Focus | Arash

Thanks for talking about this with me Mrs. Geen. I know I’m struggling with focus. I’m sure you’ve heard about it from my previous teachers too. Every year, in at least one of my classes, I feel like I’m the “troublemaker.” I’m not trying to disrespect anyone or break any big classroom rules, I just can’t focus. A big distraction for me is gambling. I gamble a lot.

I’ll just be sitting there in class, and my brain will start creating a story, and I’ll feel like I have to gamble the games. I know I shouldn’t gamble, and I know I’m missing the lesson, but I just can’t help it. I think you should know that about three years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD. I wasn’t surprised. I kinda knew I had it all along. I figured it out when the teachers started pulling me aside and making special charts for me to help me finish my work. I eventually got medicine for it. Sixth grade, the very first year I took the medicine, was the best year of school I’ve ever had. But it went downhill in seventh grade. For some reason, the medicine just didn’t work anymore. Maybe it was the medicine, maybe it was me, but the seventh grade was worse for me than fifth grade when I didn’t have the medicine. They kept increasing the dose, but it just felt the same. I had been placed in all the advanced classes too. Everyone was so better than me at everything. I felt out of place. That’s why I was almost relieved when I was placed in regular math classes this year. I have no problem being average. In fact, that’s my dream goal. To just be an average kid. Instead, I stick out like a sore thumb. Sometimes I feel like the only one in the whole class who has problems with learning. Honestly, I’m starting to develop insecurities. It’s easy to think that everyone’s always watching you when sometimes, everyone is. Like when the teacher announces to the whole class that you got a frowny face on your chart for the day. Or when the teacher reads your hall pass out loud and your whole class knows you spent half of the period in the guidance counselor’s office. People start to ask you questions, like “Why do you have a chart?” and “Why were you in the guidance counselor’s office?” And they don’t say it, but you know they’re thinking “Is something wrong with her?”. I know that I have problems, and I know that I’m different, but these problems are internal, and they don’t have to be shared with everyone in the class. That’s why I really appreciate it when teachers go out of their way to talk to me privately when I’m struggling with something, like you are now. I would also really appreciate it if I could be seated next to friends, or at least surrounded by people that I’m friendly with. I think the main reason I draw is that I feel lonely. It might sound weird, but when I feel excluded or unwelcomed by the people sitting around me, my brain kinda wants to distract me from how I feel, which is why it’s so hard for me to pay attention while doodling. I’ve found that in the classes where I sit next to a friend, I do much better. Well, I appreciate you listening to me, Mrs. Green. I really want to make sure this year is different.

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Arash has been writing stories ever since he could hold a pencil! What started out as an intrinsic love for storytelling has turned into his lifelong passion. There’s nothing he likes better than writing (and reading) stories that is humorous in English and Persian languages, with a touch of Suspense and a poignant streak of truth running through them. Arash is also a YouTuber, Persian singer/songwriter, blogger, traveler, filmmaker, big dreamer, and professional kabob eater. When he’s not writing or dreaming up new stories, you can find him in an adventure road-tripping to national parks! If you want to see Arash in his element (ranting about stories) check out his YouTube channel.

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