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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Who is you s'posed to be, Da Vinci?"

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.

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