~ AND THEN it happened.
Grade 1. I had no idea WTF it was all about.
We sit in rows, while Mrs. Arm Wattle talked at us about things of little or no interest.
Wee Binks: “OK, I did that for 10 minutes, now can we go outside? Can I go home now? What is this all about? You want me to do what? I’m lonely, and scared, confused and bored, and none of this makes much sense. What? Back to the corner again?”
It was in Grade 1 that I learned many things, not all of them intended.
~ That being repeatedly sent to stand in the corner made as much sense as whatever this whole ‘classroom’ thing was about.
~ That organized public education and my younger self did not get along at all.
~ That the horrors and bullying of the schoolyard were even worse.
~ That it was a long walk to the Principal’s Office.
~ That numbers were a language I could not easily grasp (it turns out Wee Binks actually had math-dyslexia– Discalculia— but it had not been invented yet.. along with mild dyslexia).
~ That a close approximation of the searing desolation of hell is an empty Valentine’s Day bag.. no cards at all (Grade 2).
~ That no matter how badly you wanted to, you could not go home until another grinding day was done. Each day was like a month. Thus, Grade One took.. about 22 years, Binks-time.
~ By age six, I was depressed, and literally wished I were dead. Had a plan, means, and everything.
~ I did not learn to like school until Grade 5– in another province– and then again not until grade 10 back home. School officials never did figure out my learning disabilities. Yay: 3 whole Summers destroyed by Summer school. Math math math.
~ By grade 7, they were testing me for mental retardation. Turns out I have a high-ish IQ, but was bored, heartbroken by an ugly family life, and just not engaged.
So forgive me if I recall “The First Day Of School” as a not-happy thing. ~