This student feels that John Tu’s computer donation to the class will give her/him even more motivation to keep having good grades. S/he feels that s/he has been given a clean slate. Ms. Gruwell is the only teacher who took her/his dyslexia seriously, unlike other teachers who would mock her/him, call her/him lazy, and give her/him an “F.” Despite this student’s deep fear of writing an essay, the computer actually helped her/him, because spell check automatically corrected her/his writing. For the first time, s/he feels powerful, free to express all that s/he thinks.
Rewards like the computers not only make students proud of their work, but also serve as a tool to motivate them. Ms. Gruwell’s understanding of this student’s dyslexia also demonstrates once again her willingness to be patient and adapt to each student’s needs. This student’s joy at achieving self-expression comes in large part from working in such a safe, encouraging environment.