Sunday, January 7, 2018

Did You Ever Get Into Trouble At School?

Answering the questions people have
asked (or I have asked myself) about
my past, present, or future.
Back in middle school, I got suspended for one day for belting a bully across the lip with my clarinet case. He ended up getting three days. The write-up officially and politely said: "bumped him with a horn case." When both of us were sitting in the office, the principal pulled out our files. My was empty. His wasn't.

"This sheds a little bit more light on the situation," the head guy said, as he looked down the bully's rap sheet. I forget the specifics, but the other guy had a documented record of pestering, harassing, annoying and generally being a posterior orifice. The principal had sympathy on me. He had scorn for the other guy, and he made sure that other guy knew it before we both left.

Mostly though, I had a big problem in elementary school with daydreaming.

I used to get written up a lot for "not paying attention." Maybe I was bored. Maybe the lessons were boring. Maybe I wasn't being sufficiently intellectually stimulated. Who knows?

Back then, the teachers complained to my parents, and the Queen Mother and Royal Father complained to me about being off in a "world of my own." One teacher used to call me "Lucy," after a girl in a story we read called "Lucy Didn't Listen."

What I couldn't say then, but I can say now is this: Did anybody ever consider that maybe I would do better working on my own, instead of in a classroom setting? Where I could focus?

Nowadays, if this same problem surfaced, the faculty would likely be strongarming my parents to put me on Ritalin, Prozac or Lithium. They would've diagnosed me with Attention Deficit Disorder and compartmentalized me in a way that would have let them wash their hands of diagnosing the real problem while putting their great hope on drug therapy. And under the influence, I probably would've been off in that other world again -- better living through chemistry.

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