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EJ Lee Jun 2020
She used to feel whole but feels empty inside
You were her everything
You made her laugh,
Smile and even comforted her
When she was weak
But feels this deep void of pain
That she doesn’t fully understand
You say that she changed
I would say you have too
All of the endless yelling at her changed
A part of her
she became more withdrawn with her emotions
More careful of what she said and do out of fear
More cautious with my words
And hesitant with moving forward
She can explain as to why she changed
From that bright and bubbly person that you met
Two years ago
You see that person two years ago
Realized that she had the whole world ahead of her
She built up the courage to say no instead of pleasing others
Recovering from mental abuse and realizing
She deserved better in life
And wouldn’t settle for less
Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last
Because of the pointless fighting and jealousy
She became depressed and fearful
Because the thought of losing you
Is to painful to bare
But continuing this cycle of pain
Seems hopeless
she wants to be that person again
She is buried somewhere deep inside
In that empty void
Just waiting to come out again
But out of fear of being criticized
By someone who she thought she loved
It might take her longer to resurface again
As times have changed
And her future is uncertain
She is torn
Form finding her independence
And forging her own path
Or hoping on a dream that wasn’t hers, to begin with
This empty void
She felt this before
This hopeless and lonely feeling
She knows all too well
It brings her no comfort
But endless tears at night
Crying to herself wondering when this pain will end
Did the distance break them?
Was it too much for there love to handle?
She would like to think it’s not
But all of this pain and yelling seems to never end
She needs to see that man that she fell in love with
Two years ago
The thoughtful, caring, spontaneous, understanding man
That she felt safe with
His insecurities have drained her
No more fight is left within her
Save for one
Her will for independence
That hasn’t died yet in this empty void
If you cant see the hurting
That is happening inside
You are the one that is blinded
By either control or jealousy
It makes no difference
This empty void will pass
When she sees the man
That swept her off her feet
Two years ago
EJ Lee Apr 2019
Dear Lori Loughlin and the unnamed individuals that participated in College Admissions Scam:

This is an open letter to you from someone who actually needs the accommodations that you ignorantly believed you could exploit. Before I talk about your ignorance let me first establish whom I am.
In the year of 2000, at the age of seven, a private psychologist diagnosed me with dyslexia because my elementary school refused to test me. Later on I find out that I have a severe case where the entire English language will be a continuous struggle for the rest of my life. Then we knew very little about this learning disability but from what I understood at that age, I was unable to learn at the same pace as my fellow classmates and my teachers didn’t know how to teach me. I bounced between three schools before the age of twelve looking for a school that could teach me and was unsuccessful. During that time was bullied profusely because of my dyslexia. I was called dumb, stupid, slow, and names that were so much worse. I knew they were not true. Luckily, I had parents that cared about my well being and never let me use my disability as an excuse as to why I couldn’t be success in life.
I was very fortunate that I was able to attend a school that specializes in teaching students like myself. Through no fault of mine, I was twelve years of age and reading at a third grade level. Does that make me stupid? Within three years at this very special school I gained six grade levels because I worked hard and I was determined to not be a failure. I entered into a high school that also knew how to teach me and I soared because I had the proper support that I need. I earned my Straight A’s in high school.
Also in high school I learned more about my accommodations that are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I took the SAT’s twice and it was the worst sixteen hours of my life.  Normally, it would take someone no more than one hundred and eighty minutes to complete. Not for me, and many others that actually rely on these accommodations. To be honest, no one wants to take an eight-hour test; we do it because it levels the playing field so we are able to compete with societal standards.
I wonder what led you to believe the accommodations that I require to be a successful student, that are protected by federal law, have some kind of advantage that I magically have in direct competition with your perfectly normal child. What kind of confidence do you have in your own child’s abilities if you felt the need to cheat and buy them their college admissions? It’s really sad if you think about it.
Whatever happened the notion of merit? I got into college on my own merit, My SAT scores were waived as my grades, class standing, and campus involvement was sufficient. (BTW, I not only had straight A’s but I graduated with high honors.) Am I smart now?
