Friday, May 23, 2008

Cookie Crumbs: To tell or not to tell

We're at a transition meeting between Jake's elementary school and the high school he'll be going to in September. It's sort of a standard procedure to present the kids in the learning assistance/special education department to the new team that will be working with him.

Teacher #1: "So what does Jake like to do in his spare time?"

Wait, do I tell them he loves to read university textbooks? Will they believe me? Or will they think I'm a brag hag? Better play it cool.

me: "uhhh...he loves to read."

Teacher #2: "Oh! Great! Fiction or non?"

Me: "He loves fiction, but mostly non-fiction." (he signs out whole sections of medical journals out from the library, actually. My brain hurts just thinking about it.)

Teacher #1: "That's fantastic! Anything in particular?"

Me: "right now it's medicine, chemistry, that sort of thing."

Teacher #2: "Good! He may really enjoy (names series that is really below Jake's interest level)."

Me: "um....actually.... (get ready for it, it's coming, I can't believe I'm saying this....) he's a bit beyond that. His favorite thing to do is read science textbooks."

Look of complete bewilderment from all.

Teacher #1: "Textbooks?"

Me: "Like, if you handed him a Chemistry 12 text he'd probably devour it at bedtime, just for fun. Right now he's reading the medical journals from the library. Then he'll follow us around for the next few days spouting everything he's learned while we nod and try to look a little bit interested, but we don't understand most of what he's talking about. I mean, our doctor understands and sometimes they have involved conversations, but I don't."

There. I did it. I don't even care if they don't believe me because it's the truth.

Teacher #2: So do grades motivate him?

Me: No, the learning does. His curiosity is all consuming. Completely unstoppable. It's not the grade he wants, it's the knowledge. He will read every book, quiz every person, explore every avenue, until he's satisfied he knows enough. To be honest, it's completely exhausting.

Cue looks of "Holy shit what are we going to do with this kid?" from an entire table of people.

Hell, they haven't even met him yet. I've felt that way for the past 12 years.

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