Almost making the grade

By Melanie Yingst - Guest columnist

Earlier this week, I received a formal too-official-to-be-a-bill-looking letter in the mail.

It was one of those letters you find intriguing and slightly frightening because it could hold amazing news or I may have a bench warrant out there in a neighboring county.

So I sat in my driveway and opened it. It’s where I do all my correspondence these days. When I saw the logo for the Miami County Educational Service Center, I panicked.

They usually only write when my kid racks up a serial amount of tardies. It’s not because my kid is tardy, it’s because I am tardy getting my kid to school. I’m a terrible parent, I know. But I’ve been doing much better, I promise!

There is no way Evan has been late to school that many times! But then I read further.

In short, the letter stated my 13-year-old had scored “just below” the gifted identification score in the area of social studies on a standardized test last year.

I remember the glossy sheet of paper with his test scores. I couldn’t tell you the exact number of the scores or what subject they were, but one bar graph was higher than the other.

Other than that, it went in the trash.

With the letter in my lap, I took a screen shot and sent the image to his father to humble-brag that Evan was. like. in the Minor Leagues of genius.

I mean, I know my kid is smart, but “just below gifted” is a new category to me. I guess there isn’t a real polite way to say, “Hey, your kid filled out the bubble sheet really well last year on this test. To make sure it isn’t a fluke, we want to give him another test to make sure he’s not some multiple choice wizard.”

But I can assure you, he kind of is a multiple choice wizard.

First off, I will say, this is all tongue-in-cheek. I love Evan. I know he is very smart. So smart, he’s been making his own sandwiches since he was 5 years old.

But, according to this letter, he’s like the off-off Broadway kind of smart. The NBA D-League, the Hydrox cookie type of smart.

I mean, if my son was gifted, he’d actually turn in his homework on time. Every time I run in to a seasoned parent or education officials, I beg them to tell me the secret to having students turn their work in on time. It rips my heart out every time I see three copies of the same worksheet shoved at the bottom of his book bag.

And if he was borderline gifted, he’d remember his coat on a cold winter day. He wouldn’t put clean clothes — make that brand-new clothes with tags still on them — in the laundry hamper.

He’d also let me know when the first payment was due for an upcoming class trip more than 24 hours in advance. I’m sure some of you can relate. He gave me enough notice that I was happy he wanted to go on this trip, but not enough that I was completely confident that my check wouldn’t bounce as I was transferring the funds over on the way to school (running late).

Ultimately, we left it up to Evan to see if he wanted to take the hour-long test and he said he wanted to give it a shot.


“Well, if I take the test and it takes an hour, that means I get out of at least one class for the day,” was his reply.

Now that’s genius.

By Melanie Yingst

Guest columnist

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News.