Response to Philosoraptor (Original post)
Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:07 AM
proud2BlibKansan (96,755 posts)
66. I wasn't weird or a loner but I didn't fit in and I was bullied.
I had very few friends in high school. That's odd because I had LOTS of friends in elementary school and have always had lots of friends since I finished high school. I'm a people person. But in high school, I was a loner.
I went to high school with rich kids and I wasn't rich. I was the poor kid on scholarship at an exclusive private school, like the school Romney went to. And it was a miserable social experience for 4 years.
Freshman year I got sick. Migraines. My parents took me to doctor after doctor and the headaches wouldn't go away. I had EEGs and all kinds of other medical tests. Finally a doctor told my parents I was depressed and they took me to a counselor, I worked with her for about 3 months and my headaches stopped. No meds, they didn't do that in the 60s. We just talked and the counselor helped me realize I was unhappy at school. I know that sounds odd now but at the time all I knew was my head hurt every day. I wasn't old enough to understand why.
Then my parents took me to see the school headmistress. They told me to tell her what I had told the counselor about the girls in my class and how they treated me. It was bullying but they didn't call it that back then. So I talked to the headmistress and to this day I can remember the way she talked to me and the compassion in her voice and the look on her face. First she apologized. She told me she understood, that the girls in my class were mean and she didn't know how to fix that but she wanted me to be happy at school. Then she told my parents to leave and she talked to me alone. She took out her appointment book and marked an hour a week for me. I was to report to her office at that time every week and we would just talk about whatever I wanted to talk about.
So for the rest of that year I met with her every week and then once a month after that until I graduated. And yes, we became very close. I loved that woman. I realize now, as an adult, that she literally saved me and helped me develop survival skills that I still have today. I just don't let people bother me. I have a pretty tough outer shell. I'm passionate and will defend what I believe to a ridiculous level, way beyond when most people give up. But I don't let what other people say, or how they treat me, change who I am or what I do.
What really got me through the whole miserable 4 years though was the education I got at that school. Outstanding isn't a strong enough word. I knew then that I wanted to be a teacher so I focused on learning. I was so lucky. Classes were small and the teachers were excellent. And talk about rigor! I aced my SATs and when I went to college, I was shocked by how easy it was compared to high school.
To this day, I am very grateful for being so well educated at that school. I consider it a blessing and I am thankful that my parents insisted I was staying at that school and not transferring to the public school where most of my friends from elementary school were. I doubt I would have become a teacher if I had done that.
I never miss a reunion and I love the reaction I get from my classmates when I tell them what I am doing. What's interesting is that most people, when I tell them I am a teacher in an urban school, say things like "How wonderful" or "Good for you!"
** Yes, teachers are vilified in the media but in person, I have almost always heard nothing but gratitude. Go figure.**
Anyhow, the girls I went to high school with ask me "Are you STILL teaching?" or "Are you STILL teaching at THAT school?" or "Are ALL of your students black?" At the last reunion, one of them said "I just heard about a kid who shot his teacher and I thought of YOU!" - Like I was some kind of martyr.
And I just laugh. I wouldn't trade places with any of them for anything.
"You donít improve education by demoralizing the people who have to do the work every day.Ē -Diane Ravitch
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