You Mean, I’m Not Dumb?
At an early age, Davis’s strengths were obvious. He is a collector. He collectslicense plates, maps, bumper stickers, scout patches, bottle caps, people he has met,and facts he has heard. Davis listens intently for new information to collect. You onlyhave to tell Davis something once and he collects it, holds onto it to build it intosomething more. He uses collected information to make connections that amaze. Davis isa builder. He loves to build towers and anything with wood and tools. And, since he haslearned about Buckminster Fuller, he has been trying to build shapes like geodesic domesand dodecahedrons. One day, I am certain, he will build a dome large enough to live in.When Davis was in 3
grade at Grace-St. Luke’s School, after just two weeks of school, the teacher called home. Davis was breaking down in school, she said. At everyopportunity, he was avoiding taking part in reading. During
Drop Everything And Read
(DEAR) time, which is 20 minutes every day, Davis would ask to build with the LEGOSinstead. If she insist that he read, the only book Davis would choose was the
Guinness Book of World Records
, which is mostly pictures. Davis had done poorly, notably poorer than all the other students, on his spelling test last week. When she asked him if he studiedthe words, he broke into tears. At the start of this week’s spelling test, Davis put his headdown on his desk. He didn’t even try the first word. She said she did not know what waswrong, but that she had seen enough students over the years to know that something waswrong. The teacher suggested that Davis be tested immediately by the school psychologist. She could pull Davis out of class for testing during the next week and haveresults the week after. I told her to set up the testing.Two weeks later, I asked the school psychologist if Davis could attend the meetingwith his dad and me to get the test results. Even though he was only nine, I could trusthim to sit still and listen. I also knew that he would have ninety-nine questions for us if hedid not have a chance to hear the test results for himself. Davis is a champion question-asker – so much so that a friend of ours nicknamed him “99” because that is the number of questions Davis can ask about any given subject, or so it felt to our friend.Davis, his dad, and I joined the school psychologist and Davis’s teacher in her