Dawn Newberry walked onto the campus of the local college and could feel all the butterflies in her stomach take flight. She knew that she was different from every other person on the entire campus and though she was special in some ways different was not good when dealing with other people. She hated the idea that she was there. She was small and knew that she had mapped out the campus and had the map in her mind. She was going to take forever to get to one side and back. Her legs kept moving though knowing that she was probably going to be late regardless of whatever she did to try to make on time.
She had been told from the Dean of the college that all her professors had been told of the slight difference with her. She knew that only meant one thing. She was going to be singled out even more. She would rather explain it herself though she knew it was still fresh for her as well. It was something she never expected.
It was not the news anyone had expected. She was the youngest of seventeen kids. The second in the last set of twins that had been born back to back. No one expected her to be the one that so different. The rest of the family that had been put through or was in school already had proven to be remarkable average at best and slackers as well. No one thought she would be any different.
The early schooling she had though had proven that she was different and she hated school from the beginning. The teacher she had begun with was nothing more than an old witch in her eyes. Dawn could remember meeting with her twin brother on the playground and telling him that she was a moron. She had to ask the kids for the answers to everything. Christian didn’t; see the problem with it but right from the start Dawn questioned everything.
She could remember the witch standing over her screaming at her after school until her mother showed up with her brother and friend in tow. When asked later why the teacher was yelling at her like that Dawns response was, “I didn’t make the ball round enough for her.”
“What?” Her mother asked.
“The ball I drew for the birthday book for Sammy. It wasn’t round enough for her but it wasn’t supposed to be. The way I made it would be better for Sammy so they could grab onto it though it wouldn’t bounce as well.” Dawn said.
“Why wouldn’t it bounce if it was a ball?” Her mother asked and Dawn looked at her.
“Because Sammy has problems with his hands. He moves slower than other kids. He needs one that won’t bounce to much or be filled to much with air so he doesn’t get hurt.” Dawn replied and her mother looked at her weird. That was the beginning though no one expected the truth to come out the way it did.
Dawn was a normal little girl who seemed to think things through completely differently. Much like the ball her sense of reading other people and her teachers was normally perfect. She also used more logic than a normal five or six year old. The adults all remarked about it. Dawn knew that they all liked to talk about her though they even said it while she was standing right there.
In second grade she had to be evaluated because she seemed to have issues with reading. Though on the tests she was fine. The made her read the paragraphs in the cold basement room that they had made into an office of sorts for the older woman who did the testing for the school. Dawn hated going down into the creepy dark room that smelled like moldy wood. She wanted to hurry up and get out of the room and would do anything and everything to get it over with.
The older woman though loved to talk and Dawn would try to hurry that along, “You know I have had to do this for nearly everyone in your family.” She said one day as she looked at Dawn. “Though none of them looked quite like you do it is easy to see.”
“Yeah we are all the same.” Dawn said and the woman looked at her.
“No. You are quite a bit smaller though I do see the attitude is the same.” The older woman said with tone that told Dawn she didn’t like her brothers and sisters. To dawn that was okay as well. She really didn’t like many of them either. The only reason Dawn gave the woman an attitude was she knew it was a waste of time. It seemed the teachers just never wanted to work with her and help her answer the questions.
The next year the problem was found. The problem that snowballed and led Dawn to where she was today. The testing was there again. As she read the older woman stopped her, “Now tell me what you read about.”
“I don’t know.” Dawn replied.
“No, Tell me what you just read about without looking at the book.” The older woman said.
“I can’t.” Dawn said and the woman nodded. She then had a smile on her face that seemed completely evil to the young girl.
“I finally figured you out.” The older woman said.
Soon Dawn and her parents were in the office. “Dawn can’t read.” The principal stated.
“What?” Her mother asked as she looked between the man and her daughter, “Yes she can. I hear her all the time.”
“She doesn’t understand what she reads. There is no comprehension in what she does read. She can read the words but she doesn’t understand them.” The older woman who had tested her said as she folded her hands together, “WE must intervene with her right now.”
“You had her for four years and you just figured this out. Thanks but no thanks. I will find somewhere to help her and by the end of the year she will be back on track.” Her father said and Dawn smiled at him for believing in her.
“We will be testing her to make sure she doesn’t start to backtrack.” The older woman said. Dawn could remember those tests. She was made to feel dumb during them. The casual words they through out when she was around. “Moron, Stupid, Faker.”
Then it was the end of the year and Dawn had made super progress with the private tutors at the academy her father had sent her too after school. Dawn was so happy to take the test then. She knew she was going to make them all eat their words. She could read now and understand what she was reading.
As the test began the older woman stopped her many times and each time Dawn answered correctly. It was all marked down. When the group of her parents, the teachers, principal, and her all met up again the older woman started with, “it is amazing.”
“What is amazing?” Her mother asked. “The fact that the complete group of you didn’t do your jobs and instead made a nine year old feel dumb?”
“We did do our jobs. ”One of the teachers stated harshly, “She was really good at faking being able to read.”
“She could read.” Her father said, “She just didn’t understand it.”
“Enough.” The older woman stated. “The amazing thing is, Dawn scored of the charts. I tested her all the way up to twelfth grade as well. She not only can read at such a higher level and understand it with the help she got. She already had the concepts down for higher math and science.”
“She what? “Her father asked. “Dawn how did you know all that?”
“I can see it. From the others books and everything.” Dawn said.
“You can see it?” Her mother asked.
“Yes.” Dawn said, “When I think about algebra or calculous, I see the page I want to remember and I can do the problem. Do you want to see?”
“No I think I understand.” Her mother said.
“Simply put. We need Dawn to be tested more.” The older woman said. “Dawn is a genius.”
That is how she ended up here. She didn’t have a summer vacation that year. That was a year ago. She had been through seven town run tests, then regional ones, then state ones, then tests run but a group that sounded weird. She was looked at and asked every question she could think of as well. Everyone looked at her differently then as well. At the age of eleven almost twelve in a few months, she was starting her first year of college. She hated it already.