Monday, January 08, 2007


Schroeder’s solo is an interesting one. We get a really good feel for the kind of student Schroeder is.

His part starts out very slow. He is clearly bored with this project. Maybe he’s not too bright? Maybe he is slow? It sounds like he doesn’t really care much a bout Peter Rabbit. Maybe he can’t read?

"The name of the book about which…
This book report is about is..
Peter Rabbit which is about this
I found it very-
I liked the part where-
It was a-"

Here in the song, Schroeder suddenly sounds excited. The music suddenly picks up and Shroeder rips out this next part.

"It reminded me of "Robin Hood"
And the part where Little John jumped from the rock
To the Sheriff of Nottingham's back.
And then Robin and everyone swung from the trees
In a sudden surprise attack.
And they captured the sheriff and all of his goods
And they carried him back to their camp in the woods
And the sheriff was guest at their dinner and all
But he wriggled away and he sounded the call
And his men rushed in and the arrows flew-
Peter Rabbit did sort of that kind of thing too."

Well, we no longer need to wonder if Schroeder is slow, dim-witted, or whether or not he can read. It sounds like he’s loves reading He’s probably doing it at a higher level. The problem? He didn’t care for the Peter Rabbit story, and that’s what he has to write the book report on.

Later, Schoeder again tries to pull in his real interest, and make it fit in the report that he HAS to write:

"Just then an arrow flew in- whing!
It was a sign for the fight to begin- zing!
And then it looked like the sheriff would win- ah!
But not for long.
Away they ran.
Just like rabbits.
Who run a lot
As you can tell
From the story
Of Peter Rabbit
Which this report
Is about.

What are the objectives of the Peter Rabbit report? Is it to demonstrate reading comprehension? Composition? Literacy skills? Whatever they are, wouldn’t a report on Robin Hood work just as well? Schroeder would certainly enjoy school more if that were allowed.

We can’t lay the blame on the teacher. Maybe she picked Peter Rabbit because that is something that would hopefully entertain the entire class (made up of both boys and girls). Or maybe the choice was made at a district, or state, or federal level. At none of those levels do they realize poor Schroeder doesn’t much care for rabbits, and would be happier writing about Robin Hood. Schroeder’s probable grade – C-

The tragedy, of course, is that Schroeder is labeled. He's 'below average'. Hopefully Schroeder doesn't buy into this, but it's hard to do when your teacher (an authority figure) tells you you're below average. Even though Schroeder is an exceptional reader, he may start to think he is dumb.

Tomorrow – Linus.

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