Empathy No. 049
IN THE GARDEN: RODERICK BUTLER
by S. Mills
Those of you walking the halls of this institution, minds abuzz with the aching thrill of another year's worth of misadventures, would be forgiven for not noticing a change in environment. Yes, there's a new air of achievement, an inkling of intelligence, a class that's not in any one classroom but in transit from one to another.
You know who I'm talking about, our little local celebrity laying down fresh roots into the Grove. Roderick Butler, newest addition to our already impressive junior class, is set to shake up the scene in his own way.
Of course, you already know of Roderick's genius and talents. You might have heard of his staggering collection of science fair accolades, or read his mind-blowing stats in Aukland's Unofficial Trivia Guide, or perhaps even heard of his big win in the Pen and Voice writing competition. Or perhaps it's something else entirely that drew your attention - the boy is brilliant, and I don't have space to capture that brilliance.
But who is the man behind all those awards? That, friends, is where the story truly shines. You see, Roderick is a young man of humble beginnings. Raised alone by his mother in a tiny apartment, the boy was reading novels when most of us were figuring out this left-right thing. No coaches or mentors, no one buying him an easier path - Roderick made his own way through sheer determination and endurance.
The most impressive part? The boy's just plain humble. Wouldn't you brag about all of this? I know I would, but not our genius. Does he want to talk about his published stories? No. His award-winning mathematical prowess? No. Bring up anything he's done, and he'll be the first to tell you that it's not as impressive as it sounds. But it is, children. He's that amazing and more, and the most amazing part is how cool he plays it all off.
Roderick's just plain folks when you get to know him. And believe me, each and every one of you should get to know him. Some of you are sitting next to him right now - what are you waiting for? Start up that conversation! You never know what you might hear.
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