Hey Everyone! The following is the first guest fiction for this blog and was written by children’s author Pendred Noyce. Pendred has written two books: Lost in Lexicon and The Ice Castle. You can visit her website here: http://www.lostinlexicon.com/
Enjoy….and Thanks Penny!!
by Pendred Noyce
Lottie knows herself for an unusually wise and perceptive child. There is a reason for her difference, one she does not share with just anyone; she is wise enough to know that others—teachers, playmates—might think she’s dreaming. Her parents would believe her, but she hasn’t seen them in a long time.
Today, though, she is going to say something. It’s intolerable to sit in this sunny classroom and be taught nothing, nothing! The teacher in her pink smock—does she think they’re still in kindergarten?—hands out paper and crayons and lets them color. She adjusts their grip, helps knobbly fingers hold the crayon correctly. Lottie knows great artists hold their brushes in different ways. The poetry she has inside of her—they would be amazed.
“I am eleven years old,” she will say to them today. “Eleven, more or less. Instead of making me sit in the circle to sing songs and hear stories and do arts and crafts—instead of making me come to the lunchroom to socialize—how about you let me learn all I’m capable of? Let me fly! I’ll learn algebra—just a little brushing up—and Shakespeare. Let me tell you about the battle of Stalingrad.
“I’ve been a child before.”
“It’s true, I remember. I was a good student, too. I sat in the front waving my hand as the weak sunlight and traffic noise came in the high window. All I learned last time, I can remember if you give me a chance. I was a teacher, too, and how my pupils worked! We memorized poetry; I gave them glimpses of philosophy. ‘Know then thyself.’ Socrates says all learning is remembering.
“Where are my books?” The neglect in this school is an outrage! When the pupils cry or dribble their food or ask the same question over and over, you sit them in front of the idiot box to watch drivel! No wonder they never advance! Give me some books!
“Now, darlin,” says a dark-skinned teacher, whose smock has little yellow flowers on it. “Let’s not go gittin ourselves all agitated. Say, aren’t you the one likes to hold a book?” She wheels Lottie to the window and places a paperback between her frail hands. A woman swoons on the cover. Lottie fumbles the book open, but the print is too small to read.