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Some Finalists
in the
October 2003
Math Cats
Writing Contest:

Many of the October 2003 contest entries were lost in a computer crash just after the finalists had been selected. Most of the finalist entries were lost in the computer crash. (Luckily we still have three finalist entries which were submitted again after we announced the crash and one finalist among snail mail entries.) We were not able to choose a winner; it would not be fair to those whose entries were lost. The finalist entries below are shared in random order, since we did not try to pick a winner. They will all receive finalist certificates. We apologize deeply to the students whose entries were lost in the computer crash.

A World Without Numbers
by David M.
grade 5, Philip G. Vroom School, Melissa Geis's class, Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.

       One day a number 3 woke up. He looked at the clock and he saw a number missing. The number 3 was gone! Number 3 went outside to buy his breakfast, where he saw all kinds of different numbers. He saw 10, 11, 12, 100, 2, 4, 5, and 80, but he didn't see one number 3. Number 3 was now afraid to go in the store alone. He tried to be brave and just went inside.
       Number 3 saw all 5's. They all had beards and hats. They all looked funny, so Number 3 laughed. All the 5's stared at him. A very big number 5 came over to him. He said, "If you laugh one more time you will get kicked out." Number 3 went to the store's owner to pay for his breakfast. He had chocolate, apples with chocolate, bananas with chocolate, and cookies with chocolate.
       When he finished his breakfast, Number 3 went outside and saw a number 4 police officer. Number 3 asked him, "Why am I the only number 3 around here?"
       The police officer said, "What is a 3?"
       "Did you go to preschool and learn your numbers?" asked Number 3.
       The angry number 4 police officer answered, "Yes I did! Now leave me alone or you will go to jail!"
       Nervous Number 3 ran home.
       The next day when Number 3 woke up, all the number 3's were right where they should be. Number 3 rubbed his eyes several times. He was so happy that he hugged all the 3's in his house.
       Number 3 said, "Where in the world have you guys been? I was looking all over for you!"
       They said that they were on vacation the whole time and came back to celebrate Number 3's birthday.

Two-Two of Ballet
by Leanna K.
grade 5, Philip G. Vroom School, Melissa Geis's class, Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.

       On Sunday Mom and Melissa went to the mall. Melissa was going to get a two-two because she was signing up for ballet. When she got to the two-two store she froze. There were so many two-two's all around!!
       Melissa was looking around and Mom kept asking, "Which one are you getting?"
       Melissa responded, "I don't know yet. Let me look around the big store."
       Finally Melissa saw the one. It was a brown two-two with her favorite number on it, "2-2", and it was just the right size.
       Melissa asked Mom, "Can I get this two-two?"
       Mom answered, "No! A pretty girl like you should not have an ugly two-two like that."
       Melissa defiantly said, "If you don't let me get this two-two I won't sign up for ballet!"
       Mom finally caved in, and Melissa was so happy with her new two-two.
       When they got to the register, the sales clerk said, "All the customers purchased this two-two with a different number on it except you. You're the only girl with 2-2."
       Melissa responded, "Well, it's pretty and it has my favorite number on it."
       The sales girl told Melissa that she made a good choice.
       When Mom took Melissa to the "School of Two-Two's" she was very scared that no one would like her new two-two. Mom pushed her inside. Everyone in there froze. Melissa tried to run back out but Mom stopped her. Everyone loved her two-two after all! They wanted to know where she got it from. She shook my head and told them, "No, no, no! You can't get the same one as me."
       Melissa's ballet teacher, Ms. Geis, called everyone over to her. She said, "If we are nice to her, maybe we can all get the two-two." The students thought it was a good idea. One student came up to her and said, "Hi, my name is Nancy. Everyone is going to be nice to you because they think that if they act like your friend you will tell them about the two-two store." Melissa thanked Nancy for telling her this.
       That night Mom took Nancy and Melissa to the two-two store. Nancy and Melissa now have the same two-two, and are great friends.

My Favorite Number 5
by Stephanie G.
grade 5, Philip G. Vroom School, Melissa Geis's class, Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.

       On the morning of my birthday, which is May 5th, I hopped out of bed. I quickly looked at the calendar and noticed that the month of May was missing! The calendar was showing the month of June. It was also missing the numbers with 5 in them. I quickly ran downstairs to tell my mother. She didn't have a clue as to what the number 5 was!!
       It seemed that I was the only one who knew the number 5.
       I said to Mom, "Today is the day of my birthday."
       She told me, "No, it isn't!"
       I asked her, "Well then, when is it?"
       She thought for a moment and suddenly said, "I don't know." How strange!!
       I then looked at all of my pets. I had 3 cats and 2 dogs. I couldn't find one of my cats. Where was our cat Lola? Mom told me that we do not have a cat named Lola, and that we only have 4 pets. I told Mom that we have 5 pets, but she just seemed confused!
       I decided to go back to my room and lay on my bed. I must have fallen asleep because I woke up with Lola licking my face. I got up and looked at the calendar. The date was May 5th!! What a crazy dream I had!! I love the number 5, and never want to see it missing again!

by Sophie T.
age 12, grade 7, Windsor Middle School, Ms. Politte-Downs's class, Barnhart, Missouri, U.S.

       Palindroman, or number eleven, is great! He's great because he changes people's names into palindromes, fights off anagrams, and finds homes for homeless vowels. I love Palindroman!
       One thing Palindroman does is he changes people's names into palindromes. He changes the name so it's spelled the same way forward and backwards. For example, Sophie would be Sophiehpos. Number eleven also makes all parts, first, middle, and last, into palindromes. He also makes one big palindrome out of the first and last names. For example, Stanley Yelnats.
       Another thing Palindroman does is he fights off anagrams. He solves the anagrams. Such as, "he adore the sleep" is "the holes are deep." He also keeps them from forming by adding extra letters. He also protects palindromes from the anagrams. He uses a shield with PM on it for Palindroman.
He also finds homes for homeless vowels. He teaches them that palindromes are the best way to live. He teaches them this at a palindrome school. He brings them to the school and lets them live there. He also lets y's feel loved by letting them join in the palindrome fun.
       As you can see, Palindroman, or number eleven, is great because he makes people's names into palindrome, he fights off anagrams, and he finds homes for homeless vowels. I think number eleven is great, don't you?

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