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