Tiny Tim and the TV: Special Needs Tale : HubNugget Winner
Tiny Tim and the TV
Tiny Tim and the TV
I've worked with special education students all my life and have assisted all of them in achieving their goals. One popular project involved making a scrapbook with "The Things I Like" printed on the cover.
One day, Tiny Tim was showing me his scrapbook and kept mentioning how much he wanted a color television for his room. Everyone called him “Tiny” as he was around four and a half feet tall, give or take an inch. He was squeaky voiced, like a mouse, and was always bubbly and cheerful. And broadcast electric eyes that radiated excitement. Everyone loved him and there was not a bad bone in his body.
He had cut and pasted a number of televisions into his book, and this visualization of his dream was real, more than ever.
I asked him how he planned to purchase the television, and he replied with a blank look. I pointed out that black and white televisions were less expensive and he might have a better chance of saving enough money for one. I knew the orphaned young man lived in a community home and that a single television was shared by more than a dozen members of the household. I imagined that he lost every battle with his roommates when it came to selecting a channel and a program to view.
I was a realist, he was dreamer.
After much discussion, he made it clear that only a color television would be acceptable to him, although he had no plans for getting the money. If one were to pick a weak spot in his personality, it would be that once his mind was made up, that was the end of the discussion. Yep, he was dreaming.
A few weeks passed, and I asked him how his plans were going for purchasing the television. He replied that he had given up, since he could see no way to earn the large sum required. He wrung his hands and threw his head into his lap.”I dunno—I dunno,” he cried.
I asked him if he thought he could make a dollar a day. He rocked in his chair, as he so often did when upset. After a bit of deep thinking, he figured it out. He pointed to his head. “Goth, Mr. Jay—I mow lawn. Do ya think Tiny getta dolla?”
“Neba—neba next door. Old man…need help.”
“Yep, I bet he would. What else could you do?”
“Tiny rake leaves,” Tiny wash neba car, too.”
“I bet you have many neighbors who could use your help—”
“And they would give Tiny a dolla?”
“Be sure to tell them why you want to be paid.”
“I do stuff for’m all da time. I never thought about ask’n for dolla.”
I told him that if he told all of his neighbors his plans for earning a television and offered to perform these tasks, he would soon have enough money for his goal. I also told him to open a bank account for the safekeeping of the money. I envisioned him going to his sock drawer one day and finding that someone had stolen his stash. It would be devastating. He seemed inspired, and we immediately determined that he needed $289.00 for the model he wanted.
“Gosh, Mr. Jay—you are smart!” He grabbed a red crayon and drew a circle around the picture. “This is gonna be Tiny one day!” He beamed and gave me a hug. “Thank you, Mr. Jay!”
From time to time I inquired how his project was going with his purchase of the TV. “Hey Tiny—why don’t you swat that fly that’s doing circle eights around your head?”
“Swat fly? No hurt, fly. Fly no hurt, Tiny.”
“OK, forget the fly.” I ran for the swatter. “How’s that TV coming along?”
“Tiny work’n on it.”
“Good—glad to hear it.”
The fly landed on his nose and he was looking cross eyed at it as though a jumbo jet had landed. I brushed it from his nose, gave it a swat, and stomped on it. “Tiny, one day I’ll show you how to swat a fly.
“Tiny, no hurt.”
Near the end of the school year, Tiny announced to the class that an important event had occurred. “Tiny got TV!”
I pretended disbelief and fell off my chair. One leg was a little short and it had always wobbled a bit. “What? No way!”
“Yeah.”He stood over me while I was flat on my back behind a desk. We were always playing around and he understood that I was faking it. It was not the first time.
“Color TV!” He proudly handed me the owner’s brochure that came with it. I figured he calculated that he needed proof; otherwise no one would believe such an incredible event had occurred. “You look funny, Mr. Jay.” Everyone was laughing while I laid on the floor looking up at him.
“Hmm…very nice.” I examined the photo.
“Wanna see my bankbook?”
“I think I hurt something. Help me up.”
“We help you. We all help Mr. Jay.” Finally I was back on my feet and he proudly handed me the bank book. I leafed through it and found page after page of one dollar deposits.
He beamed. “Tiny earn many dolla—many dolla!”
I turned to the last page and saw the $289.00 total and one withdrawal. A red stamp ran across the last entry.
I pointed to the red ink. “You closed the account?”
“ Lady give Tiny money. I done.”
“Done? You might want to save up for something else."
“Mowa—Tiny want big mowa.” A sly grin crossed his face. “I mow big lawns—charge five dolla!” He clapped his hands in glee. “Maybe ten dolla—I get rich!”
“OK, Tiny—here’s what you gotta do. Go back to the bank and open up another account.”
“And next time simply ask for the money, but don’t close the account.”
“Nope—I have a feeling you are going to own the largest lawn care company in the city before you are ready to close up the account.”
“Goth! You are thmart, Mr. Jay!”
Need more be said? Probably not, however the “teacher” in me insists that I add the following lesson for my readers:
For Tiny, the earning of $289.00 was an impossible task, but earning $1.00 a day was a simple matter. He had learned the value of working with an achievable goal in order to realize his long range dream. The scrapbook provided the visualization necessary to inspire him. Whenever the task seemed too heavy a burden, I'm sure he turned to his scrapbook for the inspiration that drove him to accomplish one of the great goals of his lifetime.
Visualize your goals, set them down on paper. This takes the goal out of your mind and into the physical world where you can see it. On paper the goal may look like an impossible dream, but wait! You've completed two important steps in achieving an impossible dream. First, your brain was able to conceive an idea, and second, you brought your dream into the world of physical reality by writing it down.
OK—I’ll admit it. This isn’t brain surgery and this lesson was probably nothing new for you. Thanks for checking in with the ole man. See ya next time….
Critcal Reviews of Fantasy books by Jenny (including Lean against the Wind & Watchdogg)