Just finished another round of testing, this time with the new state assessment for the state of Texas dreamed up by idle bureaucrats; the last one was perfectly O.K. It gave me however a chance to talk to freshmen from all walks of life once they finished testing. It’s amazing how much information and interest a teacher can elicit in a couple of days in open and frank exchanges. As usual, we had 3 hours with nothing to do – nothing allowed of course, except talking, till the gods of education decided to let us go to class for the last period.
Peter (not his name) is 15, with nary a stubble on his pinkish cheeks, and yet he is already a genius with computers. Some teachers don’t even bother with tech support, a very slow and inefficient service; they interrupt a class and ask for him, the teen who can fix anything electronic, whether hard- or software. The incredible story is that he was diagnosed with a severe learning disability and belongs, ipso facto, to special education. I suspect a touch of autism also, though his assessment doesn’t mention it. After all, aren’t we all a bit autistic, a word that means “love of self?”