Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It Could Be Written As A Great Short Story

I'm not a fiction writer.  I wish I was, because I think there's more of a market.  One of the things that happened to me yesterday when I did oral testing for mld (mildly learning disabled) high school students could be written as a good short story.  I don't need fiction when the truth is so compelling.

I've known this high school for over fifteen years.  It has changed a lot, including its location and the staff and of course students.  My memory isn't all that great, and nothing looked familiar, even though I had been in the building once before.  I was happy to find some veteran staff members and newer ones I know, but I didn't see any familiar students.  It's not a popular school with my neighbors.

The long day was winding down.  I had time for one more student before my ride home.  The boy who walked in looked vaguely familiar, as if he could be the brother of someone from the high school I had once taught in.  As I did with all the students, I asked him to write his name on the test booklet but didn't bother trying to read it.  There was no need to know his name until I had to report the grades.  

The English coordinator warned me about him and told me that if he "lists" the answers too quickly I should make him say how he chose them.  There was no need for that, since it was clear that he was seriously and honestly struggling with the material.

He was visibly relieved when he finished the last question:

"Didn't you used to teach in --?"
I took a good look and replied: "I remember you.  You live in -.  I had recommended to your mother that you be transferred to here.  I'm glad to see you.  Good luck!"

True story, of course.

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