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Ritalin (standard:Satire, 3175 words)
Author: freerangemikeAdded: Mar 24 2005Views/Reads: 4177/2698Story 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. 

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