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John’s sixth grade Language teacher started out the year asking parents for a “million words or less” essay about their kids.  This is the one I wrote for John.                                    


A Million Words Or Less About John Marrs, 6th grade                           


A million words about John Marrs…where to begin?  His many strengths amaze me.  He has an incredible photographic memory which is how I help him study.  I review the concepts to help him understand them and then my teaching is based on using his incredible visual memory.  He learned his math facts using this method of teaching. In the lower grades he was pretty competitive in the math fact games.  He can do mental math because he can picture the problem in his head.  He is an amazing speller because of his ability to visualize.    He can see his spelling words so clearly, that, for awhile he was amazing people by spelling his words not only forwards, but backwards as well. 


John loves country music and will spend hours researching it on the Internet.  He knows many of the male vocalists and the songs they sing.  When a song comes on the radio, he can usually tell you the name of it and its artist from the instrumental before the singing even begins.  He prefers the male vocalists to the women, however I believe he does now have one favorite female artist.


John also loves movies.  His favorites are action movies.  He also likes a good comedy.  He and his 31 year old brother, Clint, have watched movies I don’t really approve of but Clint is so happy to have someone who shares his sense of humor that I’ve let them share that.  In kindergarten when we were told that John was banging around in the boy’s bathroom and they didn’t understand what was going on, we knew…(although we didn’t tell them.)  John and Clint had enjoyed “Liar, Liar” together and John was replaying the bathroom scene.  I’m sure if they could have understood John’s garbled speech when asked what he was doing, they would have heard “I’m kicking my ass, do ya mind?!”  He can reenact many scenes from his favorite movies.  He loves to have the subtitles on when watching movies as it’s easier for him to understand what is being said and he prefers reading the dialog out loud.  That drives Clint and John’s dad nuts!!  John also has many favorite actors and if you are having troubles remembering who was in a movie or the name of some movie, just ask John.  He is an expert. 


John also loves people.  He has studied his yearbooks, my yearbooks, and Clint’s yearbooks.  He has tried to figure out who is whose brother, sister, mother, father…whatever the relationship, by looking through all of our different yearbooks.  I’m sure he knows everyone’s name at Crestwood and their sibling’s names.   


John has also been very successful in 4-H.  He does an awesome job showing and winning with his horse.  I’m so proud of his skills.  However, John prefers just going for an enjoyable ride in the woods.  Showing is not his thing.  John has never been one to want to show off for anyone. He has never felt he needed to prove anything to anyone.  He never wanted to be put on display.  He hates that. 


He has also trained his dog in obedience and showed him to reserve champion two years, and grand champion one year.  He does a tremendous job with his dog.  Again, he loves his dog, and he enjoys the dog obedience classes, but he’s not into the showing.  In John’s eyes everyone should be a winner.   He loves to win, but he doesn’t want anyone to lose. We all should be more like John.  Sometimes I think it is we without Down syndrome, who are missing a chromosome.  I think John is so much closer to perfection than any of the rest of us.


John’s hopes and dreams are pretty much the same as any 12-year-old.  He’d love to play sports and be competitive.  He’d love to be the most popular kid in class and be invited to lots of sleepovers and parties.  He’s loved Josy since kindergarten when she said that she was going to grow up and marry him.  John still wants that to happen.  His ambition has always been to grow up and be a police officer. 


I believe that John will grow up and be whatever he wants to be.  If his desire is still to be a police officer, I’m certain he will do the force proud.  Whatever John Marrs does with his life, I know he will make a difference.  He has already made a huge difference in many lives.  He has taught me more than I could ever teach him.  He’s the most sensitive, intuitive, loving and caring person I know.  His wisdom and common sense amaze and humble me.  I believe that John is closer to God than any of us will ever be.