Not too long ago someone on my f'list was talking about, or rather mentioned briefly, a bit of their disappointment with the 'gifted programs' in school, and I thought about writing a response over there, but I do like writing about people in my journal. I write about people in my journal all the time.
Sometimes it bothers me that people can reach my age and not know how to laugh, or how to interpret laughter. How some people will tell you a joke and when you laugh, they cringe and ask what you're laughing about. I say sometimes, that means it bothers me a lot. Nervous laughter also bothers me, a lot. Maybe not all nervous laughter, or maybe I'm just saying this because I nervous-laugh sometimes, but there's an inflection that's only ever achieved by people who don't know what they're standing on that makes, as the saying goes, Wayne Brady wanna choke a bitch. I mean figuratively, carpe jugulum.
The teacher I had for my school's gifted program was one of those awesome teachers what get portrayed by bearded hacks in the movies, the kind I guess that almost seem to exist exclusively in dreams, sometimes, simultaneously brilliant and common sensical and particularly educated but in the sharey way not the snobby way, who loves children, loves to teach, and loves to teach children. From time to time someone's parents would mention the required tragic accompaniment, that him and his wife only owned cats, that she didn't like children, that he loved his students all the more for their surrogacy. Forty five minutes a day*, 5 days a week, well let's just say 180 days a year for 5 years, this guy parented me. I don't think I'm exaggerating to credit him with teaching me how to think. I suppose some people would ask who taught him how to think, and to be honest I don't know. I went into 4th grade your average, above-average shlub.. B-Minus Time Traveler maybe, and came out of 8th grade a B-minus student who knew one important thing, about not knowing things. (And how to make cameras out of construction paper.)
*Except, of course, for the 4-6 months of the year we'd be after school an hour or few a night, working on our yearly run at OM. It's fair to not subtract anything because he only missed about a day or two a year, the days we'd be forced despite our will to read the Red Badge of Courage, which I've never finished to this day.
Of course, to be fair to the gifted program, there were two advanced teachers at that school.. and two classes worth of kids, even though we were all in the same grade, in the same classes, we were split down the invisible line between balsa wood structures and art forgery. We had the loved teacher. The other class had the very bitter teacher. The one who's not natural around kids, and stresses about being liked, who thinks yelling is the way to get respect and gets irritable just to see how easily even his own students take to our teacher, and not vise versa, never vise versa. One of those who bulls through life and never ever gets why there's nobody close by, no cluster of brainless eyes hanging around to look up at him. The kind of person who simmers over it.