This little tidbit is super short, but I remember it vividly.
It happened while I was working as an intern in a Chicago high school.
One day I was walking down a deserted hallway.
Suddenly, a student came bounding down the stairs at my right.
He skidded to a stop, looked me up and down, said "Who is you s'posed to be, Da Vinci?" and took off down the hall.
I think I stood there for a full thirty seconds trying to figure out who he was, what he had said, and why he had said it.
It took me a minute to place him as I barely knew him. He was a freshmen with severe dyslexia.
Next, I figured out the words he said.
Finally, it dawned on me why he said it. It was my clothing. I was wearing a turtleneck under a black sweater with a fake fur collar.
It took this young man a split second to compare my outfit to pictures he must have seen. It doesn't even matter that his attribution wasn't quite accurate--it was just amazing that he could make such a connection on the fly.
How cool is that?
This kid was enrolled in mostly special education classes and the ONLY thing I knew about him was that he was dyslexic.
And in that one moment, he blew my mind. He destroyed any assumptions about him or what he knew before I even recognized I had them.
Anytime a kid reminds you of just how much kids are capable of when you give them a real chance, it is a very good thing.