yes?"


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