The Rest of My Story 

Luckily, I did very well in science class. I really liked the week in second grade when we studied the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. I've remembered them ever since. I read a lot of books, like the Encyclopedia Brown and the Danny Dunn series, and science fiction by authors like Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. When I was growing up, calculators had big glowing red numbers on them. I remember trying to stay up late and read under my covers by the light of the number "8888888". Until the batteries wore out. 

My mouth was another problem. If I didn't pay attention, it would fall open. Not a lot, like a yawn, but enough so that people would keep telling me I should close my mouth. So I would. And then a few minutes later I would be thinking about something else and it would open again. Another few minutes later I might drool a little on my shirt. So most of the time I had a wet spot on my chest. It didn't bother me too much, except sometimes when I went outside on a cold day it would make me even colder. 

My classmates used to tease me a lot and call me names. I couldn't run fast or jump, and I drooled a lot. Sometimes they called me a "teacher's pet" because they thought the teacher was being extra nice to me. I always had "cooties" or was "it" -- but I could never go fast enough to tag anyone. They would make fun of me by running away and then walking real slow until just before I caught up. Other children thought it was fun to steal my hat and play keep-away. I hated my classmates, and hated everything they liked. When they tried to be nice, I wouldn't trust them. So I didn't have a lot of friends. 

After about fourth grade, I started having trouble with many of my classes. They were boring, so I didn't do the homework. I got really good grades in the classes I was interested in, like science and math, and really bad grades in classes I wasn't interested in, like English and Social Studies. Everybody said I was a smart child, and it was true, but nobody understood why I didn't do well in school. The teachers had never been taught how to teach someone as differently-smart as I was, so they didn't know what to do. 

In high school, I became really interested in computers. My father gave me my very own computer which I spent all my time programming. By the time I graduated, I knew a lot about them, and I knew I wanted to be a programmer. In fact, I already was one! 

My life was much better after I left high school. I tried a "regular" college, but it was just as bad as high school. But then I found a college that was much better at teaching me things that were interesting. I learned lots of neat stuff, including some of the same stuff they had tried to teach me in high school. 

I'm much stronger now, and I don't drool any more, but I'm still not as strong as other people. I would still lose a race or an arm-wrestle. When you become an adult though, the contest changes. Instead of having to use your muscles, you have to use your brains. When it comes to that kind of contest, I can usually win. But I don't tease the losers! 

Martin sometimes goes by the name,
"The Vulcan".


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More memories are yours for the asking!
Marty has a web page at Planet Vulcan
This lightning will jolt you over to it

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004