Jimmy and his mom and dad lived in West Virginia in a small town.
Little Jimmy was only 9 years old and was struggling in the 2nd grade. This was his second time around because his teachers held him back last year. All of his classmates were a year younger and a lot smarter. Last year Jimmy averaged all Fs and in his second time around, he was averaging Ds.
His teachers said that Jimmy was a little slow, in fact, he had a very hard time with first grade too. His main problem is he just can’t seem to focus, and he has a wild imagination. He spends most of his time in school daydreaming.
His parents Barbara and Chuck were at their wit’s end trying to get Jimmy to bring up his grades. They hired tutors, and made Jimmy study at home each day after school, just to try to catch up so he could get to the 3rd grade.
Jimmy is just going to be slow, so get used to it
This trend continued for the next 3 years. Jimmy’s best effort never surpassed a D+ in school. His teachers all but gave up on him, and would simply pass him into the next grade, just to get rid of him. His Mom and Dad even stopped making him study after school each day because it didn’t seem to matter.
Jimmy was just going to be slow and that was that. Jimmy had a very hard time keeping friends too. It seems that his constant daydreaming was just too hard to take for most kids. He was friendly enough, but he just couldn’t focus on anything more than a minute or two.
At the age of 13, Jimmy was pretty lonely and struggling with the 6th grade. The school was getting harder and harder. His parents tried everything they could think of, including taking Jimmy to the doctor to have him checked out. The doctors said that Jimmy was just a little slow, and encouraged his parents to accept the fact that Jimmy wasn’t going to magically change
Chuck and Barbara come to terms with Jimmy’s education problem
How did this happen? Barbara and Chuck were both pretty smart. They both had college degrees, in fact, they met while attending the University of Pennsylvania where they both graduated with bachelor’s degrees in business and science. How could they have a child that was way below average?
His school counselors talked to Barbara and Chuck and told them that Jimmy most likely won’t be able to complete high school. They agreed to continue to let Jimmy pass each year, just so he could get through school. They said the best thing for Jimmy to do is just get past school so that he can eventually get some kind of simple labor job because that is the best his parents could ever hope for.
Maybe what they need was a change.
They decided to start looking for a new place to live in California. Both Barbara and Chuck had talked before about moving to California, but they just never did it. Maybe a change would be good for Jimmy too.
After getting through the 6th grade, it was time to get ready for middle school. In the 7th grade where the math and science started getting much harder to do. Jimmy’s parents knew that Jimmy would never be able to pass the 7th grade. They just took the counselor’s advice and decided to stop trying to force Jimmy to keep up with the other kids. It was obvious that he just didn’t have it in him.
During that summer Jimmy and his parents decided to take a vacation and go to California by car. They just wanted to take some time off and enjoy seeing America. Plus they were still entertaining the idea of moving to California and wanted to look for a new home.
Jimmy loved fishing, so they decided to take Jimmy to see the ocean and do some deepsea fishing. Their trip included a drive up the Pacific Northwest Highway 101, where they stopped each night at small motels to spend the night. At one particular motel along the highway, Jimmy noticed a pier stretching out into the ocean. He asked if they could stop and let him go fishing off the pier.
Moving to California
While Jimmy was fishing off the pier, his parents started talking about looking for a new home. This would be a great place to live, and Jimmy seems to really like it here. Jimmy was going to start in the 7th grade which meant that he was going to change schools. his mom said” If we are ever going to move to California, this is the time to do it, before Jimmy starts at his new school.
They bought a home in Crescent City, California. A city so small that if you were traveling on freeway 101, you could go through the entire town in less than 3 minutes.
Their new home was a three-bedroom wooden house that was probably built about 80 years ago. Two of the bedrooms were downstairs and one was upstairs. Jimmy got the upstairs bedroom.
Time to start at a new school
A month after they settled in, it was late August and time for Jimmy to start the 7th grade. This was going to be a fresh new start for Jimmy. His parents were hoping that Jimmy would meet some new friends and maybe even do better in school.
Six weeks after Jimmy started in his new school, Barbara and Chuck got a call from the school counselor. Chuck said to Barbara, “Oh No, Here we go again, I told you we should have talked to the school teachers before Jimmy attended class.
We should have explained about Jimmy being slow to learn.” They set up an appointment to talk to the counselor and were dreading the meeting. They have been through this many times before.
The counselor was Bob Davis and Jimmy’s parents had a meeting with him the next Monday morning at 10 AM. On Monday they took Jimmy to school and he went to class a usual, Chuck and Barbara met Mr. Davis in his office for the meeting.
We should have warned you about Jimmy
Before Bob could even get a word out, Chuck said, “I’m sorry we didn’t talk to you before, we should have warned you about Jimmy being slow to learn. It’s always been this way, and we have learned to accept the fact the Jimmy has a real serious learning disability.
