My teacher put three big fat crayons on my desk. what am I supposed to do with them?
You’re supposed to draw your family, she says.
I can’t draw with THESE! They’re too big, and they’re hard to hold. They have a flat side to keep them from rolling off the desk. They’re for little kids!
All you can do with these is make stick figures. You can’t do any detail with them.
You can’t make fingers, just fat lines. You can’t make faces, just dots for eyes and a line for a mouth.
I need my pencil. You can DRAW with a pencil.
So while the other kids are drawing stick figures of their families, I am drawing portraits. With round eyes and eyebrows, and noses. I draw hands with real fingers and belts with buckles and shirts with collars and dresses with buttons.
I will show everyone how this should be done.
I hide my pencil under the desk.
Time’s up. Where is your drawing? Everyone else is finished.
Just a minute, I plead. I’m almost done.
Suddenly she’s at my desk.
Eddie, what are you doing? You’re supposed to use your crayons. You aren’t following instructions.
I try to explain about how the crayons don’t work for me and how I need the sharper point on the pencil to draw all the details.
Oh, she says. So you’re special? You don’t have to do the assignments the way everyone else does?
She takes my drawing, but she doesn’t put it up on the board with the others.
A week later, a strange thing happens. At a parent-teacher conference she shows Mom and Dad my drawing and tells them what a good artist I am.
I don’t understand.