Level Two. Personalisation.

Level Two. Personalisation.

By Michelle Lloyd.

RV was academic but NOT in a conventional way. What did this mean? At school RV was adept at the higher tier based classes and his smartness had raised a few eyebrows.

It was not profound or special or anything like that for RV, he simply found the harder, more complicated questions easier to solve, and that meant attention from everybody else when he took to answering those problems quickly.

In truth, it had put him at odds with everybody else. It was a challenge that for a while had RV feeling socially stressed and isolated. It took a little outside thinking from his trio of friends and family to get him to realise that what he could do, was a means for social appreciation.

Having gotten over this stumbling block by adapting to the situation and even helping out with other class peers and their particular hard to solve problems, this winning idea had turned RV from zero to hero, in terms of his school rep.

It was adapting to other situations that could be a bit more of a stressful complication to navigate. RV did not always, as with his maths skill, think like everybody else. One of these issues that he felt he had trouble with was in language and specifically accents.

An extremely good mimic, RV found that often if he heard someone who had an accent, albeit on TV or in person, he would soon after start talking with EXACTTLY that same way of talking. Thus he could speak with the same elongated pronunciation or a terrifically typical of that location, twang.

While sometimes this was thought of as incredibly funny, it could also be problematic.  When, for example at school a new student was being shown round and RV was asked to stand up and give a small welcome to the class speech, it did not go well at all!

The visitor had a definite accent and RV found that after having heard him talk for only a few minutes, this influenced his own speech greatly. It made RV cringe, just the thought of how he sounded made it seem terribly rude.

Not knowing what had caused this outburst of an imitation had RV’s teacher apologising profusely and consequently her questions about what he was doing and what his intentions were, did not help either.

The explanation from RV, only emphasised the newly found accent further and this predicament was responded to with laughter, that emanated from the whole class. RV did not know where to put himself. Accents were not deliberate on his part but subconsciously worked their way into his speech.

The situation had still been an ordeal. RV had felt too scared to respond for fear of being misunderstood again. In the end, with a bit of prompting from his trio of friends RV confessed his skill. Actually when she heard about RV’s ability to mimic, the teacher instead of become angered by it, had a little think and promised that she would explain to the visitor that what had happened had not been a deliberate insult. Even better, the unconventional introduction did nothing to harm the relationship of new student to the class. Fast forward to the latest addition avidly listening to RV’s accent accomplishment put to good use, as he put together a little consensually agreed to sketch of class and teacher impressions, and it was a lovely if unique welcome for him to the school.