• Member Since 3rd Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Feb 24th, 2023


I am a conglomerate of Engineeriological and Writeological forces with a Ponypreneurial spirit.


A Cutie Mark is meant to represent the personality and special talent of each pony that has one. Cheerilee's flowers symbolize her desire to help her students bloom, and the smiles represent the cheer that she hopes to bring to their lives.

At least...that's what she tells everypony who asks.


Chapters (4)
Comments ( 299 )


She realises she should start treating her students like her flowers and cut them back, and decides to put on a play where she kills each one of them in extremely painful ways and somehow never gets caught.

Never mind, no one would read that anyway.

Liking the story so far, have to add to my ever growing list of tracked stories.


689355 I got similar idea too :pinkiecrazy:

The story seems nice, can't wait for new chapters :rainbowlaugh:

one of those stroies that sadly change your views about a certain character and will never be the same but is so good you cant reisist reading ! :pinkiehappy::eeyup:

And favorited keep it up

I've always considered Cheerilee to be a pretty bad teacher, now I can headcannon a reason for it.


hrmm, that would make a great grimdark story. maybe you should call it "cheerilee's garden"

Awesome story so far m8, i feel you really caught the true personality of Cheerilee. Great work, keep it up!

Congrats on making it on Equestria Daily!

ooh nicely written

I absolutely love it. The dialogue, the character behavior, everything, it's all spot on and very engaging.

I demand moar, good sir.

Fantastic stuff. I love Cheerilee anyway, so anything with her in it gets points by default. The fact that this was really good was just bonus.

One thing I noticed, as an Education major: the school district probably wouldn't be forcing teachers to follow specific lesson plans; even under No Child Left Behind, teachers (except for first- and maybe second-years) make their own. Instead, they'd be forcing Cheerilee to stick to a pacing guide, which lays out what she has to teach and when. (She might also have to submit her lesson plans to the Headmaster a week or two ahead of time. Seeing as he's clearly a Jerk Principal type, he'd then be able to gripe at her for variating from them.)

Just some stuff to consider. And, of course, things could definitely work different in Equestria. :raritywink:

Wow, that was great. And really long too. :heart: me a good long story. Can't wait for chapter two!

That story hit me kind of hard, actually. I just took a suicide prevention workshop not all that long ago, and Cheerilee's behaviors in this chapter were... frightening, to say the least. Not to suggest that this is the direction you were going, but it was still scary for me.

At any rate, I feel you covered Cheerilee's depression very well! In fact, I found her to be quite believable. I also like that Twilight is the one to talk to her... it feels right, somehow.

Anyway, you get a like, AND a favorite. I don't favorite very often, by the way... I save those for, you know, my favorites.

Great stuff, TheBrianJ. I don't know your background, but it's almost if you've actually taught in a school setting. Looking forward to seeing how Cheerilee's character is developed.

"Instead, they'd be forcing Cheerilee to stick to a pacing guide, which lays out what she has to teach and when."

I would like to point out, as a practicing teacher, that the intent of the message was what we'd refer to as a pacing guide.

And I would also like to say, as a practicing teacher, best of luck. In case your department is feeding you butterflies and rainbows you need to understand your first year is going to be rough. Really rough. If teaching is something you want to do, you can make it through. You'll learn more about yourself and the profession (and the pedagogy stuff) in that year than during your stay in the department. Once again, I wish you the best of luck.




Hearing someone say a story I wrote is "perfect"...wow, that's quite the compliment. Thank you!


Yeah, I'm gonna play the "Things are different in Equestria" card here, haha.


I can absolutely 100% guarantee you that there is no suicide/death in this fic, nor in ANY fic I plan on writing, for two reasons. One, suicide is a very, very serious and deep issue that I don't want to touch. Two, it is such an important, scary issue that I do not believe I could really cover the topic in a strong enough way. In fact, I was going less for Depression and more for Anxiety in this chapter...something that I have struggled with my whole life.

In fact, if it was up to me, the tag on this story would be "Semi-Sad" rather than Sad, because I feel "Sad" implies that it's going to just be depressing from start to finish...and that's simply not my style. I'm too big of a Cheerilee fan to do that to the poor pony :heart:


Oh, I totally realize this! I just wanted to point out how this story made me feel, based on my own recent experiences. For the record, when I say recent, I mean yesterday. So it was still fresh in my mind when I read this. It was just a bit of a personal freak out :twilightsmile:


"I don't know your background, but it's almost if you've actually taught in a school setting"

I graduated college 2 years ago with my bachelors degree....in Mechanical Engineering. Yeah...a little different than teaching, haha.

