This morning’s episode reminded me of another time I quite confusedly fell from grace. I was in 3rd grade at the time, and really proud about it. I was proud because I was starting 3rd grade when I was 6 years because I was a kick-ass little student. I had no idea the problems I was going cause and I mean, this would not have occurred to me in a million years.
I had a lot of Capricorn then, as I do now and my intention at that time was to complete two grades a year and then leave home and go have a wonderful life. I thought this was entirely doable and showed up the first day of school, ready to rock.
That weekend, I came home with a fat math book. I liked puzzles at the time so this was like being given Disneyland. I got home and started working through the book.
I finished 2/3 of the book on Saturday, maybe a little more and then quit, again due my Capricorn. Conservation, see? I did not want to run out of good times.
Puzzle books were hard to come by. I understood them to be expensive and since they could only be used once, my parents did not buy them so basically, I was saving my gold in this math book and I headed back to school on Monday.
Monday was a shock. I was foaming all over the mouth about my love of this math book and I quickly found out I was the only one who liked it. Matter of fact, the kids could not do the two pages we were assigned and when they found out I could… well I was a freak, I guess.
Within a week, they pulled me out of the class. This was a new school, see? I went to first grade in town, skipped second and we’d moved to the desert in the meantime. In whatever case they took me out of class and talked to me sweetly in baby-talk which was very confusing because my family has a Mars Mercury, signature.
They knew I could read. I read on a seventh grade level when I was five; this is why they skipped me so they decided to put me to work. There was no gifted programs back then, they didn’t exist.
My first assignment was to sit in this room, more like a large cubicle with a door because it was free-standing in the middle of a larger room and there was no ceiling. There was a desk in there, a chair, and a cassette tape recorder. They gave me a book and told me to read the book into the tape recorder, the idea being they would send the book and the tape home with remedial students to help them learn to read.
I didn’t like this assignment. For one thing, I did not like being in the room alone, never mind this one, with it’s tall beige walls as I am mildly claustrophobic. But besides that, I did not want to do this job! I wanted to have another math book, to advance to 4th grade, or 7th grade or high school for that matter but there I was and I was obedient so I read.
Apparently I read LOUD because some teacher or librarian / authority figure came in right away and told me to keep it down, to read quietly so as not to disrupt people. She said they could hear my voice booming out and I felt extremely ashamed and just about burst into tears. The woman closed the door softly and I did burst into tears.
Wiping my face on my arm, I started to read again and it wasn’t long before I was interrupted again… and fired.
“This isn’t going to work,” the woman explained. I stared. “I can still hear you out there and the word is humiliated. You said hu-mi-lated.”
I noted the mistake in my head and nodded to acknowledge my mistake. I waited to be punished and I was.
Having failed and fallen from my high place that I never wanted to hold in the first place, the woman sent me to the office, telling me they – the office – was just going to have to figure out something else to do with me. I had no idea what she meant.
I went to the office and the friendly secretary asked me in a normal, not a baby voice, “Can I help you?”
“I don’t know. You’re supposed to find something else to do with me” I said.
“Who told you that?”
“I don’t know.”
The secretary excused herself to go get the principal and long story short I wound up working for and with that secretary for the next 3 years.
I never did blend in and it’s not any different now. I don’t know what to do about the problems people have with me.
What would you do?