I am a currently pursuing my Master Degree in Fine Arts. I also got into that school with having to take the GRE, once again on my own merit. I know Lori you refuse to believe that you did anything wrong, but you did. You alienated an entire group of individuals so you could live vicariously through your child’s success as an extension of your own. That is not only the most selfish thing that anyone can do but it is also ignorant and narcissistic to believe having accommodations because of my disability is seen an “advantage” for you to manipulate for your own personal gain.
EJ Lee Apr 2019
My Grandpa was given a challenge and an opportunity. I was diagnosed with dyslexia at age seven. He never had actual experience dealing with a child that had dyslexia. He wanted to impact my life in some way that did not involve reading, but was just as effective. He realized that if I would not be able to read then I should experience life instead. After talking with my mom, they came up with a plan for the summer. During my first trip to France, I was given the rare opportunity to see something new. He took me on the canals and showed me the county in a way that was not found in books.
It was an experience that I would never forget. At age seven, I did not do the same amount of work on the boat as everyone else. What I remember doing was coiling and collecting the lines (rope) and making them into perfect flat circles. When doing this, I was getting the lines ready for the next lock. At first the locks were scary. The tall cement walls were covered in green algae. I could hear the water spilling out at a rapped pace. The locks were filling with water, making the boat rise higher than we once were. When we finally reached the height of the water on the other side of the way out, the door opened and we started up again on to the next lock.          
When we were on the boat in the canals, my Grandpa taught me how to live on a boat, work as a team, and to have patience. He always said to my mom and me, “you always need to find time to play, no matter how old you are.” That was what the summer was for. He always thought that you are never too old to have fun and act like a kid, now and then.
Working the canals on the boat was something that I picked up almost naturally. It felt like I already knew what I was doing and how it had to be done. I was working with my hands and keeping my mind off of school and the challenges I had there. Doing this gave me confidence and allowed me an opportunity to be successful.
School is much like the rough waters in the canal. Summer for me was a break from the formal education that I was failing at. In school, I had been falling behind and not getting the education that I needed. For instance, my reading level would get lower every year and teachers did not know what to do with me. So Grandpa tried to work around my dyslexia in a way that only I would get. This is something that no one else attempted. It felt amazing that I was doing something without realizing that I was learning too.  
He also knew that I was interested in drawing. So along with the canal trips he took me to art museums to see paintings firsthand. While I walked through the galleries of the magnificent paintings, Grandpa would take his time reading every little blurb about every painting. Even though I could not read well enough to understand, I never understood why someone would read instead of looking at the paintings and letting them tell a story. In my mind, he was a walking encyclopedia, absorbing every scrap of information that he could. To me, he knew everything and he was willing to share it with me at every possible moment.  
For the seventh summer together, he wanted to go on the Themes in England in order to see Windsor castle. I was thirteen, he was eighty-two, and this was the most memorable trip I ever had. With the excitement of a new adventure ahead we left port and it began. We went from working the locks and mooring the boat, watching movies on the boat that took place where we spent the night, and concocting new recipes with whatever we had on hand.
Two weeks after the trip we had together, Grandpa felt ill and sadly passed away. He died of leukemia. On his dying bed he completed every last minute detail before he died. Above all, he did not want his death to affect his grandchildren while they were at camp and school. He did not want them to know until after they were through, because he didn’t want them sad while they were supposed to be having fun. My mom honored that wish.  
Two weeks after he died, my mom, Dad, and my little brother picked me up at the end of summer school. I was not expecting all of them to pick me up. When everything was set we left, but my mom did something out of the ordinary. She hopped in the back seat of the car. She did not look happy when she told me that Grandpa had died. I was shocked. I did not understand how it was possible. With all the mixed emotions, I cried on my mom’s lap the entire ride back home.
Now as I am growing closer to college and having my own life, I still think fondly of my grandpa and what he did. I still can’t believe that it had been more than five years ago since he passed away. Deep down, I know that if he was still alive today he would be so proud of me and the accomplishments that I made despite my dyslexia.
