Dear Little Evan, #2

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Dear Little Evan,

You and Kaele just started tutoring sessions with Mrs. Wixon. I know it feels a little weird being the only kids in your class to have her as a teacher. I know that the other kids tease you about it, how they say you aren't very smart. And I know that right now part of you believes them; but that's just because you're a late bloomer. The way schools are set up doesn't work for people who think the way you do. It's one size fits all and the way you think doesn't fit in a box. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you; if anything, it means there is something very special about you and the way you think! It means you're able to come up with new ways of answering questions.  You aren't in Mrs. Wixon's class because you're stupid. You're in Mrs. Wixon's class because you're so smart that most teachers don't know how to teach someone who is smart like you.

 

So have fun in Mrs. Wixon's class. She's a really nice and patient teacher. You and Kaele are lucky to get to be in her class. It's the other kids who are missing out. You don't want to be in Reach class anyway. Mrs. Shultz isn't nice and patient like Mrs. Wixon is, and besides all she's teaching those so called "smarter" kids is big vocabulary words and riddles. Parlor tricks. Mrs. Shultz doesn't know how to teach kids like you, but Mrs. Wixon does! So be sure to learn a lot from her, okay?

 

Someday you're gonna find out that you are great at learning things on your own. It's the way classes are taught that doesn't work. It's not the way you think that's broken. I know you wish you could be in the "smart kid" classes like Nathan, Rachel and Cameron; but take my word for it, someday when all of you guys are big every one of them is going to tell you how smart you are. You will still be friends with them when you get to be big like me, and each and every one of them is going to admire the way you think. 

 

Don't worry about your shoelaces, okay? I think your light-up Velcro shoes are really cool, too! And besides, there's all kinds of smart people who have trouble tying their shoes. Even Albert Einstein struggled to tie his shoes, and he's probably the smartest person who ever lived! You'll figure it out soon, Little Evan. You can count on it.

 

I know you peed your pants the other day because you were too busy playing video games. I know you didn't mean to. I know that it was an accident. I know you're really embarrassed because your sister scolded you when she found out, but you don't have to worry about peeing your pants again for a long time, not until you turn twenty-two. Big Evan ends up wetting his bed because he drank too much water when he was trying to pass a kidney stone. And you know what he did? He cleaned himself up and laughed it off. Everybody has accidents sometimes and that is nothing to be ashamed of. All of these hard things are going to get easier for you soon, just be patient. You can trust me on this.

 

From me to you,

 

Big Evan

 

 

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Starward's picture

This is poignant, intense,

This is poignant, intense, and absolutely magnificent.  Let me say again, more loudly---ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT.  The situation described, the situation that young Evan has to endure, is horrible, and I suspect it still occurs.  (I experienced something similar, not exactly, but another situation of the school system punishing some students---myself included---for thinking outside the box, or thinking differently).  You have written a gut-wrenching account that every parent of every unhappy student ought to read.


Enjoy effulgent days, and exquisite nights,

unto the exultations of Heaven.

Starward

ewbonitz's picture

Stay tuned, Starward. I've

Stay tuned, Starward. I've always dreamed of writing a book and in therapy last night I think I stumbled upon it. There's plenty of trauma where that comes from, but I've decided to dig through the rubbish and polish off the gems for some personal, and hopefully interpersonal healing as well!

Starward's picture

I wish you the utmost success

I wish you the utmost success with constructing and then publishing the book.  I am sure it will help others---to either put their own difficulties into perspective, or to avoid causing such difficulties to others.  My own experience reminds me of the very last line of Annie Proulx's inimitable short story, "Brokeback Mountain," which asserts that what cannot be fixed must be endured.  In my day, I was unable to fix the bullying---bullying done hatefully by peers, and with more of a false "good nature" by teachers and parents---and so had to endure it.  Your book, and whatever you share of it on postpoems, will very likely help others to fix situations so that they do not have to endure the sometime horrific difficulties of those situations.


Enjoy effulgent days, and exquisite nights,

unto the exultations of Heaven.

Starward