A third grade student used to sit at the back desk, alone. As a middle level student all his tests had always been below 16 out of 20. He never hung out with any of the students in his class, regardless their level; the weak students being a bad influence; the exceptional ones making him look worse a student than he thought he really was. Unfortunately for him, no other student in his class was medium level!
One day he asked the teacher if he could sit at a desk nearer the board, distance being the reason he usually failed to participate. His teacher discussed it with the other students, but they all denied exchanging seats with him. Then all in the room except him started talking to each other making noise and laughing. That night insomnia kept him company. The next day, dead tired, he came up with a different excuse: that he couldn’t hear everything she taught, so he preferred to sit further to the front. Her answer was that she would try to speak louder from then on. He did not expect that. Sweat ran over his face and his shoulders. That second night he had terrible nightmares. On the third day he came up with a new idea on how to make it to a desk to the front line. But this time he spoke to his teacher during break, making sure nobody would hear: “Miss, it is hard for me, but I have to say it: in all the tests I see many of my classmates cheating; looking in other students’ tests, or taking very small pieces of paper out of their sleeves; I even saw Herman to whom you usually give 20s, using his mobile to text to who knows whom!” His teacher, puzzled, just uttered “thanks” and she rushed down the stairs. He looked at her in relief and content. That night he had a wonderful dream of himself on the front desk holding a dozen tests marked 20 out of 20, and his fellow students with burnt tests.
On the fourth day at first period, looking at his teacher in anticipation and waiting for the grand announcement, he seemed to be the happiest student in class. Next thing, the school secretary entered and called him to the Principal’s office. With his chest swollen with pride he walked past all the desks and didn’t even throw a mere look to any of the ‘elite’ students. In his office, the Principal watched all the air, litre by litre escaping from his punctured chest as he announced: “Dear Nevy, after you teacher’s enquiry, you are to be transferred to the class of the learning disabled, at a desk nearer the board. It seems you have minor hearing and sight impairments! This, of course, only until the end of the year, when your class will have graduated. We surely hope your new place will help you improve your marks, dear child.” And so Nevy left with his burnt fingers hidden in his pockets, instead. And, head down, he counted 345 square tiles to his new class, including the five inside the door leading to the front most desk.
Envy is the shortest way to your isolation and deprivation.