During a lesson on Dante, Dr. Matthew McConnell asked his humanities students what they imagined hell was like. The children described features and characteristics typically associated with hell — darkness, fire, and heat — until one of them said, “It’s like my previous school.” Some of the students laughed, others didn’t, but all of them nodded in understanding.
I too couldn’t help but nod. My middle school years were the most difficult, pointless, and painful time of my childhood. The lessons were boring, the teachers were indifferent, and the students were bullies. I did well academically, but it felt impossible for me to connect with others.
That was 40 years ago — long before people were familiar with concepts like twice-exceptio...
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