M wrote an essay about “Responsibility” for a school assignment. He focused on how the after-school job he has, playing with and modeling social skills for a younger neighborhood boy with autism, has also helped M develop into a better person. It’s a beautifully constructed essay about how an initially-daunting task has eventually helped him alter his own behavior and character and interactions with his other people in his life.
I helped him revise his final draft for grammar. And after he printed it out, I asked him, “So how much of that was really true, and how much was bullsh*tting for a school assignment?”
He got a giant grin on his face and started laughing. “There is a fine line between bullsh*tting and the art of re-imagining the nobler aspects of the truth. Especially in a school essay,” he told me.
Exactly so! And 7th grade is definitely a good age to start learning that art.