“Allen did his homework all by himself when he was seven.” Allen was Grayson’s older brother. Every day in school and at home he was reminded how great Albert was. “You’re not like your brother,” they would say when he was talking, or when he handed in work. He was always trying to be better than Albert, and almost never was. Albert, 16, was into sports, and good at school. Grayson, 13, was into Art, music, and had trouble in school. He wasn’t well organized.
The next day at school, when we were packing up, Ms.Jennings, his teacher, said “remember, there is an essay due next Friday. Write a 5 page long story about a fictional character.” Grayson had heard about this. His brother got an 98 on this assignment. The best in his whole school. Grayson was determined to do better.
He went to go talk to his family. “Don’t get your hopes up,” “It’s too hard” is what they said. That made him more determined. Right away, he started working on it. For hours, every day, he worked on it. His friends asked him to hang out, but he always said, “I need to do my homework.” His friends were losing patience.
The day before, he worked for 4 hours. Rereading it over and over again, making sure it was the best it could be. He couldn’t sleep that night. He was too nervous. He wanted to be Grayson, not Allen’s younger brother. He was tired of being the kid that wasn’t as good as Allen.
The next day he handed it in, Ms.Jennings said, “come back at the end of the day for your grades.” He couldn’t focus on any of his classes, and his teachers had to tell him to pay attention multiple times. At the end of the day, Ms.Jennings called everyone into her class, and said, “Many of you did exceptional on this assignment, but one student did better than the rest, in fact he got an 100.” Grayson knew it had to be him. No one worked harder than him on that story. “The student is Alex,” the teacher said. Everyone was clapping, but not Grayson. It wasn’t fair. He knew Alex barely tried on that story. “Ok, now everyone get your stories.” Ms. Jennings told Grayson he did a good job and Grayson took his paper. He checked the grade. 92! He was furious. He went straight home that day, talking to no one.
He showed his family his grade, and they were happy, but Grayson wasn’t. He talked to Allen. He ran into Allen’s room, crying. He told Allen everything, how he was tired of being in his shadow, how Grayson would never be as good as him, and how upset it made him. Allen said, “Why do you think that?” “Because I tried so hard and still didn’t get a 98.” Grayson said, “when I was your age, do you think I won that art contest. Do you think I was a great singer and guitarist when I was your age? I wish I could be like you.” Grayson never thought of it that way. Maybe he wasn’t as good at school, but he was good at other things. Maybe he wasn’t a kid that wasn’t as smart as Allen. He was just different.
Grayson Allen trips people