I was (video) editing with a client tonight, so I'm once again posting a late entry, but still meeting my "Blogging Every Day" commitment!
I wanted to share with you a 2012 video I re-discovered today on YouTube. It's a Tedx Teen presentation - an independently organized, teen oriented version of the vastly popular TED videos. TED, if you're somehow unfamiliar with this fascinating series, features lectures from great minds around the world on a wide variety of subjects - science, the arts, self-improvement, technology - virtually anything. TED's overall theme is simply, "Ideas Worth Sharing."
Having said that, I'm sharing this video simply because the featured speaker is Jacob Barnett, a brilliant thirteen year old mathematician that, as my friend Lynette Privatsky said, is almost personification of Alexander, the central character in my book, "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain."
Alexander is a quirky, obsessive, intelligent and hyperactive boy whom readers either love or hate. Even his friends find him a bit hard to take sometimes. I have no idea if the real-life Jacob Barnett has such issues, but he seems like the kind of kid to which my character would relate. I enjoy writing fiction about kids like Alexander that defy expectations; I enjoying reading about kids in the world that do the same. It feels somehow grandly subversive when a kid like Jacob not only proves the experts wrong, but, by many accounts, may be a truly extraordinary genius.
Jacob's back story is actually quite interesting. When he was a toddler, he was labeled as severely autistic - some "experts" claimed that his learning disabilities were severe, and his prospects for the future were dim.
Jacob's story from there onward is extraordinary. Here's an article on Jacob from October, 2013 that updates his story.
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