I thought about writing a chipper post about fall in Oregon, where I grew up, and the crunchy leaves and the crisp air and the sunshine in September.
I could reminisce picking blackberries on the side of the road, waking up early for soccer tryouts, and going shopping in Portland for school clothes. Fall is beautiful in Oregon. Everyone is outside enjoying the last bursts of sunshine before settling in for winter hibernation (slash seasonal depression).
Oh, but you know what would be so much more fun to talk about?
Because we all know that fall=school. At least for about 13 – 18 years. And school is awkward, which makes for great stories.
I am a product of 100% public school. I feel like I turned out ok. I went on to college, graduated, and finished a Master’s degree. I married a smart human being and I believe we produced a decently brilliant offspring. Public school educated me satisfactorily. But, on the emotional side of things, public school was a bit traumatizing.
Let me explain.
The first traumatic moment occurred in kindergarten. I can remember it vividly. We were all sitting on the carpet. I got up from the front row when it was my turn for Show & Tell. And … no you didn’t.
We’ll just call him Billy. HE FLIPPED UP MY SKIRT. In front of the entire class. I was mortified. I think to this day it has affected my ability to wear a mini skirt.
Now I’m in 1st grade. I am seated next to … let’s call him Carl … He becomes my stalker. In my little first grade mind, I am being harassed. I am being violated by this devilish boy. And as a result I am crying at home and begging my mom not to send me to school and subject me to this dangerous mini-human. As my (very flawed) memory recalls, this went on and on and was terribly traumatic, and I finally was moved to a different seat next to a lovely girl named Karen.
In 2nd grade I went through a brief identity crisis. I so desperately wanted more attention from my beautiful teacher, who happened to also be named Mrs. Hershey (No joke). So desperate in fact that I took up thumb sucking. In second grade. I remember it was revolting, but it did indeed work.
3rd grade was filled with girl drama. There were at least three of us fighting over Ronnie T (name changed to protect his privacy. ha. as if he reads this blog) - the new boy at school. Following the girl fights, our teacher would require us to participate in “Monkey hugs.” I mean, really, a monkey hug does make all things better.
After the romance, or lack thereof, that was third grade, I did finally get my first real-life boyfriend in 4th grade. To whom I never spoke. Or touched. Or was in the same room with. (besides recess)
Ah, 5th grade. This was the year the trauma really hit hard. I was told I have a mustache. Who knew? To this day I am paranoid. Wax is a (Italian) girl’s best friend.
In order to cope with my newly discovered mustache, in 6th grade I decide I wanted to be a gangster. So my friends, (scratch that), friend and I started our own gang – SBD. You guessed it, Silent But Deadly. Because we were really deadly and dangerous and stuff.
Ok, not really. But, we did wear our clothes five times too big and we did egg a few houses. And maybe a church. (the SHAME.)
These are the kinds of things that one endures in public school in the 1980s. I lived to tell about it.