Tuesday, September 30, 2008

If Things had been Different.....

Do you ever have flash backs (no, not LSD flash backs) to your childhood? To times that were so miserable that you wonder if they scarred you and you might have become a different person if things were different?

I had one really horrible year when I was a kid and I still recall parts of it vividly. I can't find things I saw 2 days ago but my mind is fresh on this.

When I was in first grade I was given an intelligence test and scored well. My parents were told I was brilliant and that the school wanted me to enter this program called Accelerated Primary - meaning I would do 2nd and 3rd grade in one year. My parents were thrilled and loved the bragging rights so off I went to a different school with no one that I knew. Back then, I was a shy quiet kid (truly I was!!) and right at the start I was scared and sad. I don't remember having any girl friends in the class and it seems like I sat alone on the steps during recess. I hated school especially when they discovered I wasn't brilliant. That somehow they missed that I didn't know how to read. I was taught the See and Say method instead of Phonics. So although I could memorize words really well, if I hadn't been told how to say the word I didn't have the skills to sound it out. So for the whole year I struggled with reading and had a teacher who didn't have time to work with me. I fell behind and became more miserable. My worse day was when I needed to use the rest room which were in the main building and we were in a portable. The teacher would not let me go to the rest room and told me to wait until recess. I tried to wait. I didn't. I remember sitting at my seat, tears running down my face and pee running across the floor. I remember the long wet march across the playground and the school nurse cleaning me up and giving me an old dress from their stash of clothes for such emergencies. Needless to say, kids are cruel and I was teased for the next few months about wetting my pants.

My parents were aware of how sad I was but told me to stick it out. When the end of the year came, the teacher told my mother she didn't think I was ready for 4th grade and wanted to place me in 3rd. They recommended I get reading help too. So 3rd grade I was back at my old school with my friends and although I had to go to the special room for reading help, it was a much better year. That is until my sister Cathy decided to play hairdresser and whacked off my hair. I wanted to wear a hat for a month. Cathy said it was my fault, that I asked her to do it. Now who listens to a 3rd grader?

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