In the grieving process of losing my son Alex to an accidental drug overdose, I have started writing a blog as therapy. Not only has it helped me, but from comments received, it let's others know they are not alone and what they feel is sometimes exactly what they are SUPPOSE to feel. Bless you all who find yourselves in my position; I wish you weren't.

Friday, April 27, 2012

When it came time to school, Alex was in love with his teachers. From preschool to sixth grade, each teacher he had FELL in love with Alex, and vice versa. He had a way about him, something that made him irresistably cute and honestly, he was smart. When he went to school he was also very vocal and would tell you sometimes what you didn't want to hear; no holds barred for him. He would tell me sometimes he didn't like his curly hair and it was ALL my fault because I gave it to him. (like I had any real CONTROL over that) But I knew he would learn to love it, maybe, someday, like I had, but, he was a boy, so, OH WELL, back then it was just a remark !! Other times he would say THIS IS SO BORING and that didn't sit too well with teachers. At school he had fun, and was a quick learner, but this was a drawback. When Alex was done with his work, he would talk to the others and distract them, and this got him in trouble PLENTY of times. When he hit junior high, one teacher actually accused him of cheating because he did his math test so quickly and only got one wrong, and didn't show his work, so the teacher gave him an F for the exam. WELL, that didn't go to well with his momma, so off I went to the school to talk to the principal and the teacher. She explained the dilemna, that she had to see his work to be able to tell him where in the process he got the wrong answer. That much I understood, so I could see her point of view. But the problem was that Alex did the math in his HEAD and didn't write his process out, and she was sure this could not be possible, so he had to have cheated. So I made a simple request, give him another test now, alone in the room, and we would see how he did. She asked him to show his work, and so he said he would. After a half an hour, she looked at his exam in front of the principal and I. Alex had ALL the 20 math problems correct and showed the work to all of them, none of them making any sense to her, but he did show the work. So they struck up a deal. As long as Alex pulled 85% or better on his tests, she wouldn't ask to see his work, but in trade she wanted him to tutor the other students who were having problems in math. Alex agreed. But at this point in school, Alex also started to believe that since he was smart, he didn't have to try, he would do mediocre work to get by, and that was that. He became a lazy student. An average of a B was OK with him, and C's occasionally in school, whatever got him to pass the class was all he was concerned about; and this continued into high school. Our only concern was that he passed the class. Many arguments ensued that he could do better, we knew it was possible because we KNEW Alex was smart, but we argued to no end. We became satisfied that as along as he passed, we had really no complaints. What also was terrible was that not one teacher ever really urged Alex to try harder. They had a job to do, and they did it. I remember being very upset that he was not challenged in any way nor did he find any class interesting enough to become more involved than what he had to put out to just pass. To me, this was sad. That he did not have any teachers that were mentors to him nor saw the promise he had of becoming a real asset to this world. But I did. I saw so much potential that it irritated me so bad that I became resentful of the school and their teachers. By the time I had any dealings with any of them, it was only to encourage my daughter in her sports and occasonally see them at school functions. Audra was very involved with school and she knew that her education would give her a brighter future. Alex never saw that, and I am angered by that at times. How could such a genious just slip through the cracks? Why couldn't just ONE teacher have said something to Alex to let him know that his brain was a blessing and that his education was important. We tried, but I also needed the school to try. This is probably one of the biggest regrets in my life; that he didn't see a future nor have a career goal to reach for. He did have one teacher in college that he liked, she was always complimenting Alex and telling him what a great mind he had and to use it. Her encouragement gave him the ability to make the decision to become an archeologist. She stated he could do WHATEVER he put his mind to. He found this area to be exciting, challenging, and the traveling involved would keep him busy. The idea that he could possibly discover something and make a mark in history just blew his mind. She is the only teacher (beside his favorite teacher in the WHOLE world, Mrs. Tash) that I will forever be grateful to. She brought out the best in him and gave him hope. She knows who she is, and I love her for this. It still was a vicious circle for Alex though, one he never won. He had no patience and found that half the classes he needed to get this degree were frivolous to him. Again, too much, too little, too late. But I will always remember her for making a difference in his life. I only wish he had met her sooner.  

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