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|Ritalin (standard:Satire, 3175 words)|
|Author: freerangemike||Added: Mar 24 2005||Views/Reads: 3011/1872||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|I started writing a book 7 years ago. 200+ pages, but not done yet. One of the characters is a Ritalin addict. This is his story.|
As they were about to set out of Del Rio, the Way of the Susie found its first recruit, an oddball named Chadd Ciba-Geigy. It seems Chadd was a 12 year-old cocaine addict who had his own ulterior motive for joining the Way of the Susie cult. Chadd had grown up in a traditional middle-class Caucasian family in Dallas. Last fall, Chadd took a dare from one of his friends at recess and stuck a pencil in his ear. The tip of the pencil lead broke off in Chadd's ear canal. That afternoon in class, Chadd was very fidgety trying to get the pencil lead out. From time to time, he would shriek out in pain. The lead completely distracted Chadd from his classroom activities, and he failed a spelling test. For the next week, Chadd's teacher, Miss Dianne Nosis couldn't get Chadd to concentrate on anything. She knew he was smart, because he showed a high level of perception and intuition on problem solving tasks, so it had to be something other than a learning disability. That weekend, Chadd stuck a q-tip in his ear to try to get the piece of lead out. Unfortunately, the q-tip pushed the lead into Chadd's eardrum. Now, Chadd could hear nothing out of the right side of his head. The next week at school, Chadd's ear injury wrecked havoc on his school performance. Miss Dianne Nosis noticed that Chadd's attention to his schoolwork became intermittent. Sometimes he would pay attention, and other times, he wouldn't listen to a word she said. What she didn't notice was that Chadd's attention was dependent upon where she was standing. Whenever Miss Dianne Nosis was standing on Chadd's left, Chadd was able to listen and respond to her instructions. However, when Miss Nosis was on Chadd's right, he would not respond at all. Almost as if he couldn't even hear her. Periodically, certain noises would cause tremendous pain in Chadd's ear, causing him to yell out. Finally, Miss Nosis could not tolerate Chadd's interruptions and attention problems. She called Chadd's parents for a conference. "When one child does not take his educational opportunities seriously," explained Miss Nosis, "it is sad. I often stay awake at nights because I think of the life in front of them without a proper 5th grade education. But the problem with Chadd is even worse. You see, not only does Chadd seem disinterested in school, but he often acts up, disrupting the educational opportunities of other students. This is not something that can be tolerated in our educational system." "Perhaps Chadd needs a little more attention than normal students. Is there a special education program we could enroll Chadd in?" asked Chadd's mother. "Well, we could do that, but you wouldn't really want us to", explained Miss Nosis. "We don't really teach those kids. We just try to keep them out of trouble and let them watch television. Special education is just the public education system's misnomer for juvenile detention; the system considers it a success when its 'special' students are jailed for non-violent crimes. The simple truth is that if a child is unable to advance with his/her peers of the same age, we figure they're not smart enough to graduate from normal kid's high school anyway. So, what you call special education, we call babysitting. Parents who are willing to let their children be placed in special education obviously don't care about their children. And if the children don't care about their education, and the parents don't care about their education, why should the teachers?" "Isn't that a little harsh?" asked Chadd's father. "Surely you can't expect every child to learn and mature and advance by age rather than ability. Some kids just need different environments and paces." "In an ideal world, that might be true, but in the real world, it's just not practical. Listen, public education is a factory. Our assembly line pumps out the second most-educated graduates of any country in North America. That stat gets even better if you think Canada is part of the United States. That's a pretty high quality product, and you simply can't argue with results like that. No, we have deadlines, and every child coming through this school must graduate according to our timeline. We simply can't let them learn according to their own schedule, because some of them might take too long." "Why can't we change the deadlines? Why don't we make it an ideal world? Parents are the strongest political action group in this country. If we want it, we can make it happen," argued Chadd's father. Click here to read the rest of this story (242 more lines)
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