She could write. It came easy to her, like breathing. There was a voice in her head telling her what words to put down. Like turning on a water faucet, the sentences just came pouring out of her without trying.
One day, in third grade, her class was asked to write a story about pre-historic earth. Louie carefully printed out her story about a large fish-like creature with legs, instead of fins, who came out of the water. He was the first almost-man.
The next day, her teacher called her Mother to ask her where Louie had read about this early fish/man. “She couldn’t have written this on her own,” the teacher said. She accused Louie of copying the story from a book. Louie’s mother was upset Louie had likely stolen her story from magazine or book she checked out from the Bookmobile.
“But I made it up,” Louie cried. “It’s just a story I made up!” Louie’s mother shook her head; she didn’t quite believe Louie, but she also knew Louie didn’t like science. She knew Louie liked reading stories about children and their adventures. Louie’s favorite book then, and later, was The Boxcar Children. (And not without good reason). Astronomy or Geography or Biology never interested her. Never.
The fact the teacher thought Louie stole her story from a book was like a slap to her face. Yes, she was overly-sensitive, but she resented anyone thinking she would cheat at writing. Writing came too easy to steal. The teacher’s false suspicion was a bigger deal in Louie’s mind than any one else’s – including her teacher and her mother. Any way, there were more important things going on in school then. Some students in third grade classes were about to be tested for a 4th grade class called “Gifted and Talented.” The city schools were experimenting to see if they should teach children with high IQs and high abilities in separate classes. Louie didn’t give a fig about the test or the classes.
Unfortunately for Louie, she broke her right arm a week before the test – when she she was climbing over a picket fence and landed on her wrist. The break was so bad, they put her to sleep in the hospital while they set it. Louie recovered all right. She even learned she could use her left hand for some tasks. Which meant when the IQ tests came around, she marked the circles on the test with a #2 pencil held in her left hand. This took extra time, but what did Louie care?
To her amazement (and likely her parents’), Louie scored high enough, even left-handed, to claim a spot in the Gifted English program. Which was a kind of “gift” to Louie. It meant she could read – and even write – much more. And, maybe, she thought, by this time, next year, her new teacher would believe Louie was smart enough not to cheat.
(c) 2015 by S.A.. Kravetz, The Bully Path.com