The Misunderstood Children
I remember going there for the first time. The secretary could not have been more than five years my senior. She always smiled and offered my mother and me a tour of the school. The interior was small, but fit for royalty. The teachers were as eccentric as their students. I recall one wore no shoes and walked about the school wearing no bra. The drama teacher carried a heavy English accent and a science teacher who sings opera to her turtles. Despite all of their unusual habits, all were pleasant and humorous.
Not many students attended the school. Almost all came in the middle of grade school. In the public schools they were rejected by their peers and teachers, because they did not learn as quickly or efficiently as other students. They were better at catching insects then carrying out a conversation. My first impression was a negative one. I had wondered what my brother was doing there, he seemed normal compared to them. Then when I watched their plays, carpooled them home, they opened up to me. I soon learned how wrong I was.
Practically all were geniuses! A seven year-old could play all of Beethoven. An eleven year-old was the next Picasso. A twelve year-old had the social skills of a four year-old, but the acting skills of George Clooney. Of course at a talent show, their Lego empires were neatly displayed and professionally built.
At their school picnic I observed the exterior walls. DaVinci, Picasso, Newton, Disney, Einstein, Darwin all the famous names we know and appreciate today were engraved in the brick walls. That’s when I realized, they started out weird, rejected, and everybody looked down on them because they did not live up to a society’s standards. That’s when I made the connection. Einstein did not talk until he was four. Darwin’s parents wanted him to be a priest and instead he challenged Christianity’s principles.
These children were the next Nobel Prize winner’s. Nobody will realize that until they get humanity to Mars or create an exclusive style of art or music. Smart people are a little quirky, but then again isn’t everyone? Subtle differences and extreme differences are here for a reason, not all are the same. If we all were the same we would probably still be eating rodents in a cave. Everyone is different and unique: this I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.