Short essay about my life and my grandpa
EJ Lee Apr 2019
If only I knew what would have happened if I never saw him…if I never laid eyes on him. Would I be trapped here in this windowless room, where there are bars all around me? I am doomed to live the rest of my life here. Never to experience what life is like beyond the ten-foot wall that encircles this place I call hell. Then I thought it’s better than being dead. There are others who live here, but not all are here for the same reason as I am. I want to take everything back! But I can’t. It happened and I can’t take it back. Not now. Not ever.
It started out like this: It was a sunny day as I walked out of the coffee shop drinking my favorite drink, a caramel latte, I saw him. He was on the other side of the street when he caught my gaze. It seemed like time stopped, and everything was quiet. The only thing that could be heard was my heart pounding rapidly. We held each other’s gaze for thirty seconds, but it felt more like thirty minutes to me. He was first to smile and look away. He continued walking. As he walked I watched him go in the opposite direction.
When I came back to the coffee shop the next day, he was there at a table staring at me with a knowing smile like he knew I would come. This shocked me. I had no idea of what to do. Whether or not to sit at his table, say hello, or ignore him completely. What would you do?
By the time I got my drink, I made my mind up. I was going to go over just to say hi but not sit unless he insisted on it. As I made my way over, I could feel my face going hot and my legs growing weak, as I got closer. When I finally arrived, it was the first time I got a clear glimpse of him: he had broad shoulders, brownish-blackish hair, watery blue eyes, and this smile of confidence. He was the first to speak.
“Hey, I was hoping I’d be right and you’d show up…guess I was.” He gestured to the empty seat across from him, and I took it without even thinking. There was a silence, and then he broke it with asking, “So, live around here?”
Almost instinctively I responded, “Ummmm yes… I have lived here all my life. I live right outside of town.” Then I couldn’t help but ask, “Are you new here?”
“Yes, I moved here three days ago, but I have family here so it’s not big adjustment for me.” He responded without any hesitation. “You might know who they are, their names are Jill and Tony and they have their own store here in town,” he pointed towards the other side of the street. “Yeah,” he continued, “they are my Aunt and Uncle.”
I knew whom he was talking about. They owned the local bakery. “Yes, I went to school with their son, Peter, I didn’t know you were related, but now that you mention it, you do look similar.” I laughed and so did he. It was soothing to hear him laugh…as if all the awkwardness just disappeared.
After that, we just talked and talked for what seemed like mere seconds quickly turning into minutes, which then became an hour. When I looked at my watch, I realized that I going to be late. I promised my mom’s friend that I would babysit her son so they could go out. He read my face perfectly.
“Do you need to be somewhere, because by the looks of things you going to be late,” He said smoothly.
“Yes, sorry, I need to go. Sorry.” I looked up, apologizing for leaving abruptly.
I move to go but he quickly added, “before you go will you tell me something first?” with pleading eyes. I turned to him, as if that was all he needed to go on “What is your name, in case we were to meet again?”
I looked at him puzzled, almost wondering if there would be a next time. I answered almost in a sing song way with, “Faith and yours is…”
“Brad. It was nice getting to know you. I hope we can do this again sometime,” he added swiftly.
Without hesitation I responded with, “Yes, I would like that.”  And with that, I left.
In the beginning, I had this feeling of wanting to get to know him better, and to see him more. There was something about him that made me want to be around him. You are probably thinking ‘what could have possibly go wrong…he seems like a decent guy’ right? Wrong.
After running into Brad off and on for weeks on end, it almost became routine. I would see him from across the street and smile back at him when he spotted me staring. Or just say hi to one another as we walked by, but nothing to intense. I was curious about Brad. To me, Brad has this charming aspect that was different from the rest of the other guys in town.
One day, out of nowhere, Brad was at the same place where he was in the coffee shop waiting for me but with two cups on the table. He motioned me over and told me to sit. Brad pushed the cup towards me. I stared the cup debating whether or not to drink it. “What did you get me?” I asked, not trying to reject the offer.
