Skifoot and She II


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She’s twin, Skifoot, DID NOT have social anxiety disorder! Skifoot’s stated goal was to make the vice principal’s life as miserable as possible, and he shared that goal openly.


Skifoot got his nickname from having size 14 feet. And he was touted by his elementary school as ready for the ninth grade or above when he entered junior high school. Unlike She, Skifoot seldom missed a full day of school. He did, however, miss individual classes but as far as I knew he never left campus. Had DNA technology been as it is today, we could have had proof that the cigarette butts found in different places in the woods at the edge of the school grounds were his.

Except for being caught smoking once each quarter and taking the five-day suspension without protest, Skifoot was never caught doing any other thing punishable. I wasn’t privy to the specifics of what else he did to make the VP miserable, but his actions were often in discussion in the faculty lunchroom.

His only class with me was mechanical drawing in which he had 3 points for the semester. We had access to student scores in standardized tests when meeting with counselor about students having academic problems. Skifoot scored zero on two standardized tests that required broad knowledge. That would be very near impossible unless the test taker knew every correct answer in a multiple-choice test.

Skifoot’s parting remark to me on the last day of school, “Mr. Benson, you messed up my goal of getting all zeros. I’d given him and the other students three points, because I’d given a quiz and added three-free points to make it easier for me to calculate a score in my head.

Unlike his sister She, Skifoot dropped out of school. The last verifiable rumor I heard was that he was making more in cash as a gyppo logger than a starting teacher. An unverifiable rumor was that he had other cash crops at remote locations.


I lost track of the twins, but a former colleague told me he’d heard that Skifoot had been killed in a logging accident and She was doing research at an Ivy League college.


Skifoot and She I


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Most of the students with whom I delt over the years were average – a little ahead or a little behind the center of the normal distribution curve. But Skifoot was a genius! And his sister She was too.


Sister first:

She1Not her real name – but you probably guessed that. as one counselor told me would have tested somewhere in the high 140s or conceivably higher. I had She in just one class. When She was assigned to my all girl English class at the beginning of winter quarter, she had already missed most of the first ten weeks. You might remember is said my all girl English class was eighth grade. So why was She, a seventh grader, in that class? I’m not sure, and didn’t question it then.2This forum is not a good place for I really think/believe about the situation.

School policy for attendance, at the time, was: a student missing 15 days except for verifiable medical reasons would receive a failing grade. She’s record coming into my class revealed she had been at school the first few days and on the days for mid-quarter and end of quarter first quarter testing.

Transferred first quarter grade records showed that She had aced both the mid-quarter and quarter tests in the seventh-grade class in which she had been enrolled. With tests being only 40% of the grade, and her being absent all but 5 days, She was an F student in English and all other classes because her attendance was the same for each of them.

She’s parents didn’t return calls from me, other teachers, or counselors. At the end of the school year, letters went out notifying She’s parents that she would have to repeat 7th grade. She had been enrolled in seventh because her California school records showed her completing sixth while living apart from her local family.

I transferred to the high school that fall and lost track of She. I learned later that She tested through a GED program and qualified for admission to a university just shy of her 14th birthday.

We had no idea about She’s having social anxiety disorder. Her brother Skifoot, however was a different story.



 

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