Bob said, “What are you talking about? He is making straight A’s” Barbara said “HUH?? “You must have our Jimmy mixed up with another Jimmy.” Bob said “No, this is your Jimmy. Not only is he making straight A’s, but I was going to recommend that you pull him out of our middle school and enroll him into our high school as a senior.
As the words echoed off the walls of the office, Chuck and Barbara’s mouths fell down to the floor. Chuck said” What? I don’t understand.” Bob said “Staying in our middle school system for Jimmy is a waste of time and he will probably get bored. Jimmy needs to be challenged to continue to learn”
You must have the wrong Jimmy
Chuck and Barbara looked at each other as their eyes were glazing over, you could tell that they were both thinking the same thing: “What the hell is this guy talking about?”
Bob went on to explain: “We have several trick questions on our science and math test, designed to find identify gifted children, and geniuses, so we can advance them up into higher education. These questions are so hard that just about everyone fails the test, even our teachers wouldn’t be able to answer some of the questions.”
“Jimmy aced them all, he’s the smartest student I have ever seen in my 35+ years of being a school counselor.”
Chuck and Barbara were stunned. Was this some kind of cruel joke? They looked around for a hidden camera. This must be one of those candid cameras or prank shows.
Bob said “No, I’m serious. In fact, we had jimmy sit in a room all alone with no outside influences at all, no books, no cell phones, just Jimmy, a pencil, and a test paper. We gave him a test that is given to college seniors, and he scored 100%”
We need some answers, Jimmy!
Barbara and Chuck picked Jimmy up after school and told him that there was going to be a family meeting when we get back home. Jimmy asked, “Am I in trouble?” His mom said, “NO, we just need to talk.”
The rest of the 10-minute trip home was totally silent. Jimmy knew something was going on, and he started getting nervous. Jimmy suspected the conversation was going something about the school.
The Home Meeting
When Jimmy got home, his parents said, let’s go and sit down at the dining room table and have a talk. They ordered a pizza and started eating dinner. Chuck started the conversation, “So Jimmy, we had an interesting talk with your school counselor. He said that you are doing really good in school, want to explain that?”
Jimmy said, “yeah, I just started studying really hard.” His dad said, “Nope, WRONG ANSWER, want to try again? This time I need the truth!” Jimmy’s mother chimed in, “we aren’t mad at you, we just want to know what is going on. How did you get straight A’s this semester?”
Jimmy stumbled around for an answer. His father, who was starting to lose his temper said, in a loud booming voice, JIMMY, JUST TELL US WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!”
Jimmy said, “you’re not going to believe me”
His father interrupted and said “JIMMY!” Now Jimmy knew that voice, it was time to spill the beans. Jimmy said “Ok’ I’ll tell you. Benard was giving me all of the answers.”
Jimmy’s mom asked, “Who is Bernard? One of your school mates? A new friend?” Jimmy said “No Bernard lives in our house, he’s a ghost”
Just as soon as those words left Jimmy’s mouth, both of his parents were in shock. They starred at Jimmy like he was some kind of space alien. Finally, his dad said, “Bernard who,” and Jimmy replied “Bernard Dixon.” He used to be a professor at Stanford University.
He lived in our house and I have his old bedroom. After we moved in, I work up one morning and found him sitting in a chair in my room. I was really scared at first, but he seems to be really nice, and he told me that he was going to start helping me with life.
Jimmy’s mom asked, “If Barnard here now?” Jimmy said well sort of, actually he lives in my head now and talks to me whenever I have to solve a problem. We made a deal, I would allow him to live in my mind in exchange for him helping me whenever I need it.
Time for a quick test
Jimmy’s father said “BS” and he pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and placed it on the table in front of Jimmy. I’m going to give you a little test. I want you to multiply 237 times 43. Chuck was typing the random numbers into the calculator on his smartphone. Before he could even hit the multiplication key, Jimmy said “10,191” He didn’t even use the pen and paper
Chuck was shocked as he finished the equation on his smartphone and came up with the exact same number. Jimmy said, “Yeah, Benard’s pretty fast with numbers” Jimmy’s dad stared at Jimmy in disbelief.
Chuck looked at Barbara and said “Either he’s cheating or telling the truth, OK, let’s try this one. What is the square root of 68?” Again, before Chuck could finish the calculation on his smartphone, Jimmy said “8.2462” Chuck was wide-eyed as he showed the result on his phone screen to Barbara, 8.2462
Now, Chuck and Barbara are believers in ghosts.
Chuck told Jimmy, “never tell another living soul about this for the rest of your life.” Jimmy said, “that’s funny because Benard told me to do the same thing.” He said I could only tell my parents so that I wouldn’t be punished for cheating, or telling a lie.
Chuck looked at Barbara and said, “well at least we don’t have to worry about Jimmy anymore, he’s going to be just fine.”