This I Believe

Lucy - Van Nuys, California
Entered on June 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the Fabulous Wonderfuls. In 7th grade, I had an English teacher who taught them to me. His name was Robert Clater. At the time, he was just another teacher, making us learn just another self-confidence gimmick so that we would feel better about ourselves in a turbulent middle school world of girl fights and boy problems. The significance of the Fabulous Wonderfuls would not sink in for another year or so. It was in 8th grade that Mr. Clater took over the direction of our fall high school musical. His choice of musical was “A Chorus Line,” a play I had never heard of but was more than willing to participate in. I was a lowly eighth grader, and I couldn’t dance very well, so I never set foot on stage after auditions were over. I became a pit singer, singing from backstage so that the dancers onstage could exert themselves and their singing could still be heard. It was one of the best experiences of my short life, and it was during my tenure as a pit singer that I began to realize the significance of the Fabulous Wonderfuls. Before every performance, Mr. Clater stood before us and told us what a great job we were doing. Then, he asked us to do it again, the exact same way. When he was done, the entire cast held hands, and recited-

Fabulous Wonderful

Fabulous Wonderful

Fabulous Wonderful

Yes!

Fabulous Wonderful

Fabulous Wonderful

I am the best!

Fabulous Wonderful

Fabulous Wonderful

I can do anything!

Fabulous Wonderful

Fabulous Wonderful

High, low, in between!

We did it three times, getter faster each time. We jumped up and down as we said it, getting pumped up for the show. Our voices filled the auditorium, and for the minute or two it took to recite, we were invincible.

Two years later, I am no longer a lowly eighth grader, and Mr. Clater no longer teaches at our school. However, his legacy lives on in us, and in our Fabulous Wonderfuls. We continue to recite them before every performance. The players have changed a little, but the message remains the same. Together, we are invincible.

My favorite recitations of the Fabulous Wonderfuls, however, are not the ones we do when we are holding hands in the auditorium before a show. My favorite Fabulous Wonderfuls are the ones we do when we can think of nothing else. They have happened in the oddest places, but they have always helped. Whether they were recited because my friends and I were about to get on the scariest roller coaster we had ever seen, or because one of us was going to cry after messing up an important line in this year’s show, or merely because we were sitting in a restaurant at 11 o’clock at night and we needed them– the Fabulous Wonderfuls have always brought us together, and have given us hope.

The Fabulous Wonderfuls have given me more than I can possibly explain. If there is one thing I want to do in life, it is to give them to someone else. I write this with the hope that someone, somewhere, will take comfort in them. I write this with a deep belief that someone will.