Editor's Section

Can you help?

You may have the talent and opportunity to serve those who are not in the 80 percent of the bulge of the Bell Curve. There is a great need. Examples:


His parents had wanted a Montessori school but that was out of their reach and out of their area. The state school was their only option.

It had taken a few months before they realized he was being bullied at school. The principal and the teacher said they would keep a lookout for him but that it would be better if he learned to look after himself. This was dutifully relayed to Bobby and he lowered his eyes in response. He did not like school.

It had started to snow after lunch. Friday, towards the end of the school day and the teacher was having difficulty holding the attention of the class. They wanted to go out and play in the snow. An hour of drawing was on the schedule and seemed appropriate.

She was a new teacher, not very confident.

'Class, we're going to draw snowflakes! Remember on Wednesday I said we would be drawing snowflakes today.'

Bobby was pleased. He had trouble writing words. His fingers just would not draw the letters properly or the right way around. And he had taken note on Wednesday. He had looked up snowflakes in the encyclopedia.

For three quarters of an hour the class drew snowflakes. A few children tried to look at some real snowflakes through the windows. Snowballs were what everyone was thinking about, however, not snowflakes. Some of the students were using tricks like folding the paper into six and tracing. Others used protractors and rulers, trying to make use of the basics of geometry they had learned.

Bobby drew freehand. His concentration was intense. He did not look up to the window and the snow blowing outside. When the teacher asked everyone to show their snowflakes Bobby was, for once, proud of his work.

The young teacher held up a few of the drawings. 'Very good, Maria. Oooh, yes, lovely, Jimmy. Super, Samantha, is that ever good!'

Then Bobby's.

'Well, you tried, Bobby, but the arms aren't symmetrical. You should have watched the way the others drew theirs.'

'Dendrites,' said Bobby in his defense.

The teacher ignored the word she did not recognize.

'Snowflakes are symmetrical, Bobby, everybody knows that!'

The teacher was trying to be kind but she wasn't getting through. Bobby's undiagnosed dyslexia wasn't his only problem. He also embarrassed easily and deeply. Bobby turned red and stuttered. But the teacher had a big class and could spend only so much time on each student. And it was almost time to go home.

Outside, the class bully laughed at him. 'Smart guy, huh? I got a perfect ten for my snowflake.' Then the snowballs began. Hard wet stinging snowballs.

He arrived home in tears.

His parents weren't home. Just the sitter. And she was waiting for her boyfriend.

He took the volume of the encyclopedia up to his room and looked again. His father's magnifying glass confirmed it.

'They aren't symmetrical. The dendrites only look symmetrical.'