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Volume 2 #11 July
newsletter about music reminded me of a story.
Years ago when
I was teaching a bunch of boys in junior high school, I
had a big, tough kid that nobody else wanted. He was dyslectic,
so when I asked for him the administration was only too
glad to turn him over. He was supposed to be learning math
as well as reading with me, so I got a bunch of Cuisenaire
rods and dumped them on the desk and let him fool around
with them for a few minutes while I did something else
with the other student.
When I went back
to him he had made a beautiful construction with what looked
like four towers in the corners and a “building” in
the middle. This was a kid right out of the slums, so I
wasn’t thinking when I laughed and said, “Wow,
that looks just like the Taj Mahal!”
“It IS the
Taj Mahow,” he said indignantly. Somewhat startled,
I asked him where he had heard about the Taj Mahal, and
he said that his mother had it on a calendar at home and
it was the most beautiul building in the world.
So the kid was
artistic, and a little investigating on my part turned
up the information that he had a beautiful singing voice.
Well, I figured I knew what to do to tame this one while
I got him over his dyslexia and eased his anger at the
world. Clearly he needed to take an extra music class,
join chorus, and have an art period added to his schedule.
While he was excelling in these activities, I would take
on his dyslexia so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed
by bad reading and spelling.
To my surprise,
the administration went along with this plan. His music
teacher was also the director of the chorus and a wild
woman who brooked no interference with anything she said.
The second day of music class, he was standing up when
she came in and didn’t sit down when the rest of
the kids did.
DOWN” she barked at him.
When he didn’t,
she marched down the aisle to push him down into his seat.
But when she got close, he simply moved his desk between
them so she couldn’t touch him. Unfortunately it
didn’t just slide: it tipped over and fell with a
thud on the lady’s instep, breaking it!
So there went
music and chorus. He was transferred to an “alternate” school
for bad boys, where there was no music, no art, no chorus,
and no special reading program. And certainly no pictures
of the Taj Mahow.
I have often
wondered what became of him and where he is now. Maybe
I shouldn’t ask.
I haven’t got an idea in my head. My jumping jack has quit for the year,
I am about to head to a beautiful lake in Maine for a week to join my children
and grandchildren, and all I can think of is what to stuff in the car.
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|Archives (2001 files in .doc format):
|May 2003 - Vol. 2,
2002 - Vol. 1, #9
2003 - Vol. 2, #8
2002 - Vol. 1, #8
2003 - Vol. 2 #7
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2003 - Vol. 2, #5
2002 - Vol. 1, #6
2002 - Vol. 2, #4
2001 - Vol. 1, #5
2002 - Vol. 2, #3
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2002 - Vol. 2, #2
2001 - Vol. 1, #3
2002 - Vol. 2, #1
2001 - Vol. 1, #2
2002 - Vol. 1, #11
2001 - Vol. 1, #1
2002 - Vol. 1, #10