Like Galileo in the cathedral observing a lamp’s swing, I, too, marvel at the back and forth motion of Wil’s days. On Monday and Tuesday Wil swooped back. He refused work and escaped the school, with his paraprofessional, Kristi Campbell, hot on his heels (I joke that Wil has turned her into a runner). The oscillation was complete with a full swing forward on Thursday that held through Friday morning. Wil lit up his reward chart with stars. By Friday afternoon, the pendulum reversed its motion to start another cycle.
Each day I evaluate Wil’s oscillation. I look at the forces that contribute to the cause. What motivated a good day? What set off a challenging day? Did he sleep well? Is he congested? Were there any changes in class transitions? Was a friend absent? Maybe a teacher out ill? A bad hair day?
Kristi told me his science teacher was out ill. And that was his first hour. Backswing. Wil likes his science teacher, but not science. So without his teacher, the subject holds little interest. Kristi has worked hard to adapt the work to capture Wil’s interest (Kristi has a hidden halo that reveals itself in photos) so he can better retain the information. But it’s just not his thing. Sorry, Galileo.
I watched some of Wil’s 8th grade science videos with him, and his mind was clearly elsewhere. I’d pause the video and ask him questions to bring back his attention. His repeated response: “We done now, Mom?” Except when we watched the video about Gregor Mendel’s discovery of genetics by crossing pure-bred green peas with pure-bred yellow peas. Wil asked to watch that video over and again. I should note that this video featured animated kissing green and yellow peas. When you are 13 years old, kissing is a very interesting subject.
As I sat and pondered Wil’s pendular days, Wil sat in his resource room hard at work. He loves to read, write and tell stories. And he loves love. We all have our equilibrium balance. Wil found his in an assignment to write about “Once upon a time…”
Wils fairy tale boock
Once upon a time there was a girl named ashley ashley was feeling good she was feeling happy because she was going on an adventure she lived in a tower life was weird because she was under a sleeping spell wil the hero came to save her he did not go through troubles ashley learned wil is a prince , they shared true love s kiss she is still asleep she woke up ashley was so happy to see prince wil the end.
I think Galileo would have approved.