Friday, October 28, 2016

Alex Submitted His 'Voice Of Democracy' Essay




Song:  Comfortably Numb

Artist:  Jamie Dupuis



A couple of days before Alex had written and submitted his 'Voice of Democracy' essay...
my mother had treated Alex and I to supper at the Atlantis.

Alex had eaten a pound of crab...
while my mother and I had AYCE sushi.

I had decided not to take my camera in...
but on our way back to the car
the pillars were jetting their flames...
so, I ran back to the car and grabbed my camera and quickly grabbed a shot
of Alex and his grandmother with the flames in the back ground.



I then tried to get a close up of the flames, but I had only just took it as they shut off.

You can just make out the last of the flames in this photo.




A couple of days later...
Alex typed up his essay in about one hour.

He had been working on the outline of his essay...
off and on, over the summer.

He then made a vocal recording on disc of himself reading his essay
(a requirement of the contest)...
and the next day, Alex and I drove to the local 
Veterans of Foreign Wars meeting hall to submit it.

The 'Voice of Democracy' is a national high school essay contest.

We won't know how well Alex had done in this contest
for another four or five months.






Even though the deadline for submissions is next week...
until we get the results...
I can not post his actual essay.

However...
I think Alex did a such a good job on this year's essay.

It was succinct, and his thoughts were not only very well thought out...
the whole essay just flowed.

I think this year's essay was his best.

Alex has matured so much...
and his writing has improved markedly this year.

-------------------

Alex's 2015 local 1st place win.

The following is a video of Alex reading his first place local win
at the Veterans of Foreign Wars dinner honoring the 
1st place essay winners of high school and middle school for last year's contest.

(Although the actual essay was submitted in October 2015...
the dinner awards ceremony didn't take place until March 2016).



In middle school...
Alex had taken second place in the State with his
submission to the 'Patriot's Pen' essay contest.

(We hadn't even known he had typed up and submitted an essay
until he had done it through his school  :)


The 2015 essay win (above video)...
and hopefully, his 2016 and 2017 essays, will become part of his portfolio
for his future university applications.

(They generally only accept evidence of excellence from high school and above).


-----------------------


Many of the veterans were surprised at Alex's extensive vocabulary.

This is a direct result of his reading habits...
much of which involved extensive reading of the classics...
and of Western philosophy, and the sub-category of logic and reasoning.

Alex has loved reading all of his life.

I will say this once again...
and this is not an exaggeration in the slightest...
Alex was reading young adult books when he was three years old...
still in diapers and still sucking on his pacifier
(Alex was a late talker.  He only said his first words at three and a half years old.
However, they came out in fully formed sentences.  
Alex was reading and writing well before he could talk.
He wrote sentences at two years old on a portable electronic unit...
and he would spell out words and the full alphabet at one year old...
with plastic letters...one of his favorite toys).


And once again...
I will relay this true story of Alex demonstrating 
his reading capability in public to prove a point:


When Alex was still just three years old (nearing four years old)...
still in diapers, and still sucking on a pacifier...
my wife had taken Alex out to one of his favorite places...
Border's bookstore.

Alex loved going to the bookstore to pick out some new books.

While there...
Alex went over to the young adults section...
sat down on one of the chairs...
took out his pacifier...
and began reading aloud...with perfect pronunciation and annunciation...
and with a full flowing reading of the book...with no hesitation
(he has a naturally loud and full voice)...
a Star Wars novel.


Within a few minutes...
Alex was surrounded by teenagers and adults who were 
staring with disbelief, pointing and smiling
at this young boy in diapers with a pacifier next to him...
reading a young adult's book aloud.


Yes...
Alex is profoundly gifted
(even more so with math...his true strength).

However...
so many children could perform amazing feats with an abundant
quantity of quality educational stimuli...
and a great amount of love and affection.

Alex's greatest advantage was his full time mother.

She had dedicated herself to her son...Alex.

There was not a day where she had not read to him...
and with him...
as she cuddled him...
and loaded him with plentiful amounts of affection and laughter.

Also...
every night was a reading ritual...
until he fell asleep next to his mother...
who had to keep reading to him until she knew he was fully asleep...
lest he awaken and demand that she stay next to him to read some more  :)

It all starts out with reading...
and a love of learning...
as guided through positive reinforcement.


------------


For any readers new to my blog...
especially for young parents...
I highly recommend you read my early articles.

I go in depth...
much of what we had done to stimulate Alex's love of learning.


------------


One other thing.

As I have said before...
my apparent misuse of ellipses ( ... )...
is purposeful on my part.

As the English language has nothing to mark time in sentences...
I use them to indicate a pause...
as if I were directly speaking to the readers...
almost Captain Kirkishly  :)

When I was much younger...many decades ago,
I had to modify my speech pattern, as I have a tendency
to speak too rapidly...to the point of unintelligibility.

I still sometimes revert to my old speech pattern...
along with the hyper emotional tonal changes and physical flourishes
which many mistake as aggression
(I become highly animated when I get excited about a topic of discussion)...
and which has lost me many a potential friend...
especially when I get angry or frustrated

(It is a little sad that, even as I approach 57 years old...
I still have problems maintaining the emotional filters we all install as we mature).

And so...
I must write as I now speak...
so as to not allow my pinball mind to wreak havoc upon my writing  :)














2 comments:

  1. Alex shows great poise speaking in front of a room full of strangers. I know I would not have been able to deliver a speech so well when I was his age. I look forward to hearing this year's submission when he gets to deliver it next spring.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alex is the opposite of what I was at his age. I hated to speak in public. Alex loves it. Although Alex has taken first place, at least locally, for each essay he has submitted, we still must wait to see if he had gotten first place once again. We won't know until Feb or March. Only first place gets to read his or her essay.

    ReplyDelete

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