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The urge to declare

June 16, 2014

I was reading the current issue of WIRED magazine, which announces that virtual reality goggles have finally arrived, for real, seriously! In a sidebar to the article, the editors chide that “WIRED is uniquely positioned to herald the arrival of virtual reality. After all, we’ve been doing it for 20 years.” (scroll halfway down this page) They quote similar declarations from 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2008. They thought they were right … every time.

It made me think about my October 2010 blog post, when I wrote “50skatekid worked!  The academic nosedive is a distant memory, and Logan is now holding steady at a comfortable cruising altitude!” I spoke too soon. Logan just finished tenth grade, and his grades were Cs and Ds. His teachers (including me, his English teacher) all did their best to motivate him, but he still doesn’t like to read and write. (No surprise. Who likes doing what you’re not good at?)

Watching the Ben Foss video posted below made me realize two things. First, unlike the technology for virtual reality, Logan is not an engineering problem to be solved. In his closing, (11:36) Ben reminds his fellow dyslexics in the audience that they are not broken. While living with dyslexia may be viewed as a problem to be solved, dyslexics don’t need fixing. That’s a critical distinction.

Second, I shouldn’t use Logan’s report card as a measurement of success. The goal I’m shooting for is not a better report card, per se. The goal is for Logan to look at himself in the mirror and say, “My brain is awesome. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m creative. I’m fun.” (2:05) He’s started to believe that. Stay tuned.

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