Not A Happy Place For MeSchool for me was an endurance test rather than anything inspirational or even vastly educational.
I can't say I was "bullied" at least not physically so, but I was never "liked" at school... by either children or teachers.... and that goes for all years - nursery school right up to the end. I'm not sure why.
Any attention I received was always of the negative sort - I was doing things in a different way than the other children, or I wasn't doing something correctly, or I should have already known the answer to questions I had for the teacher. Whenever I asked a question it was received with a roll of the eyes, a deep sigh and a quick response... no explanation, no "teaching" of any kind... just a "shut up and get on with your work" response. I've heard of families having "scapegoats", I guess I was the scapegoat for the whole community. Yay for me, eh?!
There was also a particular teacher who use to single me out for "special treatment". I remember one day in class we were to have mock "interviews" where you would be placed in the "hotseat" in the centre of the room, and the other children were to ask questions. I remember this teacher looking around the room deciding who to put in the hotseat, of course at one point he chose me, with a big sly grin on his face,
Other participants got innocent topics like "movies" or "books" or "music", not me no... I sat in the chair and looked at him as his grin got wider and wider.... the topic was "personal clothing style".
Now, I'd like to say I come from a rich family background, but I don't. I come from a regular working class background... and this was the 80s, the nation was in recession at the time, my dad had been made reduncant.... all of this meaning I was in basic (cheap) clothing during my school years... sometimes even family hand-me-downs. Of course also at this point in the 80s it was the beginning of kids bullying each other for not wearing designer clothing, things like Levi 501 Jeans or , Reebok or NIke sports shoes. I'm sure you know what I mean.... Anyway, my family could not afford any of this stuff (not that I really cared, but other people did).
So I had to sit in that seat in the middle of the classroom, while the kids took their opportunity to take pot shots at me about my lack of style etc etc etc. All the time he is there in the back grinning and snickering to himself. Looking back, I wish I'd had the courage then to walk out of the class and report him, but I know in my heart of hearts the school would not have respected my complaint. They would have put the blame on me, that I was the rebel or troublemaker here. Telling my parents would not have helped the situation either, I know that in my heart of hearts too. They would have been treated the same way. I think this was the point I finally lost all trust and respect for the school. Thankfully, by this point I only had a short while to go before I could leave and get a job - which is what I did. I couldn't leave that place quickly enough. I didn't even go in on the last day of school to say goodbye to anybody. I didn't see the point.
School is where I learned to have trust issues. As well as classes in English, maths, sciences.... I got classes in "do not trust anybody" and "people can be really mean" and "don't bother with people like that, you know who you are, you know they do not know you at all". I learned to trust myself, to rely on myself.
I'm lucky I think... I could have come out of that whole situation completely damaged. I don't think I am damaged, bruised and battered maybe, but not damaged.
Opalgem 36-40, F 0 Jan 28, 2011