genius detector

Saturday, September 15, 2012

hi. it's me...the person who, nine months ago, vowed to post twice a week for a solid year...

it's me, the one who has barely managed to squeeze in a decent post-a-week for the last month.


oh well, on with the show.

so - if mensa made cold calls, i would have someone to add to their list.

i have a student this year who seems to be the stereotypical, wild-hearted genius. earlier this week, this sweet, blonde child tells me she's started writing a novel. this is always an insta-matic, guaranteed way to garner my attention, and usually this doesn't happen until sometime around christmas (with a capital c). this year, it happened on september 12th.

eccentric genius says to me, 'i started writing a novel this summer and i wanted to see if you'd mind reading it for me.'

also, i should go ahead and tell you that usually when this happens, the darling children present me with an immaculately drafted sheet of notebook paper - and sometimes the 'novel' spills over to the backside of the wide-ruled page.

'sure,' i say...

honestly i always say sure. i truly enjoy reading what my students have to say. it's an easy way for me to get to know them, and if they're offering it to me outside of an assignment, i want to know what they have to share with me.

this week, the novel was different. i was handed a very well-worn composition notebook and i was warned: 'it's kind of deep - all my characters have symbolic names.'

i take the composition notebook home (after a: explaining that i won't have time to read it during the school day, and b: promising to guard the composition notebook with my life), and....

...i'm seriously blown away, which wasn't at all what i was expecting.

this doesn't happen too terribly often, and when it does, i welcome it. 

the sweet, blonde child has carefully and meticulously crafted an incredible story in which, as she warned me, all of the characters' names have a symbolic meaning.

just to give you a quick run-down, the cast is comprised of the following characters:

time, a boy who can't seem to slow down
cloud, a boy who has a wicked omniscient perspective on life but is also quick to anger
sky, a girl with absolutely no fear and no boundaries
pain, who is the antagonist and has deep, molten eyes
music and verse, the twins who speak only in unison
care, who is the proverbial triage for all of the characters' mishaps and encounters.

witty excerpts like this one are meticulously peppered throughout the eight chapters she's written so far:

sky's quiet, whispering voice snapped time back into the blinding reality. 'come on, time. let's get you to care.' time followed sky's advice, half wishing he didn't have to go along the dusty path with the demon they called pain.


time jumped out of bed, ready to start a new day. he threw on a pair of dirty jeans, pulled a gray t-shirt over his head, stepped into his signature black boots, and walked outside ready to embrace the morning sun. instead, cloud greeted him on his front porch. 'i have something important to tell you, time,' thundered cloud.

i'm honestly a little envious that an eleven year-old mind can craft ideas like's kind of phantom-tollbooth-meets-greek-mythology-in-a-modern-day-setting.

the next day, she asked me what i thought - i told her i loved it. she wanted to know who my favorite character was and why, and she wanted to know if there were any parts i found difficult to follow. she told me she is going to finish it this year, and she asked me if i knew how she could get it published.

i told her i didn't have any idea, but if she finishes the novel, then we'll work together to find out what comes next. more than my envy of her natural talent, i'm glad she trusted me enough to let me read it, and i'm looking forward to seeing what twists and turns the story takes.

i guess whenever it's time for me to teach my kids how to write fiction this year, i'll need to find something fun for this budding author to do - not much i can add to her repertoire!

alright - the girls and i have a day of painting ahead of us, and i'm trying to be patient as i wait for last week's assignment grade to come in so i can complete this week's assignment (which was due last night, has been moved to tonight, and is really pushing the limits of my control-freak tendencies - especially since the class ends tomorrow and final grades are posted monday). one class left after this one...the end is near!

patience...and peace.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

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