I'm just home from a class I teach to high school Junior and Seniors "College Prep and Interviewing Skills". It's usually attended by students who are there because their parents make them attend... only once did I have a student who researched it and actually paid for it herself! Many students have had their parents spend mega bucks on SAT review classes, private tutoring, etc. From working with college students for years, I started to see a trend ~ many fall short on "soft skills" - how to conduct themselves in an interview, basic manners, etc. Tonight I had a student who had (I'm assuming) Tourette Syndrome, or just a very noticeable "tic". His name is Mike. It was very distracting, I assume he is brilliant (perfect math SAT score), but falls short on people skills and confidence. What impressed me was the genuine compassion from the other students in the class. They were patient and thoughtful and when we do some role playing there was no sense that anyone did not want to be his partner. I was so impressed and grateful with their reactions and how he was accepted, even appropriately complementing him. Mike felt comfortable and tried so hard to control his tic, but he knew he was accepted and at the end of the class he made it a point to thank them and not making him feel "different". Without going into too much detail, I left with such a feeling of hope and reward, I thought when the class started I'd be leaving with a "heavy heart". It just goes to show that students at 16 and 17 have the mind set to be so caring and thoughtful. They all walked out together, a couple even waited for Mike so he was included. None of these students had ever met each other before tonight. I'll see them again next week, I think I actually got more out of tonight's class then they did... so very encouraging.