Brad answered, “What you always get. It’s a caramel latte, right?” When he finished, he smiled like he already knew all about me. So I took a sip and it was what he said it was. I was still taken aback by how he could have possibly known that kind of information about me. But I still drank it thinking it was harmless.
We talked, but it was mainly Brad doing the talking. But when I finally was able to speak, I asked, “How did you know the kind of coffee to get?”
Brad answered staring straight into my eyes saying in a low voice, “I like knowing people that interest me before having to ask them myself. I already know a lot about you. Where you live, where you went to school, how many siblings you have, your favorite movie, what you like to eat, where you like to hang out, and where you work. And there is more for me to learn.” At the end, he smiled crookedly.  
My eyes grew wide in alarm. True, I do live in a small town. I grew up here, but I just met Brad so how could he have possibly known all about me in a short amount of time? My mind was telling me to run but my legs didn’t move. My legs felt like they were cemented to the floor. Brad kept gazing at me and I couldn’t help but return his gaze. I couldn’t look away…like I was in some trance. When my mouth and throat began to work again, I could only manage to spit out a few words, “you couldn’t…possibly know all of that…no one could know all that information…without being a…a…”
“Stalker...?” he took the word right out of my mouth. I felt disorientated. I couldn’t breathe, and my mind could not grasp this as reality. I needed to leave now! By that point my legs were working again. I began to get up and reach the front door, but Brad cut me off. He was smiling this wicked smile that I have never seen on anyone’s face before. “No one will believe you if you tell anyone, so I suggest that you don’t, and if I hear a word about this I will be forced to **** you.”
I looked up at him so frighten I could hardly speak “Why me…why do you have to target me…what have I done that made you so interested in me?”
“I feel this…connection between us that is different from all of the others?”
Others? What others? Was what Brad telling me the truth? Were there other women? If so, how many and where were they now? In a low voice that is almost a hum, he said “Don’t you feel it, Faith? It is the way you looked at me on the day where we first saw each other. That one moment is what makes me resist the temptation of just killing you now. I feel more connected with you than I did with anyone else and I want to see where it may lead. Who knows? It could be for the better.” He reached over with the back of his hand and touched my cheek. I flinched at the coldness of his hand. Without even thinking, I somehow managed to stomp my foot on his with my heel. When Brad flinched, I bolted.
Now you see what I mean when I mentioned he was not who I thought he was. Brad was after me because of the way I looked at him that one time. I admit that I too once felt this attraction between us. If I hadn’t I noticed Brad in the first place…would I be already dead? It made my head spin; the only thing keeping me alive was the fact that I notice him and had this feeling of affection. This made me sick.
Brad threatened my life and no one could save me from him, not even the police. What would you do in my situation? Run to the police…did that…tell your parents…that too…confined to your friends…tried to, it didn’t work; they all thought that I was crazy! I didn’t know what to do. I felt hopeless, not knowing how to handle this situation.  
I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, I didn’t want to leave my home for the fear Brad might be around the corner, or nearby watching my every move. I felt trapped in my own home; I kept telling myself this isn’t right. I shouldn’t feel forced to stay in my home. No one should live like this. No one deserves this.  
My boss threatened to fire me if I did not start showing up for work. I was finally forced to leave the safety of my home. I was timid to leave. I was so cautious I looked under, around, and above anything that was a possible hiding spot. When I reached my car, I hopped in and I booked it to work. What would have usually been a thirty minutes, drive turned into fifteen minutes; it is amazing what fear can do to one’s mind.
When I made it into the building my boss called me into his office. It was small with lots of files stacked high on his desk and tons of books that he might have not read. I took my seat, and waited for him to start. “Is everything ok with you?” he asked
“Why do you ask?”  I didn’t really want to tell him that I met my stalker because I didn’t trust him like that. I didn’t need my boss thinking that I was crazy; then I would really start considering entering an insane asylum.    
