Unfortunately for you, Reader, I can’t tell you from where this story came. The weird thing about hosting a small site on the vast Internet is that you get some very strange visitors. Every once and a while someone fills out the contact me page and I get a fascinating tale from a passing onlooker. Jerome, the main character of this story was kind enough to let me share the story with all of you on this site. I thought you might find his invention of reality augmenting rose colored glasses as interesting as I did.
Inventing the Rose Colored Glasses
Jerome Balquin is a single father, an avid hobbyist. For his day job, which most of us have despite our best efforts, he is an engineer at company that is far too large. When this whole situation took place about three years ago he was down on his luck. His wife passed away a years before, and the company he worked for was “strategically reorganizing” a well-known code for constant layoffs.
In his garage, he tinkers, and he decided to try his hand at augmented reality. With some well placed code and fascinating optics that even I’m astounded by, he created what he calls the Rose Colored Glasses. They do what you would expect, everything he sees through them is absolutely positive.
His overdue bills looked like love letters from his lost sweetheart. Instead of reading failing test grades on his son’s schoolwork he saw the teacher’s praise him for being a fabulous father. Best of all the pile of half-finished inventions now sat on his workbench in their full working glory ready to be sold to help him escape his job. Jerome, for once, was thrilled by the invention.
Unfortunately he couldn’t justify living in this augmented world. He left the glasses to rust on his workbench expecting to only pick them up in time of deep depression.
Missing Glasses and Poor Grades
A few weeks later he came home from a particularly rough day at work, on top of that his son had brought home a report card. He wanted the glasses to keep his son’s grades from seeming too lousy. Yet, he had no luck finding the glasses. Without their aid, he opened up the report card and was unsurprised to see nothing higher than a C.
He walked into the living room prepared to have a chat with his son about the atrocious grades. “Hamil,” he addressed the boy, “we need to talk about these grades.”
The young teenager looked up at him and beamed. “Aren’t you proud dad?” He asked.
Jerome reexamined the grades thinking he had missed something. “You aren’t serious?” The father scoffed.
“Yeah I am! I looked at them before I gave them to you and they were all above a C unlike usual. Also, Mr. Reinhart returned my English paper with a raving note.” The boy pulled a neatly folded essay out of his bag.
Jerome unfolded the essay and read the red script at the top “F incompetent understanding of the subject and the language as a whole.” Then he scanned through a dozen grammar and spelling errors his son had made. He looked back up at his son who was carefully studying a social studies textbook at the kitchen table.
Confused, the father examined the grades and his studying son. He admitted it took him too long to put things together. However, he finally figured out that his son was the one who had filched the spectacles. He decided to let the sleeping pup lie since his son was eagerly studying at the kitchen table.
Hamil’s “Problems” In Class
Things went along like this for a few weeks until Jerome got a call from his son’s teacher. “Mr. Balquin,” the teacher started, “I’d like to talk to you about your son’s very peculiar habits in school.”
“What seems to be the problem?” He replied. Calls like this weren’t rare. His son often misbehaved in class.
“He refuses to do any work without a particular set of glasses on. Does he have vision problems?”
Jerome could have cut his losses and simply lied to get out of the whole situation. However, through my conversations with the fellow, I can tell you he is an honest man and lying isn’t in his character.
Instead, our inventor friend said, “Well Mrs. Reinhart, his glasses help him see the positive side of things. He studies better with them, so I encouraged him to keep wearing them at school.”
“The positive side of things?” The teacher scoffed. “Your son takes tests and does most of our in-class assignments wearing them. He is constantly answering questions, most of the time wrong, but he doesn’t seem to care.”
“How are his grades?” Jerome asked.
“He hasn’t made anything higher than a B all semester. And while he completes every assignment, most of the time they are so far from correct I can’t understand why he continues to put so much effort into the assignments.”
The father hummed in thought. I’m sure any reader who was a student, no matter how atrocious, will realize that a low grade is far more valuable than a zero to your overall GPA. Jerome replied, “I’m sorry that he is still answering questions incorrectly. We are doing our very best at home to study every night.” His son had been nagging him to study every night because of the encouragement his teacher gave him.
“I assume there isn’t any problem with him continuing to use the eyeglasses in class,” Jerome asked the teacher.
“Hamil tells me that it doesn’t connect to wifi or any other kind of internet,” The teacher stated, “I wanted to make sure that was true because it’s so hard to tell what these kids’ technology can and can’t do these days.”
“The glasses do nothing of the sort,” Jerome assured her, “They are not giving him any answers. His continued poor grades can assure you of that.” The man said this with a chuckle hoping the teacher would lighten up.
“Very well sir,” the teacher said, “I see no issue with letting him continue to use them. I am sorry that I have had to call you with such a disturbing and ill news about your son’s studiousness, but I’m sure with some time he will finish high school, or the GED, and get a promising job as a janitor.”
“Thank you very much, Mrs. Reinhart,” Jerome replied with a smile, “I’m glad that you took the time to fill me in on how my son was doing in class.”
Hamil and Jerome Today
Jerome explained to me that this conversation was an indication his son was on the right track. He says that young Hamil has been far more studious over the past few years since he stumbled upon the glasses.
When I inquired about what happened with the lenses and if Hamil still uses them Jerome informed me that he made a more conspicuous pair so that Hamil wouldn’t catch any more flack from his teachers. Hamil is now a junior in high school. He has aced both his SAT and ACT exams and is has applying to a handful of ivy league colleges. The father says Hamil has already received an acceptance letter from some. The boy plans to dual major in astrophysics and applied mathematics to the excitement of his father.
Jerome himself keeps me updated from time to time about how his glasses are improving. He hopes to bring his augmented reality design to market in the next few years. So far he has a few angel investors who have enabled him to quit his job. He now pursues his invention full time.
If you have a student, who isn’t doing too well in school or have a boss that you want to quit reading nagging emails from, then keep an eye out for Jerome’s rose-colored glasses. And if someone seems to be having a great day despite how dreary the world around them is ask them about how they do it. They might be a Beta Tester of Jerome’s new invention.
This was a work of fiction, I hope you enjoyed it. However, there is some really cool evidence that what you wear effects how you perform at certain activities. It’s called Enclothed Cognition and there are facinating videos and articles about it.
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