I recently had the chance to read through Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth’s excellent Dear Albert Einstein script. I loved the story and flew through the pages. Then I immediately found myself recollecting my own school memories and relating to Susan.
Dear Albert Einstein tells Susan’s story. She is a 12-year-old math ‘nerd’ who upon entering middle school decides she wants to leave that behind in favor of trying to fit in with the popular girls. Luckily, she conjures up her idol, Albert Einstein, in her imagination and he helps her find her way. What follows is a touching, smart and funny story of self-discovery.
10 years ago I was a high school introvert, wanting to go about my days without being noticed while also wanting to make friends and have the social life I thought high school students should have – a major conundrum. It struck me while reading Mr. Kaplan and Ms. Wordsworth’s words, how after all the time that has passed, I still found myself relating to Susan’s journey.
There is so much pressure to look and act a certain way, especially by your peers and especially in that middle-to-high school age bracket, which is why it is so important to have a passion and to nurture it. For Susan it’s math; for me it was days spent in the back of the library writing; creating characters and worlds that were all my own. And it was my love of writing that allowed me to stay true to myself, not concern myself with what others thought and eventually did find me those friends I thought I should have.
Like Susan, we all leave school having gone on a journey that ends with a better understanding of self. Although it’s probably more fun to have Einstein pop up when you least expect him!
How did your middle and high school experiences help shape you?