“Well you haven’t shown up to work for a whole week. I’m just worried, that’s all. Is there anything I should be concerned about?”  My boss looked at me, as if worried for me. He was actually concerned about my wellbeing. This was refreshing in a way. I insisted that everything was fine; I was just taking a short break from life. He took that for an answer and went on to explain why he also called me into to see him. “I have an intern for you to work with and train. He is new here and actually requested you.”
An intern…maybe this will keep my mind off reality. And he requested me made me feel wanted, in a weird way. But when the intern appeared in the doorway, it was Brad, standing there smiling at me like he just out smarted me! No, no, noooooo this can’t be right, he can’t be here, I thought. My boss was somehow oblivious to my reaction to Brad being here. He introduced us and dismissed us. After that I tried to get away from him and out of this room. But Brad kept pace with me and I could not get rid of him.
When I had enough of speed walking and making a scene at the office, I made my way to a secluded part of the office. I turned to confront him. He was closer than I thought. All he did was smile at me like he was enjoying the chase. “You’re harder to keep up with than I thought.” Then lowered his voice “I hope that you didn’t tell anyone of my little secret, because you know what will have to happen if you did. In fact, that’s why I am here: to make sure that you keep your mouth shut until I am ready to put an end to your life.” Softening his voice in an almost an affectionate way, “I don’t want to do anything prematurely now.” He looked up and saw someone coming. “Smile and say nothing,” Brad said harshly, clenching my shoulder.
I looked to see who it was; it was my friend that works right across from me, Sue. She walked past me like she didn’t suspect anything was out of the ordinary. I wanted to cry for her, to get out of here and away from here but Brad had this firm grip on me. He was hurting me just to keep me quiet. I was so scared. Once she was out of earshot, he continued, “You’re going to act like everything is normal and pretend that you have no idea who I am.” His grip became stronger until I nodded yes he then let go of me. “Good, now that we understand each other, where’s your desk so we can get to work?”
As I started to walk, there was this anger and hate towards Brad that began to grow. My fears were slowly dissolving away. On my way to my desk, he was right behind me. I was looking for something to use as a possible weapon if need be. There was nothing I could see, until I spotted it at my own desk. My scissors! That could work, but I needed to wait till Brad was in the right position for me to strike. I took them before Brad saw them…hopefully.
My mind was racing. I knew that I needed to act soon before Brad suspected anything and when I did, I better not miss or that will be the end of me. “So…” the sound of his voice startled me “this is where you work?” I nodded not trusting myself to speak. “It’ll do, where is my section?” I pointed to an empty chair towards the back, which was set up when I came in this morning. He took it and sat down then looked at me. “Well, what should I do?  You’re supposed to tell me what to do remember?”
I nodded looked around my office to see what he could do. I saw a stack of papers that needed to be organized. I grabbed them with the scissors in hand. I walked over trying to tell myself what I was about to do was the right thing and it needed to be done in order to stay alive.
I dropped the files on his makeshift desk. He looked at them. He started to leaf through them when I lifted my arm with the scissors and quickly lodge it into his neck, pulled them out, and did it again, and again.
Screaming, “Die, die, you *******! You don’t deserve to live!” when he fell to the ground I jumped on top of him and stabbed him more and more in the chest until I knew he was dead for good and there was no way of reviving him.
When I got up, I saw everyone looking at me and staring like I was insane. Minutes later, I heard sirens and the police arrive. Once they saw me with Brad’s blood all over my clothes, they arrested me and took me into custody. I was screaming, “he was going to **** me…I had to, he made me **** him.” They had a firm grip on me like I was going to run but I stood there trying to convince them of what happened, but they didn’t believe me. No one did.
As they dragged me away from my office I saw them place a sheet over Brad’s face and I heard the police confirming that he was dead. I felt a relief rush over me like I was free from death. I began to laugh but then it turned into crying, knowing what I just did and the punishment that came with it.
During the trial it was quick. I was found guilty and sentenced life here in this prison. Since all the witness at my office claimed that it was an unlawful act of violence toward a person that I did not know, it was my word against a dead man and there was no evidence to support my claim that he was stalking me. How I wished there was.
