This is a comment by James Love on the post “Nobody Has a Normal Life“.
“Part of what you are talking about is a matter of perspective. Since I was very young I refused to follow the role models. When I first went to school I was overwhelmed. I was an only child and now I had a whole room full of kids to play with. Wow!, I thought. Kindergarten was years behind, so I failed the first grade. But at the same time I found out about something I loved, reading. Seriously, but books were in short supply in my little mountain town.
“When I was about seven my parents bought a Compton’s Encyclopedia. They have lots of pictures. It had dinosaurs. But also it was written on a newspaper or eight grade level. So, that made me stretch. In the fifth grade I was told that I couldn’t possibly understand what a book on nuclear energy was saying because the teacher couldn’t understand the book. At the same time, I got confused with math. (Ah, new math and algebra, oh boy.) So, when my son started to do calculus I just smiled and said, ‘If you are enjoying it, go for it.’
“It got really funny when I reached Jr. High because the school was turning drones for the paper plant. In one class the teacher wanted to encourage us to read by having use to fill out a note card with information about the books we had read. Well, our little library had dozens of picture books that were about thirty pages long with only one or two lines of print describing what was in the picture. It was no problem to skim 6 or 8 of these a night. In a couple of weeks I had a stack of cards half an inch thick and didn’t have to do any more of the silly cards.
“When I was about twelve my aunt moved to a college campus. When I was fourteen I started to walk to the book rental store when I got bored. The reason: cheap books. I could get books for 50 cents to a dollar and they were stretching my knowledge level again. I loved the subjects. About a year later I was told I had to be tested to make sure I could read well. ‘Why?’ was my immediate response, ‘I’m already reading college texts.’ But beaurocrats had to know, yep blew the top out.
“Another time a teacher kept trying to force us to think that there were no more Renaissance men. About two years ago I learned that I’m a synergist. I deal on global concept levels. It’s a new field of study, RIGHT!
“If you don’t fit the molds, that’s wonderful. Celebrate it!”
Photo credit: Flickr / Ian Wilson