This student has been in a program for gifted children ever since s/he has been at school. However, when s/he joined the highest program in her/his district, s/he felt overwhelmed by the workload and unable to truly learn at her/his own pace. When s/he transferred to the Distinguished Scholars program at Wilson High School, s/he still felt uncomfortable—this time, because the teachers and students all believed they were superior to the rest, because they were white, wealthy, and took difficult classes. Despite sharing the same characteristics as the other students, this student still felt uncomfortable.
This student is dissatisfied with the education system, in which talent is rewarded by unmanageable amounts of work, instead of fun, engaging activities. In addition, s/he demonstrates humility and, despite not being personally discriminated against, a strong awareness of racial injustice. S/he believes that education should not focus only on grades, but also on a classroom atmosphere of cooperation and modesty.
When s/he discovered, through a friend, that Ms. Gruwell was making her students put on plays to make what they read come to life, s/he asked to change classes. Since then, s/he feels included in an exciting learning process, where the teacher actually cares about her students and speaks to them as equals, without adopting an air of superiority.
Ms. Gruwell gives this student what other classes haven’t: passion and enthusiasm for learning, as well as a feeling of equality among students and between students and teacher. These elements cannot be directly quantified like grades, but play an essential role in the student’s learning experience.