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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ahmed brought back brilliance.

Seriously, this kid.

Ahmed is a joy to teach.

Not perfect. He is a teenaged boy after all.

But, damn, does he surprise me.

This week, it was like he had a whole new outlook.

He was positive, and focused, and creative, and asking questions.

Then he wrote one of the most clever pieces ever.

I mean, wow, just wow!

The assignment was given as homework after an initial study of characters from Greek mythology was done in class.

Students were asked to design their own monster.

Ahmed brought back brilliance.

Instead of the worksheet I provided with guiding questions, he asked permission to write on separate paper.

Um, yeah, absolutely, why not?

The next day he handed me a full on essay.

His creature was money.
Honest to God, with no prompting or help, this kid anthropomorphized money.

And he did it well.

He gave it life, personality, meaning.

He even tried to make a pun: "It spends it's time, (spend, get it?) going to people and leaving other people, protecting people and putting other in danger."

Puns are a little like idioms. The bane of second language learners.

Or not, clearly, in this instance.

Then he wrote this:

"It has many different languages, like the language of bribes and language of busniss."

"It has the magical power of making people love it and desire it and work hard for it. Some people say the monster (money) bring's happiness others say it bring's power and I agree with that because when you have this monster on your side you literally own everything."

Is it perfect? No.

Is it brilliant? Absolutely.

The level of abstraction, of thoughtfulness, of social awareness knocks my socks off.

I didn't teach him how to do this.

We haven't so much as mentioned symbolism.

For a kid who was crying two week ago because he wanted everything to have a right answer, this is impressive.

If this is a first draft independent effort, what level will his process pieces reach?

When we write novels in November, how amazing will his turn out?

Maybe I should have expected this.

Maybe my expectations just weren't high enough.

Maybe I should expect this from every kid.

But I don't think so.

I think this is exceptional.

And I think it is important that I appreciate exceptional.

Ahmed is exceptional.

This is a good thing.

Goodness gracious, what will he think of next?

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