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Dan Drinker and Terri Lynn Mckenzie were students in Mrs. Overcash's 4th grade class together. Dan was part of an inclusion classroom where he was the only student in the class with special needs. My mother kept a communication book with all of Dan's teachers. Dan would carry the book back and forth between home and school. Below are excerpts from the daily conversations my mother had with Dan's teacher and Aide.
Dan first met Terri in the first week of September. The first week of school:
9/4/96Today I spoke to the class about Dan. Everyone was very receptive. His classmates at his table are: Terri Mckenzie, Shannon Kearns, and Fred Chang. Terri was commended today for being so wonderful and helpful to Dan.
9/5/96Terri mentioned that Dan kissed her at lunchtime. She was very understanding as we spoke to her.
9/6/96Dan’s friend that sits next to him is Terri. Apparently, he was following her around and not allowing her time to play with other friends. She appears to be a very nice and fair friend. She isn’t truly complaining about him – she’s just suggesting that she be able to play with other kids, too. I talked to him. Could you, too? Some other boys also came up and said they want to play with him for tomorrow. So I felt good about this because they all worked this out on their own.
Those accounts were from Mrs. Overcash and Mrs. Haegel. The following year, in fifth grade, my mom was corresponding with two other teachers, Mrs. Meyer and Mrs. Kozeniewski. Terri was no longer in Dan's class but the first week of school was all about her:
9/3/97He didn’t want to come in for recess. I went out to get him and asked him if everything was okay. He said, “no” and asked for Terri. He asks for her a lot. I told him he could see her during recess. He seems to accept his friends being in other classrooms, but not Terri.
9/5/97If you could talk to him about how important it is for him to come in from recess in the class line it would be very helpful. He stays outside to wait for Terri. We haven’t given in on his requests for Terri. I’ve been telling him that she is in another class where she is learning, like he is. Overall, we had a great first week. I think Dan and I will have a wonderful year. Looking forward to Monday.
9/11/97We think that Dominique is replacing Terri. Dan taps her on the head when he walks by her. She seems to be understanding, so far.
You guys have been busy, huh? I was so happy to see a post about Dan. My little Daniel is clapping his hands and sitting up on his own. Anyway, the haircut looks good, Dan. I look forward to the next entry. Take care of yourself.
Kathy (and little Daniel - or PJ as we call him)
Hey guys! I've missed you! :) I love the haircut video. Dan - how's Sarah? What have you two lovebirds been up to? And how about you Will? Thanks for the fun post. Great to hear from you guys!
I hate to sound...suspicious?...but at one point another hairdresser wa;ls behind Dan and terri and makes a comment in what can only be described as "a DS voice" and says "I got my own apartment"....kind of...mockingly? Is it just me who caught that? And she asks some personal questions (French kissing) that seem very rude and intrusive, too. Maybe I am just too sensitive, but does stuff like that bug you?
He was a laddie's man at the tender age of nine or ten vary cool Dan
Dan come visit me on my blog and will too
Ahh Finally a funny and refreshing story about real people. Dan, Will, I'm hooked and I think you and your family are awesome. Will, don't stop ever with your documentary about Dan! For me, it's also a personal journey and I am determined to share my son's fantastic outlook,love, and compassion with everyone.Thanks Dan, thanks Will.
so happy for the new post! Dan, you look great! How is Sarah doing? Did she like the haircut?
I have been sneaking away to the computer in the basement this fine Saturday, hooked on your blog! I especially loved this post!
My son, Gabriel, has Ds. He is three and half years old. I have to say that it is a true joy to have found your blog and view Dan and his family in everyday life.
Dan is so charming, funny and smart! I hope my son grows up to be like him!
Kudos to the Drinker Family! And many thanks!!!
I am a big fan of Dan!
I love that 2 times he says, "Will, she weird." Because she is! And she irritated me a little bit.
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