#Article (Archive)

Dan the Dunce

Sep 2, 2010, 12:34 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

My name is Dan the Dunce. This name was given to me by my classmates and encouraged by our class teacher who gets impatient with me all the time because I couldn't answer a question. But I am proud to say that I am the cleverest student in my school.

I would sit in class and look at the teacher without understanding a thing he says.

After a while he would sense my unwavering attention and asks me what he was saying.

The other students who always saw me as a laughing stock would laugh, without waiting for my answer.

They always assume that I would come out with a funny answer.

My adrenaline starts pumping, my eyes opens trice their size and my hands would become sticky with sweat, they would feel itchy. There and then, warts would threaten to sprout from them.

"Am I not talking to you Dan?" the teacher would retort.

"Uhmn..Uhmn..Uhmn," I would stutter because words wouldn’t obey me, my mouth wouldn't be mine.

The class would roar with laughter again. At that very moment death wouldn't have been a bad option to me.

I would close my eyes and wish that the ground would open and swallow me, make me disappear from the surface of the earth. But thoughts of my parents would make me regret that wish.

"Okay, I will make it easier for you Dan, now read the last paragraph of the passage," he would say.

I would clumsily flip through the pages of the text book and miss the page I am supposed to read. I would start all over again and the whole class loses their patience.

I would flip through the pages once more and begin to read a different passage.

Satisfied that that is the passage, I would only see the heading or the first two words and the other letters in the passage would dance around, making me to sweat profusely. I couldn't read and wouldn't read any further. Then I would see the teacher, red with anger, wordlessly staring at me.

Now I am sure you would believe that I am a complete dunce, but I answered a question no one in the class could and would have answered.

I got lucky that day. The principal came to our class and asked if any student could read the alphabet from Z-A. No one raised his or her hand, but I did.

I saw some laughing. I confidently stood up and recited the alphabet from Z-A. I could see surprised written all over their faces. That year, I was named the cleverest student and I got to represent the school in many other competitions which earned me a scholarship.

"You have no problem with school Dan, the problem is that you are suffering from dyslexia," the doctor told me a few days later.

Note from the author

Dyslexic patients cannot read and write like their age mates. They would shake and suffer from all what Dan the Dunce suffered from, but they can do a lot of amazing things outside school activities. This can also be as a result of lack of confidence from an early age.

We should encourage them and help them at home. If we discover a talent in them, we should help them make use of it.