One of the parts I love most about this book is the following- the students have trained and arrive at Space Camp, only to be informed they have to take a test. It's a test they weren't expecting, one they did not know they were going to be taking. The students are upset that their teachers hadn't informed them that they had to take this test. Well, the teachers themselves had not known about it! One student with Down's Syndrome, however, named Ben, responds in this way:
- “Don’t worry, Coach. We’ll do good.”
I smiled. “I know, Ben.”
“This is multiple choice, right?”
“I think so.”
Ben’s face lit up.
“Give me a pen! I’m good at making circles.”
I had never been happier to have Ben as part of our team. He was unflappable, irrepressible, and his attitude was almost always upbeat. I pulled him close. “Thanks, Ben.” (201)
"I'm good at making circles," Ben said. He focused on what he could do - color in ScanTron dots- as opposed to what he could not control- the fact that he had not known there was a test. Well, I did something similar. I pulled out my phone, called up the girl I am to learn with and finalized exactly what we would be learning together (Megilas Rus and the Haftorah of the week, for those who are interested). And she doesn't realize it but she just made me happy- because even though I may be the stupidest person in the world in one subject doesn't mean that I can't do something worthwhile in another arena.
Or, more simply, I'm good at making circles.