In the end, I don’t blame the outcome; I accept it. I know what I have done was wrong. But no one seems to understand what he did was wrong too. And yet I am the one who gets punished because claiming to stalk someone is not illegal and killing someone is. I call myself a victim, but others call me a murderer.
Now I am here in this place of hell, doomed to live the rest of my life here in this godforsaken place. This enclosed room where there is barely enough room to breathe. I still think about that final day when I killed him. His evil grin telling me that I would never be free of him.  He was right; I’m not. He haunts me in my dreams telling me over and over, ‘you made a mistake you will pay for it when the time comes!’ what does that mean? Will I be condemned when I die here?
Somehow that idea doesn’t scare me anymore now knowing that I have nothing to live for. My family a banded me when I was arrested and now claim they don’t know me anymore that I have changed. In a way I have but not for the better. Since I have been living here I have been thinking about death what would happen if I were to die. Would anyone miss me? Would anyone care if I died here? That I will never find out.
Ever since Brad came into my life death has been lurking around me. Telling me that it’s my time to go, I have tried to ignore the voices but it’s been harder now that I am actually considering death is not all that bad. Have I become crazy like everyone thinks? I say yes. I have been thinking thoughts that I would never have thought of if I never had met Brad.
Faith puts her pen and notebook down; she is satisfied with what she wrote. Her story is now written and told for the final time. She looks around her cell and spots the sheets on her bed. She gets up from her desk grabs the sheets and begins to tie a loop around the top of the bed and ties a noose around her neck. Then Faith just sits down. She feels the constriction of the bed sheet around her neck slowly taking the air out of her. It becomes harder for Faith to breathe until she loses consciousness and falls asleep, than dies.
Short story.
EJ Lee Apr 2019
Gazing out the window, it’s beautiful outside, letting my mind wandering into the distance daydreaming about the endless possibilities. Then someone slams a ruler on my desk that caught me by surprised I nearly jump out of my chair startled. It was the teacher glaring down at me spitefully.
“Eyes up here, Grace! You need to pay attention!” said the teacher. “Didn’t you hear me? Open your text book to page 300 and keep up!” My classmates started to giggle then the teacher walked back to the front of the classroom, chalk in hand and began to write on the chalkboard, letters that I couldn’t quite make out. The teachers words start to muffle as I try and locate my binder and pencil for notes but then I hear the teacher call my name “Grace” and I look up with fear in my eye hoping she did not just call on me to answer her question.
“Grace could you please come to the front and spell the word ‘BECAUSE’ on the board?” I knew this word but I don’t remember how to spell it. I really hate going to the front of the class because I always make a mistake. I slowly get up from my desk, my hands start to sweat, and the room goes silent as I walked, with my shoes squeaking on the tile floor louder than usual, up to the teacher. I take the chalk from the teacher’s hand. As I begin to write I freeze.
Paralyzed with fear I ask the teacher “I’m sorry, can you repeat the word that you wants me to spell?”
The teacher scoffed at me and even louder said, “The word is, ‘BECAUSE’!” I nodded my head trying to remember but my mind was blank, I remember using my markers to trace out the letters of each word but this one was particularly hard to remember. I started to write B…E…K…then I’m stuck, I start to panic and I write the remaining letters that sounded right A…Z. then I immediately place the chalk down on the teacher’s desk and walk as fast as I could back to my desk. The students all start to roar in laughter, as they know I made a mistake. I look on the board and it reads ‘BEKAZ’ I know its wrong but I don’t have the answer to change it.
The teacher, unamused by the students stares at the chalk board then turns and looks straight at me as says “Grace, you will not go outside for recess instead, you will sit in the beanbag and read, if I see you slacking off, you will be tracing out your letters for the spelling test that is this Friday.” After her remark the bell rang and it was time for lunch.
