Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The new school year

I went to 12 different schools in 12 years, elementary through high school. I spent 3 years at my high school and 3 years at one elementary school. There were a lotta changes in those other years. I noticed over time the things I missed in this hodge-podge of education; I never diagrammed a sentence, I never understood math, I have poor grammar and punctuation skills. I did learn Tennessee history and State's Rights, that I was tone deaf and music lessons were futile, I could not sing, and Home Ec was stupid if your mother had no interest.

Back in the day, you know when everyone walked a thousand miles to school (I actually have family that claimed to take a boat across the ditch) there were lists of things you must bring with you. My mother  was not big on those lists. The only thing I remember my mother doing to accomplish the get these kids in school chore, was to wear a hat . . . once. Guess the hat thing did not work out as she never did it again.

Anyway, when I was in second grade I went to another new school. And a day or so later I was moved to a new classroom. So here I am in the new class and I do not have the stuff I am supposed to have. I think they put me in the wrong grade and then fixed it. Whatever, I was the kid without the stuff. When the lessons came up and you did not have your stuff you had to sit in the hall stairway as punishment. I spent so damn much time in the stairway I knew everyone in the school. There was no talking in the stairway but people gave you the look.

No flashcards, sit in the stairway, no jump rope, sit in the stairway, no whatever the fuck you need, sit in the stairway.

This is the same time I got the horrible stomach pains. I remember being paralyzed in pain and not being able to breathe without pain. The pain would last for 4 or 5 hours. I remember going to the hospital for tests and I remember the doctors saying "We need to see her when she is in pain". When you can't talk because of the pain that just does not work out well. Especially if you have a mother that can't figure out when her child is in pain, much less how to buy flashcards and a jump rope.

This is why I hate those damn lists for children to bring their stuff to school. There are parents that are just not that smart, or not that interested, or just plain cannot afford it, or just do not give a damn. So why are the kids left holding that humiliation?

Tomorrow, how I paid my mother back, or why my mother liked my brothers better, or why we are a non-functioning family or shit happens and get over it, because truly no one else cares.


  1. oh, geesh, nola, I just read this right now, not when your first posted it. I'm sorry. I am not a big fan of your mother's. :( My kids have the "lists" too of what they must bring, but the teachers/ schools are nice enough (smart enough? savvy enough?) nowadays to purchase a few extra kits for the kids that come from economically challenged homes or in your case, mom-compassion challenged home. No one wants to embarass a small child.

    My parents divorced when I was 4, and my mom re-married and army guy, so I was an army brat and also moved a lot. We lived in PA for 5 years, and that was the longest time to know anyone (although the 1st 2 yrs were in a private school, then public with different kids). I know I always felt different, like everyone had been there forever but me. I never liked being the transplant.

    Off to Alabama. There for 5th and 6th grade at the military-based school, then 7th at a different school, then 8th at 2 different schools somewhere else. I had had enough at that point. I begged my mom to live with my grandmother in CA and go to that high school. Somehow, all that wishing of pennies in fountains and lucky rabbits' feet and stars and whatever else paid off: I lived with grandmother from 9th--12th. Thank god. that school saved me, but everyone STILL already knew each other.

    Now I have 2 sons, and I swore that we would find a community and put down roots. We did. We moved here when older son was 1 (he is now almost 8). He has known the same people his whole life. It is a small community, and I love it that both of my sons feel comfortable.

    Again, I am sorry about your mom. With the hat or without.


  2. ps-- looked for tomorrow's post about your mom, and could not find it? what did happen? it is hard to "get over" everything, and I for one definitely resent it when people say that phrase to me!!!!!! =O Your alter ego Miss Evelyn eyes you with compassion and does not say "get over it", she says, you poor thing. I'm sorry.