You’re a 10 year old boy with a learning disability. This learning disability stuff is very tough. Every day you look around the room and see people finishing tasks quickly, getting smiles from the teacher for all the work handed in on time. You don’t get those smiles. Writing is particularly galling to you, because you just don’t get it – it’s so hard. When the teacher starts off the day stating, “Now take out your journals,” you just want to run away.
You don’t know how to get started in your journal. The teacher says to “just write what you feel,” but you have no idea how you feel. The words on the page bleed into one another. No one can read it. Not even you. Meghan sitting next to you keeps making those stupid snickering faces when you write.
Topic writing is worse than journals. Not only is it all so messy, but you have no idea how to get started, and it all takes so long. Meghan sitting next to you was completely done before you had one sentence (a bad one at that) down. Worse, topic writing goes on the bulletin board. The last paper you handed in was such a mess. You can’t stand to see your writing up on the bulletin board. “Why do they have to put that junk up on the board?” you wonder.
At home you’re sitting nearby when you hear a bit of tension between your parents. You think you heard your mother saying something to your dad, “but he has a 504 Plan,” and, “He can take as much time as he likes. Why can’t he just get it done?”
On hearing this you think to yourself, “What is this 504 Plan anyway? I wonder if it has anything to do with those wires they put on my head a few weeks ago in the doctor’s office to test out my brain waves. Now, that visit really helped my self-esteem. Wires on my head! Brain waves! Yeesh! Take as much time as I like for writing!!!! Who wants more time???? I hate writing. I don’t want to take more than one minute for journal. Are they kidding me? Do it tonight if I can’t finish. I can’t stand Meghan. She was already on the worksheet and I hadn’t even started the journal. 504 Plan??? They want me to take twice as long to do a bad job. I’d like to see them spend hours on something only to get a grade of a D or an F.”
“Well, tomorrow’s another day.”