|This blog is about Logan’s sixth-grade year: learning about his country, about skateboarding, and about putting dreams into action. We left New Hampshire in September 2009 and completed our journey in May 2010 in Washington DC. Best. 6th grade. Ever. [CBS News story] [Fuel TV interview] [NHPR interview]|
His mom and I asked Logan what he wanted for a graduation gift. His answer was this tattoo. He’s got grand ambitions, and he wanted a reminder to keep pursuing them, to ignore distractions, to resist the temptation to be lazy. You can still see the long, pink scar on his right forearm from an old skateboarding accident, but these new permanent marks on his body were added intentionally.
Logan was the last member of his graduating class to walk across the stage, alphabetically. A few minutes later, I snapped this picture of him with his friends outside the school.
His expression here says everything. What more can I say? What more is there to say? Congratulations, Logan. I love you.
Last night, Logan received an Outstanding Arts Award from the Connecticut Association of Schools for his automotive design drawings.
How did this happen? This year, at his new high school in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, Logan is taking AP Drawing, along with Ceramics and Sculpture, plus all those required academic classes. His drawing teacher pushes him, challenges him, holds him accountable, and he’s developing his talent. (Check out his portfolio at NLoganWinkler.com.) In fact, he got a scholarship to study Industrial Design at the Shintaro Akatsu School Of Design next year, part of the University of Bridgeport. Yeah, college. And this is the kid who almost quit school in fifth grade. The young man who scraped through high school with Cs and Ds until this year. Now he’s on the honor roll. What happened?
Logan explains it in an essay (He writes essays now. Yes!) The EXPLO summer program was a big part of it. The classwork and homework there didn’t require reading and writing, just thinking and doing, so he forgot he was dyslexic. He was a good student, and he enjoyed school! Then he decided he wasn’t going to let the downsides of dyslexia define him anymore. He stopped avoiding the writing assignments at school, and started blitzing them. Creative Writing was his highest grade last fall (thanks to his amazing teacher). Everything snowballed. Now here we are.
In dramatic, fictional stories, everything turns on a dime, a climactic moment. That’s not always so in real life. Years of just keeping Logan moving forward, muscling through the weeds, has led to this year, when he started to believe what we’ve been telling him all along: “You can do great things. You can do things that nobody else can do. Do them.”
Finally, like Neo in this clip of The Matrix, “He’s beginning to believe” in nascent superpowers.
Logan is studying Industrial Design and Architecture at Explo-Yale this summer. He was interviewed regarding his experience: “I got here and I was meeting new people and making friends I kind of had to think, ‘who do I want to be?'” Click here to read his answer.
This cartoon was inspired by the quote:
- Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, “What is your genius?”
- From the self-help book “The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose” by Matthew Kelly, according to QuoteInvestigator.com.
So, what is your child’s genius?
DyslexicAdvantage.com Wow. If you haven’t seen this website yet, check it out. Join the conversation.
The website is hosted by the doctors who co-authored The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, which I’ve just started reading. The opening pages are pretty exciting, for example:
“Look first at individuals with dyslexia when they’re reading or spelling or performing certain other language or learning tasks. From this perspective they appear to have a learning disorder; and with respect to these tasks, they clearly do. Now look at these individuals when they’re doing almost anything else – particularly the kinds of tasks they excel at and enjoy. From this new perspective they not only cease to look disabled, but they often appear remarkably skilled or even specially advantaged. … In this book we’ll argue for a radical revision of the concept of dyslexia: a “Copernican revolution” that places abilities rather than disabilities at the center of our ideas about what it means to be an individual with dyslexia.”
Sign me up for the revolution!