29. The Poet

The room was eerily devoid of children when I reached the rec center, and with what I suspected to be a significant fever raging through my nervous system, I took advantage of the break with a Chinese-style nap.

They arrived en masse, a tangle of backpacks and tennis shoes and chatter. Once again, we broke out into groups of four, and I was designated to work with the shyest, quietest one of the bunch, a slim, fair-skinned boy with crooked teeth.

We were tackling the autobiography that day, under the theory that it is generally easiest to write about oneself. By this point, I had learned to adjust my expectations to the group’s age level, so I wasn’t expecting to discover the next Augusten Burroughs, but I was excited to see what the kids would put forth.


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