A functional narrative of the reality of a child with dyslexia in a classroom with a teacher that does not understand there student
EJ Lee Mar 2019
Sitting in a room alone. It is clean, brightly lit but peaceful. A cup filled with water sitting upright on the table to my right. A stack of papers rests in front of myself. The sun shining brightly through the window, refracting off of the glass of water creating beautiful dancing lights across the paper. Glancing at the top page reads “Report of Psychological Evaluation” in ******* letters. An ominous feeling in the pit of my stomach imitating a thunderstorm is on the rise. The heading continues to cite my name, age, birthdate, dates of the evaluation, Psychologist’s name, and acronyms that are unfamiliar. Grasping the paper it feels smooth, sliding my hand across feeling the ink slightly raised off the page. Following the words as they describe myself at eighteen years of age.
Intelligence is complex. Some are off the charts brilliant, some are average, and others are below the standard of society. People live their entire lives obsessed about their IQ score because humankind accepts this as a universal standard of intelligence. Not everyone’s IQ can be measured accurately as it does not conclude someone’s motivation, creativity, curiosity, innovation and kindness are all key components of character traits that are admired and desired. Unfortunately people, like myself who are dyslexic, have a different method to measure our intellect as we must sit and talk with a psychologist for hours in order for them to determine how our brain works. This system consumed twenty-one hours of my life thus far. Repeating the same test throughout my life with various puzzles, a complete biographical timeline and questionnaires all to be summed up into thirteen pages. Strapped to my ankle like a ball in chain, my thirteen pages are forever in mind.
Looking at my evaluation form my name is written on the top of the page dismissing any doubt. Gazing at the pages on the table with a combination of anxiety and annoyance running through my mind. Reaching out to grasp the pages feeling the significant weight that it holds over me. At first glace the text blurs together. Reading closer the text becomes words but the language is different. The tone of the paper is distant and disconnected. Descriptions of my life begin to form, mapping out every milestone. Since the age of seven, my life has been a roller-coaster from changing school every two-three years, being bullied for being different, to finding salvation within myself leading into proactive accountability to finally rise above all odds. Growing up was not easy. Especially before the No Child Left Behind Act, children with dyslexia were over looked, as many teachers did not know how to teach them. Even now many teachers in public school are not equipped to recognize when students are struggling. Imagining a life where I am not dyslexic, how different it would be.
Turn over the page to expose more information. Written in the text is a comprehensive account of my life. Plainly scripted describing one milestone at a time. Reading a biographical novel, one familiar yet no emotional attachment. As though I am reading my life through the eyes of someone else’s words. The formality of the writing is distant and concise. Leading the viewer to see me as unremarkable.
Reading on, the narrative of my life changes into graphs and floating numbers that are meant to define my intellectual abilities. Staring at the numbers pondering what it means. Acronyms appearing left and right like popcorns. Confusion starts to set in as the suspended numbers start to dance. I was diagnosed at the age of seven in 2000. Nearing the end of first grade, a year I barley remember as I hardly learned anything substantial. My teacher never showed that they cared even after I told them that I was dyslexic. Looking back, I feel that my teacher never understood what I was trying to tell her; instead my teacher brushed me aside not even thinking twice of the ramification that she caused.  
Lifting and flipping the next page, but the weight feels heavier than the last. Pressure on my chest begins to build with my anxious mind. Acronyms begin to pop up out of nowhere like popcorn. Like setting sun the words and uses of language slowly start to become unfamiliar as the biographical aspects starts to fade. The terminology shifts to a different standard that is foreign. Lacking the understanding language that is formal academic style.
Remembering when my mother told me that I needed to change schools because the public school I was currently attending refused to help me. She continues to explain that I would not get the proper guidance unless I was behind four grade levels. As any rational person would think it was unacceptable. Over the next five years I attended two different schools still skating by, making little to no progress. Glancing back at the evaluation form it does not show the hardship and suffering that I endured trying to get an education that everyone has a right to. Reading the form, seeing my life plainly written with little to no emotion. Remembering, how I cried everyday, because I did not want to go to school. Daily kids would call me dumb and stupid because they could not understand how someone like myself existed. Ostracized by my peers I never felt so alone yet surrounded by so many people.