Thank you so much for your comments!


I appreciate it. I'm fortunate enough to have grown up in a teaching family, and to have had plenty of professors more than willing to share Dire Warnings of the Future with us aspiring educators, so I know just enough to know that most of what I know can't possibly be enough to know what I'm doing. For added bonus fun, I'll probably be spending my first year or two teaching in California, right about the same time that whatever reforms NCLB undergoes kick in in 2014. :facehoof:


I'm sorry, I can believe that talking, pastel-colored ponies live in a world where all aspects of the weather are controlled by pegasi and the sun and moon are raised by immortal god-queens, but to suggest that the Equestrian public education system does not operate exactly as the American one truly breaks my suspension of disbelief.


@Kavonde: I'm an ed graduate as well. I wanted to kill that headmaster. Despite how 'bad' Cherilee might be on screen (which, really, hasn't seemed too terrible for a primary school teach), that headmaster.., much worse. Not caring about the purpose of education, indeed...

Please explain this story to me its 11 :00 pm and reading this only moms cell
my brain isn't taking things as fast oh mind moms cell
part in 12.:facehoof:

Oh dear. I don't know if I can sum this up.

This story is really intriguing. Going into the life of a pony that has so much info about and going as far as to question her cutie mark... I hope you know what you're doing, theBrianJ. After all, so many questions pop up with this fanfic. Why is Cheerilee hiding what she really does? Is somepony trying to find her, or is she ashamed of her talent? I know that it can't be that there aren't any job opportunity problems, because the castle gardeners would love to have her... :heart:

Hmm. I have high hopes that this fanfic will satisfy my cravings for an adventuresome story with a new outlook on a near fan favorite.

As a teacher, she's doing a better job than the headmaster's idea would be.

Paleo Prints gives this Cheerilee fic the School Daze stamp of approval. Well done!

Very well-written and engaging.... I missed the 'incomplete' flag before reading, and the pacing had me thinking this was going to be a one-shot. Track'd!

(EQD brought me here)

This is pretty interest grabbing so far. I'm with Twilight. Why is Cheerliee so embarrassed?

Guess we'll have to wait and see!

689355 Nah, that's a terrible idea. Bronies hate stories about murdering innocent children! :trollestia:

This is great. Wonderful characterization, and had me at the edge of my seat wondering what her cutie mark was. I was a bit disappointed when it was just gardening, and really confused why that made her so ashamed, but I suppose that'll be explained in the next chapter!


... Wow - Better than expected :fluttercry:

Awaiting Chapter 2 :)

Agreed. As a teacher myself, I'd like to take a moment to explain the why of that.

The thing is, constantly hammering students with subjects like grammar bores them to tears. When they're bored, they don't pay attention. When they don't pay attention, they get bad grades. A good teacher can alleviate that by spicing up the boring lessons with tangents, class discussion and inventive angles, but it's still a good idea to take a day off every now and then to teach them something exciting. That wakes them up, gets them interested, and primes them to pay attention next time when you go back to the 'proper' subjects.

Cheerilee is doing an especially good job here in focusing her exciting lesson on creatures of the Everfree Forest. This is important, immediately useful information for her students considering that they all live right on the edge of the bloody place.

You.... You are not allowed to be finished.... moar.... MOAR!!!!!:pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::eeyup:

Usually I don't like reading long chapters/stories, and I get bored with them and go to something else, but this story has captured my interest, despite there being 8,000+ words in just the first chapter. I can't wait for the next chapter! :pinkiehappy::heart::raritywink::twilightsmile:

I really like this first chapter. I felt Cheerilee's emotional roller coaster as I read it and I'm looking forward to updates.


I read Cheerilee's Garden, and yes I did think of that when reading this. lol

Well, this is new. Hmm

more please.

I hope this goes for more than 3-4 chapters though, love the writing style....

Time to cha\eck out your other stories

EDIT: You have none... : (


Yeah, no other stories....yet. Don't worry, I have a lot of ideas in my own personal story queue.

As far as SF goes, as I mentioned in my recent blog post, the plan is, has, and will always be 4 chapters. I know exactly where I want this story to go, and I think that trying to stretch it out further would take away from my plans. Sorry.

But rest assured, more stories are coming.

Nice! This is a good... oh, heck, who am I kidding? MOAR!

