The first was about a student at an “elite” public high school who was expelled for a 2.8 grade point average. Seems pretty crazy to kick out a kid for a B-minus. As I was reading, the reporter led me to believe that this kid probably belonged at the school. I hope everyone, though, read to the end.
[The student] rejected her offers to work with him during lunch or activity periods, saying he was too busy with Model United Nations, sports and the yearbook.
His grades were not the best, but he had great test scores. Seems like he was having motivation issues. His parents said
…their son Matthew has been mistreated. “I believe that the rule is absurd and is doing more harm to our students than good,” Liz Nuti said. The parents acknowledge that Matthew has trouble organizing his time. But “he is a happy, healthy, well-rounded child with no vices“.
But being happy and health with no vices is not a requirement for the school. Doing really well in math and science is. I am sorry that the kid couldn’t get his act together. And even though it’s a tough call, he was on notice and it’s appropriate that the Fairfax school system is letting him experience the consequences of his actions.
‘Cuz not everyone has it so good and easy. You know with dad an engineer, mom an accountant and two older sibs that have blazed the trail for you–and likely greased the wheels so you can get in to a great school. That not everyone can go to. Even if they are smart. Not everyone has alot of chances.
Which is the second article that got stuck in my thinkings. This one is about an incredible young man, Cedric Jennings, who “as a boy clawed out of a Southeast Washington ghetto and over the Ivy gates.” And today he is wondering if he is doing enough. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders–a grad of Brown, Harvard and U-Mich–back in D.C. trying to make a difference in people’s lives. A social worker. And wondering if he is acting on too small a stage. Is he fulfilling his potential? The expectations?
My heart breaks for this 31-year old man who is still struggling to do the right thing. He is still trying to figure out the best ways to apply his prodigious talent and drive. He knows he is responsible for himself. He knows that his choices and his actions have consequences. He is fighting Peter Parker‘s battle, “with great power comes great responsibility.” He knows this is important.
I wish both the boy and the man in these two contrasting stories peace.