The Gad About Town

They handcuffed the kid.

I for one remember being 14 years old: I spent it overwhelmed. In junior high (7th and 8th grades in my school district at the time), my general proficiency at the whole learning thing bit me where it hurt the most: my ego. My success in 7th grade placed me in advanced classes the next school year that even carried the letter “X” in their name to signify their specialness. “English 8X,” and such.

It overwhelmed me. “Math 8X” was algebra delivered one year early and some geometry offered up two years early, and I nearly flunked. I liked my side projects too much: I wrote all the time, more than was expected or required in my English class by my English teacher, because that is what a 14-year-old who likes a certain subject in school does. I would bring my extra work into class to…

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