How do Percy’s choices impact his community and how can he improve?
Percy’s choices are affected negatively by his ADHD—it makes him more easily distracted and impulsive. But ADHD can also help him—the diffused attention part of it, anyways. That can help Percy focus on many things at once, so it’s easier to block out distractions. Another thing that can help Percy is a positive relationship with Mr. Brunner. Mr. Brunner’s class is interesting to Percy, so Percy can ask his teachers to incorporate elements of the class into their own. With that, Percy can improve some of his choices and make some good ones of his own.
ADHD impacts Percy’s choices by making him more easily distracted and impulsive. On page 5, Mr. Brunner was explaining about Greek funeral art. He was listening to the teacher all fine, but then something made Percy’s ADHD go on full power mode. “Nancy Bobofit snickered something about the naked guy on the stele, and [Percy] turned around and said, ‘Will you shut up?’ It came out louder than [he] meant it to.” Percy was focusing on the teacher, but why did he suddenly go berserk over a little snicker? First, it’s because people with ADHD “get easily distracted,” states the Newsela article. Just a small background noise like this can get him to lose his concentration. The Newsela article also tells us that symptoms of ADHD include “blurting out.” In the same situation, people without ADHD would probably just ignore the comment redirect their attention to the teacher. But Percy has ADHD, so he reacted quickly, spoke his mind, and didn’t think before he did so. Yet, in this case, Percy’s ADHD can also help him. The Newsela article explains that “People with ADHD have something called diffused attention. A person with diffused attention can pay attention to many things at the same time.” In this situation, Percy could examine a plant in the corner, look at bug flying around, and listen to Mr. Brunner all at once. He just needs to practice blocking out bad distractions like Nancy. This way, Percy can stop his impulse from kicking in and prevent the whole ordeal from happening. This way, Percy can save himself from the embarrassment that followed. Although ADHD makes Percy more easily distracted and overly impulsive, all he needs to do to control that is to learn to use his diffused attention to his advantage—It’s an indirect way to avoid his other ADHD symptoms, but can be very useful.
Percy has a strong, positive relationship—Mr. Brunner—and he impacts Percy in a good way; Mr. Brunner can influence Percy to like his classes more. Percy says a lot of good things about Mr. Brunner on page 2: “You wouldn’t think he’d be cool, but he told stories and jokes and let us play games in class. He also had this awesome collection of roman armor and weapons. In fact, Percy tells us, “He was the only teacher whose class didn’t put [Percy] to sleep.” Percy likes Mr. Brunner’s teaching style and the content of his class. According to the Newsela article, people with ADHD “might be very focused when something interests them.” It is clear that Percy likes Mr. Brunner’s teaching style and the content of his class. It is also clear that Percy isn’t so fond of his other classes. So, why not ask the other teachers to utilize elements of Mr. Brunner’s class in their class? Although Mr. Brunner’s fun personality is part of the reason why Percy likes him, it’s also because he’s interested in Latin, which is the class Mr. Brunner teaches. There are many ways to incorporate this subject into other classes. For example, in science class, the teacher can talk about Ancient Greek scientists and their findings, and Percy will be interested. In language arts, the teacher can tell Percy about Ancient Greek linguists and how they developed languages, and Percy will be engaged. Even in math class, although that’s a long stretch, the teacher can organize a project for Percy to research famous mathematicians from Ancient Greece, and Percy will be excited. It may be more work for the teachers, but the hard part is that Percy must have the guts to ask them, with whom he certainly does not have positive relationships with.
ADHD impacts Percy’s choices by making him more easily distracted and impulsive, but he can improve his behavior by utilizing his diffused attention and trying to block out bad distractions. There’s also Mr. Brunner, who’s a positive relationship with Percy, to help him enjoy his other classes more. Percy may not make great choices now, but with some help from others, he can improve.