Before transferring to another school I never met anyone else with dyslexia. My salvation was around the corner; before I knew it I was attending a school in a different state in the middle of nowhere. Once more, I needed to update my evaluation, six more hours of my life to prove that I needed all the help I could get. This school on my evaluation form should get more credit to my success. My time there is summed up into one paragraph but the effect will last a lifetime. The three years I attended this school was difficult but absolutely necessary.  
Imagine yourself at twelve years of age but you only have the capacity of reading at a third grade reading level. I was so far behind it did not seem possible to catch up to where I was supposed to be. Spelling was broken down into phonics in my first year. I was encouraged to read and test my comprehension daily. Math was the only other class that wasn’t reading. Later I was introduced to science and writing. In my last year I took a history class and proceeded to complete high school level classes, as I was technically a freshmen. After attending this school I gained six grade levels within three years, ready to transfer once more as a sophomore entering into officially as high school student.
Once again turning the page, unable to resist the temptation of reading just a little more. Despite the paper feeling light to the touch the information generates the feeling of a lead weight. The popcorn of acronyms begins to intensify as the biographical section comes to an end. Test results are the next section of the evolution. The psychologist also examines my personality in detailed written notes. The movie of “Stranger Than Fiction” comes to mind as a “big brother” feeling psychoanalyzed.  
High school was no different as I was still surrounded by my fellow peers all in a similar boat trying to survive. Three years pass once more, sitting in a small room with a different psychologist recounting my life. Explaining my story, completing puzzles hopefully for the last time. Graduation is around the corner, I feel different. Six years ago I was at the bottom of my class. Now, I am at the top of my class, graduating with high honors, straight-A student accepted into college. I’m on top of the world. It’s amazing what can happen in in six years.
Flipping to the next page, the lead weight transitions into a dumbbell. Dancing numbers mimicking the illuminating refraction of the glass of water. The numbers seem random at first glance, as there seems to be no pattern to correlate it. The acronym popcorn begins to explode with every other word with no end insight. Words begin to merge and brake down. The written text transitions into gibberish. I recognize my name in a sea of unrecognizable babble. A pain of needle ****** start to add pressure onto my chest.
The dancing numbers suddenly vibrate as the insanity of the acronym start to multiply. The splattered numbers represent what is inside my mind. A roadmap filled with blockade and detours constantly shifting in my head. Breathing becomes difficult as it feels someone has placed a cinder block on my chest. The acronyms start to plateau nearing the end. The text becomes legible once more.
Jolting up, I close my eyes and rest my hand against my forehead. Looking up at the window at the peaceful beautiful day. My brain starts to hurt and becomes numb. Mentally taking a step back from the stack of paper I push it across the table unable to finish. My brain is about to explode with the new information that I am still processing. My name is attached to this document as its littered throughout the evaluation. My academic life is detailed out for anyone to read at my school. Realizing this document defines me as a person. Ball and chain strapped to my ankle forever defining my intelligence.
I am incapable of escaping this documentation process to only be confirmed as someone with average intellect. The education system only documents ones ability on English and mathematical skills as deems more important in our growing society. The problem is people like myself rely on other forms of intelligence to compensate. Forever in our back pocket our evaluations sit there until it become irrelevant. After pondering this notion the bell rang and it was time to leave.
  The evaluation form that I hold today was completed when I was eighteen years old, still ringing true, pointing out my flaws, and exposing my weaknesses to anyone willing to read. After all of this time, I often wonder do these thirteen pages still define my intelligence? Having risen above my challenges and surpassing anyone’s expectations, who holds the key to the ball chained to my ankle? It is debilitating having a physical reminder of my limitations after I have accomplished so much. Struggling constantly, as I continue to fight battles even into adulthood. Graduating from college is the greatest accomplishment thus far. Imagining my next graduation is next year is unbelievable. No one knows where your life will take you but one day my evaluation form will wither away into oblivion as I stride everyday to not let it define me.
This is a creative story that is a combination  of  2 short essays that both related around the same idea. it is long
EJ Lee Feb 2019
It is a blur
Words, numbers, characters
I see no context
I see them
But I understand nothing
My mind has checked out
As it is all a blur
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