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Volume 3 #3 December
Whenever you turn ice into water or water into steam you
have produced what the scientists call a phase change. To
produce a phase change in some material, you have to add
or subtract something, in this case, heat. However, you can
add heat to water endlessly without turning it into steam.
If you add too little or add it too slowly, you may get hot
water, but you won’t get steam until you make a really
dramatic change in the amount of heat you add.
I was mulling this over the other day, looking gratefully
at the sunshine which was producing a phase change in the
snow on my driveway, when one of those AHA!
moments hit me. The phase change idea is an excellent analog for what happens
to a dyslectic student if he has his left hemisphere stimulated into action
and becomes able to learn to read normally. If you merely
send phonics into both
sides of his head and add resource room assistance with his homework, he eventually
can read sort of, but it is a little like adding some heat to your water but
not enough to turn it into steam. He remains embarrassingly in need of extra
help, and he still feels inadequate and somehow defective.
But if he can operate comfortably on his own, look just
like the other students, and even make the honor roll, as
happens often with our RfS students, he has
undergone a real phase change in his life. I think of the little girl who,
toward the end of her year of RfS training, planked her hands on her little
told the teacher that she knew the teacher was going. to give a spelling
test at the end of the week, and she, the student, HAD A
RIGHT to take it too!.
The amused teacher agreed, and the little girl came out with the next to
highest score in the class. When suicidal kids cheer up,
when adults tell you that
is the first time in their lives that their lessons have ever made sense
to them, when a grown man thanks his teacher for giving him
back his dignity,
when a grandparent
tells you she can’t believe how much happier her grandchild is, you
know there has been a phase change.
Cheerful people are happy. The phase change of self-respect
and happiness is surely a gift worthy of the Christmas season.
Don’t. Have a nice holiday.
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