Sunday, June 21, 2009


Lately, I’ve been noticing, and thinking about, people who don’t seem to be winners. I pass them each day – the people with anxious looks, stooping shoulders, dragging feet, those for whom life seems to be a crushing weight. I see them in the news – the growing throng of those with no job, the vast numbers of destitute families, the millions of forsaken refugees. They seem to be ubiquitous -- these people who carry such heartbreaking burdens on their shoulders, who seem to have totally lost the game of life. Sadly, I see them in my own English classes, too, though certainly not to such extremes. I see the kids who have no friends, who spend recess and lunch by themselves, lost in their own fragile worlds. I see the students who never seem to “make it” in school, the ones who get C’s semester after semester, who never seem to be “winners” at anything. Sadly, it’s so easy to overlook these kids. The winners -- the ‘A’ students, the class leaders, the social butterflies -- take up so much of the spotlight that the ordinary, everyday kids get left in the shadows. Like the outcasts of the world – the poor, the homeless, the eccentric – these forgotten students must struggle by themselves to bring some distinction to their lives.

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