Justin Goldberg



Mr. and Mrs., I write with grave concern to inform you
that your boy Art is terribly long to learn, & what's worse,
he disrupts the other students in the room. I've heard speculation
in the teacher's lounge—& honestly, had just assumed
from your lack of response to the red ink-ridden test
I sent by mail—that he has, dare I say, a turbulent home life?
I don't mean to judge, but you must be made aware that exceptions
can't be made: he routinely comes to school two hours late
with unkempt hair & clothes, & every day, classmates complain
about his smell. Moreover, his evaluations document a history
of not playing well with others. When it comes to academics,
Art's written work shows signs of growth, but he can barely add,
& handles chemicals in science class with blatant disregard for life.
Regrettably, my hands are tied by the bureaucracy of A's and B's;
the system works only with what we mathematically-minded call
"the mean." You see, our principal has handed down his verdict
(& not without much protest from yours truly, I would add)—  
he recommends private tutoring, harsh discipline, a consultation
with a doctor for a prescription that might keep your kid still;
we've reached the unanimous conclusion that he just cannot be
taught, & so must leave. But I will note in his file—& I hope you,
his parents, take consolation in the fact—that he has promise, though
of what sort I can't quite say. For though long to learn, Art, when
he is learning, seems to long, how full of longing he is to learn I've
sometimes seen. Perhaps you can make some headway. Urge him on.




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