Funny how I write stories with horrible curses, supernatural clusterfudges, and apocalyptic scenarios. Yet still, all of my outrageous attempts at pulling at the heartstrings are pathetic and artificial compared to the simple circumstance you've naturally constructed in this fic. It really sucks having a bad day, and that's something any reading marsupial can relate to. You captured the essence of "this sucks" very well, and it's super easy to feel for Cheerilee, especially in the moments where she plans to do something to distract herself but then dashes the idea of it as soon as her day gets even worse. I also like how she goes through the crap that ponies had said to her over and over again in her head. True story, bro.

There's a reason I write so much crap fiction; I kind of want to escape real life. The kind of stuff I do for a living involves me pretending to know what I'm doing and patching up all of my mistakes with pretentious lengths of metaphorical duct tape. I think a lot of people live that way, and very intensely--if not secretly--wish to live in another fashion, a truer fashion, a more honest fashion. But for some flimsy excuse of a reason, we never convert to that alternative existence. What holds us back? Fear? Anxiety? Broken horseshoes?

I'm almost a year-long brony, and still I discover with each passing month the extent to which I lurve Applejack. That said, it's hard to see her getting all up in Cheerilee's grill. Still, her anger and even near-threatening stance is totally believable. She's uber protective over Apple Bloom, and unlike other characters she's reticent to be subtle or graceful about such emotions. Instinctually, I'd say that I didn't like how you presented Applejack, but then I realize that it's completely understandable and realistic. It's times like this when I look at my own stories and realize that I tend to have the habit of writing characters as perfect and faultless, and unfortunately the real world doesn't work that way. So, long story short, kudos for showing Applejack as a legitimate and forgiveable force for Cheerilee to reckon with.

As for Mr Headmaster McDoucheHooves, I fear that we've only ever seen one side of his... uhm... one-sidedness. The degrees to which Cheerilee's day was going sour needed something extreme, and he was it. I kind of wished that he had some sort of redeemable factor, but that's not what's important. His one-dimensional nature was necessary to help us reflect on Cheerilee's three-dimensional thinking, so I suppose it's a necessary artifice for him to be the utter definition of one-trick asshole. This comes into play when Twilight logically writes him off for his jerkishness, but it still doesn't solve the matter of Cheerilee's ennui over her cutie mark, which is the heart of story's conflict.

So, yeah. Good stuff. Even better good stuff, or mega better good stuff. Have you converted me into a patron member of the "Cheerilee is best pony" club? I'm afraid you'd have to paint her mint green, shove a horn in her head, and throw on a hoodie to make that happen. But at least I've acquired a new found respect for her. It's beautiful irony that a pony with smiling cutie marks would want to do anything but smile, and I feel like you've created a perfect opportunity to fully explore that here.

Shine on you crazy diamond


P.S.: Uncle Paul Tried growing flowers, but then they turned into two bit whores.

Forgive my wait, as just now I've finally gotten around to actually reading this.

Smiling Flowers is actually the first Cheerilee-fiction I have read a complete chapter of, because every other depiction I've seen of her has her as either being monotone, over reactive, or being the pretzel of the bag that happened to get a little more salt than the others. You made me, basically a hater of Cheerilee, like Cheerilee.

And I was hooked from the start. I was actually looking forward to Cheerilee's presentation within the first few paragraphs, almost as if part of the class. It's been awhile since such a thing has happened to me, and that reason alone is why I praise this. Not only that, but in 8k words you established relationships, barriers, future plot elements, and a main focus of the story.

Fantabulous work and I cannot wait for more.

My first thought when Cheerilee led Twilight into the Forest was that Twilight was getting murdered. After all, nopony can know about that outburst. :pinkiecrazy:

Clearly, I've been reading too many MST's.


Hmm... but no one would want to read it if she actually cut them back like her flowers. I mean, there is only so much you can get out of pruning shears. How could you possibly describe no less than half a dozen murders without the reader getting bored?

Sooo... when is this gonna update?:ajbemused:


Next few days, tops. If things go well, later tonight!!

Unfortunately, this annoying thing called "Real Life" got in the way of my story about pretty ponies, so I wasn't able to really work on it until the past few days. I'm finishing the chapter up today and will be running it through a few reviewers, then posting it.

Sorry! I know, it took way too long to get chapter 2 ready. I promise, the wait for chapter 3 won't be as long.

Can't wait for more !

hurry up please.

Oh cool, a new chapter! I've been waiting for this!

More to come once I've read it :P

And now I have!

I really like this story... it touches the cutie-mark Fate vrs. Freedom dilemma with maturity and thoughtfulness.

Wow, Brian, you've been featured on the top bar! Congrats! :yay:



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