Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: On Being Invizabell
By Dianne Janak
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He went home crying each day, telling his mom,
“I hate school, please don’t make me go back.”
She patted poor little Gary on the head, telling him that school is a good thing and it takes some getting used to. She told him to hang in there, and when he started making friends, he would like it much better.
”But, mom, the kids laugh at me. They call me a ghost. I’m not a ghost. Ghosts are invizabell, and I know you see me. Do I disappear when I get to school? What can I do about it?”
Gary’s mom was a little puzzled, but carried on with her busy life with two younger children that were consuming her time.
When Gary started faking sick to miss school, it finally got her attention. Gary was miserable, and she needed to meet with his teacher to find out why.
Mrs. Twenty-Twenty, Gary’s teacher was happy to hear Mrs. Ghober wanted to come speak to her. She was also worried about Gary.
As they sat down, his mom blurted out her fears that Gary was being ridiculed and bullied already at school, and she wanted to get to the bottom of it. She said that Gary had always had a focus problem, and she knew he needed some special attention.
Mrs. Twenty Twenty told his mom that Gary had a peculiar habit of always asking her and the other kids if they could see him clearly. Every morning, he walked in and said… “Hello, Mrs. Twenty Twenty.. can you see me clearly today?” She always said “yes of course I see you Gary, now go sit down.”
For a few minutes, Gary would be happy to be seen, but the other kids got sick of his every day question and starting teasing him, telling him he’s a ghost and invizabell. Then the day would go downhill, and he’d come home on the verge of tears.
The teacher and mom met again the next day to ask Gary why he was so concerned about being seen.
Gary first made sure he asked if they could see him clearly today, and when they agreed that “yes, he was clearly visible,” he then started to cry.
“My mom and dad gets mad at me, telling me I can’t "focus." I hear her telling Nana and Pops and other people that I "don’t focus well." I don’t know what focus means so when I asked she said…”
“when something is focused, you can see it clearly.”
So I know I always need to check with my teacher and friends if they can see me clearly. Adults see me and that makes me happy, but kids don't.
The kids tell me I'm not there, so I guess I don't focus to them and I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t want to be a ghost. I want to be real.”
Gary’s mom and teacher looked at each other, not knowing whether to cry or laugh, so they did neither. They realized poor Gary had misunderstood, and it was understandable. It was up to them to correct the problem.
They made sure each day Gary knew he was REALLY there, and Gary started to feel happy again.
And slowly, gradually, with much love and attention from the loving, caring adults in his life, they helped Gary understand that the ability to focus and concentrate on one issue at a time is a skill he can learn in life and that all the other kids were working on the same skill.
He learned to laugh at their teasing, secretly thankful at least he wasn’t dubbed “piggy” or “nerdy.”
He could live with "Ghober the ghost" as long as he knew the right people could really see him.
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