ah, education

I’m presently inundated with scraps from my past, after cleaning out the attic of the old homestead with Turtle on Thanksgiving. I restricted myself to one, supposedly manageable, box of stuff, but it’s full of little bits and pieces, all snaggled up in the tar-paper of memory. I’ve been half-heartedly poking through it.

AI has forbidden me to tell him any more stories from my childhood, on the grounds that they are generally too horrible and depressing. When he placed this ban I was a little taken aback, as I’ve never really viewed my youth as being utterly terrible, or not even so awful that I am disinclined to revisit it. I do recognize that it was hard,  but I’ve always assumed it was only as hard as it is for everyone who’s a little different, especially growing up in small towns (or, even smaller than small towns: villages and scant crossroads mired in the middles of nowhere).

However, I do get a sense of it objectively from time to time, and I begin to recognize that my experience may have been a little more harrowing than that of the average youth. Case in point being this short piece that I had written at the end of grade 8, after being asked to produce your fondest memory from grade school:

To tell of the things that have happened to me at ______ along the lines of happiness and joy is easy in the simplicity of the list. The total amount of things would not amount to over a paragraph long, and I have no intention of making experiences that were totally horrid sound wonderful. Truthfully my life here was a living nightmare. The uncounted times of me coming home with a knot in my throat and unshed tears coming to my eyes are so many that I could not even estimate them.

It goes on, of course, outlining a few examples year to year, and calumniating with a parting shot, “Thank you for scaring me for life ______ I’ll ALWAYS remember you for it!!!!!!!” which may have been a little over the top. Actually, reading it now, I’m struck by two things. First, that while I do still remember the school body for its adversarial bent, even more clearly I remember my teacher going apoplectic after handing in my little scripted gem. (I think his exact words were “It’s and insult to your classmates, an insult to your school, and most importantly, I find it an insult to me.”) Second, although it’s a tidy bit of prose for a kid in grade 8, I suspect I’ve always been inclined to write the way that I speak, and if I was that formal in elementary school, some of the problems I experienced may not be such a mystery.

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~ by A Mundi on October 15, 2009.

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