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Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Different

You have no idea why you never seem to fit in anywhere. You have known from a young age that there is something different about you. You are not like other children. Your mind  calculates numbers quickly, you can read and write  complex sentence structures, you understand the grammatical structure of Latin-based languages, you sing melodically, you leap over  tall wooden fences, you are intuitive, and you lack any sense of fear.

You are only six years old. Adults are amazed by your all-around brilliance. Your peers think that you are a weirdo. The only reason why they are not harassing you is because you beat the school bully down with your lunchbox during the first week of school. A majority of your classmates see the advantages of hanging out with you. You can help them with their homework, play on their teams during recess,  and  save them from bullies after school.

Through the years, your "superpowers" enable you to build up an army of friends. You have a couple of other friends whom are just like you. These friends also possess "superpowers". You love hanging out with them because they appreciate your different skills. Then, your parents divorce and your world falls apart.

You are forced to leave the idllyic neighborhood with its tree-lined streets and friendly neighbors.

Your new neighbood is in the ghetto. There are shootings every day. You are no longer allowed to go on your treasured bike rides. Those bike rides are where you get your best ideas for inventions. You miss the wind slapping at your face, the music of the birds, and the exilhiration of your feet pounding on the bike pedals.

You fear that your notebooks filled with ideas and inventions will now suddenly become barren. 

More time, passes and you are now in high school. Your mother has managed to move you to a better neighborhood. You are excited to ride your bike again through your new neighborhood. There are cute bike paths and ponds nearby. Your notebook of ideas will be filled again in no time.

Alas, your new high school is rather cliquish, which does not really bother you too much. You will just concentrate on your studies and perhaps teach yourself an Asian based language. You test into honors classes, but you find that the method of teaching in this high school does not complement your style of learning. You had more freedom in your last high school because you were one of the few students not disrupting class.

However, this new school only teaches things one way. There is no room for intuitive learners such as yourself. The teachers at this school do not marvel at your innate ability. They scoff at you because they do not believe that someone can intuitively know algebra. They also do not appreciate your succinct writing style. You can pack in all the facts of a situation in four pages. Unfortunately, most of your teachers require that compostions be at least ten pages.

On the plus side, you have made friends with a couple of people with similair abilities. However, they are not aware of their own abilities. They have been too broken down by growing up in this rigid school district. Your friends come from the other side of the tracks, so the school has no interest in them whatsoever. You have appointed yourself as the leader of this ragtag band of the forgotten. 

You are their mentor and personal cheerleader. You prop them up and throw them out of the nest. Your secret goal is to get the members of your ragtag group up and running before high school graduation. It is the least you can do. You have the inner strength of 100 people. You have survived and thrived through more than your fair share of pain and disappointment.

The problem arises when members of your group become over reliant on your strength and encouragement.

They seek to use you to paper over the cracks in their own psyches.

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