My Weird Education, Part 1....
Loved all the comments last post and all the new Friends! 102 comments???? Wonderfully done!!!!!!!! I'll let you know what Kitty thinks, but I already know she is going to feel so loved. I liked all the places our chatting went too, gave me a lot of things to look up, as in -I- had never heard of a lot of those forms of poetry and different literature styles. SO much to learn...
Speaking of which, you asked for the story of My Weird Education, so we will start with that and leave Bonnie Raitt for another day....
Just before I started Kindergarten, my parents told me the school had sent a letter saying they were going to teach me to read using a wonderful new method. I mentioned, somewhat indigently, as I recall, that I could already read. We know, they told me but they are doing it this way now...(And so begins a public education saga that does not spiral upward)
What They had developed was something called ITA, which meant that They used a sort of different alphabet aand symblos and everything was spelled phonetically. (This is a real thing, click Here to see it..) This would mess anyone up, but for a kid who could already read it was disastrous. Boss once saw one of my early papers and remarked that the wonder wasn't that I could not (to this day) spell well, but that I could at all. Here is an example sentence....And remember a lot of these letters, were symbols, like AE, TH, UE, SH etc....
"An inishul teeching alfubet maeks thu task uv lerning tue reed eezeeer and mor enjjoiubul"
(No, sadly, I am not making this up, taken from the ITA website)
They abandoned it the next year. For somewhat obvious reasons. I remember being incredibly bored all thru elementary school, except for music. That teacher was great, music class was the best, and he collected fossils, same as me. (I was nuts for fossils, still am)
The school decided what would be best was for me to skip a grade, go from 3rd to 5th, which my parents told me, they had declined, saying it would be better to stay with my age group. Right. When I did get to 5th grade, I thought things were getting exciting, as NOW one could learn to play an instrument. Except my parents said no, and told me that we had taken a Music Aptitude Test on 4th grade, and the school had sent a letter home saying I was not Apt and should not be encouraged to play music.
In middle school, I got excited again, as one could take French and German and Spanish. Sign me the heck UP says I!!! I will speak them all! (I already had a private tutor in Swedish, due to an ABBA obsession, and the fact that all their early music was in Swedish) No, said the school. ONE language. You can't learn more than one at a time. You will fail. It's too hard. And if you took more than one, you would miss pottery class.
Now, I am NOT dissing pottery, at all, my sister is a potter, but we do not share this talent. The only time I felt good about anything in art class was this hooked rug thing we had to design and , uh, hook. I worked SO long and hard, it was going to be the best rug ever and hang on my wall! I painstakingly drew out my design, a skating blade (I was a figure skater) suffered thru the hooking of it and proudly turned it in.
Only to be hauled up and in front of the whole class told how bad it was. (I am sure it was, but that is not the point) We don't forget these things that happen when we are young.
Re-visiting the topic of two languages the next semester, I was told again NO. I would miss Gym and fitness was important. I explained that I was a competitive figure skater who rose at 5:30 every morning for practice 5 days a week, and often went back after school. That's nice, they said, but you need to learn gymnastics. Being 5'5 and 130 pounds of solid muscle one does not excel at gymnastics, as you can imagine. I actually FAILED the class. My first F. The un-even parallel bars scared the HECK out of me. And any of the kids who were still un-developed and twigs could manage it, and you know what girls can be like. Total public humiliation.
I did discover Shakespeare, which everyone else in 7th grade hated, and found a lifelong love. I learned to hate Dickens. I learned you could skip classes and hide in the library and that the notices sent home could easily be nabbed from the mailbox and I learned how to forge the Parents signature on the reply form.
( I may be getting more good out of this re-telling than I ever did with either of the Therapists I tried to go to, they seemed to think if only I would journal, everything would be fine, and then move onto how exciting my job must be and did I actually get on stage and play music???)
Tomorrow you will get the exciting tale of my Non-High School experience, and my attempt to go to college, and where it all ended up. Well, you kind of KNOW that, but it's a fine look at the American educational system and how badly it deals with students who are not, for lack of a better word, the norm.
That is my Story. So Far.
And THANK YOU for all the comments, you are truly the best. I love it here.
Love and not so much school,