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Diary
By haplopeart (Tue Jan 17, 2006 at 11:49:41 AM EST) (all tags)
This stuff happens everywhere.

In good old East Bridgewater (Here after EB), MA for instance. 

I could relate many stories of the school systems abject stupidity.



For my opening salvo for example lets start with the fact that the school system was recently sued by their own students for providing a sub-standard education, leaving the student unprepared for life after high school.  That was many years too late for me, but definitely something I knew when I was going to school there.  This fact was further enforced when I got to college.  The state dismissed the suit of course they can't let the students get away with that after all.

I entered the EB. school system halfway through 5th grade.  I immediately knew I was in trouble.  I had been dropped into rooms (since classes where with different teachers each period) full of misfits, oddballs, ass holes, and idiots, who had all been together for the most part since K day 1. The "dregs" of the student population, and it would take several years to fight my way out. That was problem #1.  I later found out why I had gotten dropped in here. I was really quite simple and also somewhat annoying once I found out.  They had looked at my grades from my old school system in VA, and determined that a "step down" would be fitting.  WHY?  Because my grade history was B-C's for the most part, and I had a learning disability(Dyslexia).  Wanting each child to feel good about themselves they wanted students to be where they could get A's.  I instantly didn't fit in, was placed in classes two years behind where I had been in VA, and became instantly bored.  Further more where my intelligence, individuality and sense of justice/morality had been encouraged in VA, being now tracked with the "Dregs" it was to be discouraged and ruthlessly crushed.

Enemy #1 Old Onion Eyes

First Class on my first day of school in EB I meet Old Onion eyes. He had acquired the "Onion Eyes: nickname because his eyeballs bulged out of his head like two pearl Onions.  The rumour was that in the 5th grade he had already acquired a unhealthy drug addition and the eyes where a result of it somehow. 

Onion Eye's took an instant dislike to me.  He decided that I must be placed under his thumb of intimidation at the earliest opportunity.  So as a result he took a shot at me as we entered the class room and sat down. 

His dishonour, so to speak was already visible in that his chair was in the far back corner of the room away from the rest of the class.  Each day he would have to take a desk and drag it to that corner for class.  Since I had chosen the last desk in the first row he had to walk past me on the way in each day. 

When he made that first shot I warned him that he didn't want to do that again.  I wasn't looking for trouble, I wouldn't start any fights, but I would certainly finish them.  I have quite a temper and I have always known it so I work very hard to keep it in check.  I pressed this upon him by standing up reminding him that I had 3-4 inches and perhaps 10-15 pounds on him and I was not a small person.  Thus began the taunting and mocking.  No problem sticks and stones and all...

The second day another whack and another mention that he didn't really want to mess with me.  He and his group continued throughout the day to press.

Day 3, this time he chose to punch me in the stomach as he entered the room and walked by my desk.  Enough was enough!  Last Chance!

"Look Asswipe you really didn't want to do that"
"NO, F you new kid I'll do what I want know one is going to stop me."  This was punctuated with another fist.
"Ok, thats it..." When the teacher pulled us apart (well more me off him actually, as I had him bent over a lab table at back of the room), I had broken his nose, shut one eye, bruised one testicle (I only found out about that one later), split both his lips, and knocked out a tooth.

We ended up in the VP's office, one at a time telling our stories, OE was dismissed with a 3 day office detention.  I was left, I thought i was about to catch serious hell.  The VP closed the door, and handed me my 3 day detention. 

"Officially I have to give you this, however you don't need to serve it, it has to go on your record, however...and you can't tell anyone this...I have been waiting for someone to kick the crap out of that kid all year...so consider not having to serve as your reward for a deed well done.  However make sure I never see you here again. 

Onion Eyes was never a problem again (In fact he was officially invited not to attend school in EB for three years I never even saw him after 5th grade until freshman year of HS), his group backed off a little, however they remained hostile to me right though High-school graduation and even if I happen to run into them now. Some people never grow up it seems.

I also never graced the VP's office again as he was not back at the school in the fall.

Enemy #2 pretty much everyone I went to school with from 6-8th grade as group

The Tracking Error in the 5th grade and my general dislike of EB Middle school classes, students and teachers led me to utter boredom.  This lead to bad grades (Thats Ok since what I was getting bad grades in I already Knew, in fact the knowledge I left the 5th grade with in VA carried me with just a little reading on my own right up to Freshman Year in high school), which lead to the sustaining of the tracking error.  This was compounded by the fact that the schools seemed to work very hard to make sure I never knew that there were other class levels.  I didn't even get an inkling that there were until late in 7th grade.  By then it was too late to do anything about 8th.

So from 6th-8th all of my class mates were openly hostile to me all of the time.  I was smarter than them, and too young to know that I was bad to have this knowledge and flaunt it.  In the end my troubles may have been partly my fault I suppose.

Enemy #3 Squiggy

This characters real name was basically unpronounceable by the general school population.  However it started with the syllable "squig" so he was instantly dubbed Squiggy by the school population.  We had many dealings, that were much like the Mr. Bisset Dealings that CBB related, which I suppose is what got me started on all this.  My not fitting in with my class mates lead to several fights and other disagreements over the next three years.  Squiggy made it plain to me that I was supposed to just drop in get along or coast under the radar or else. 

Enemy #4 The EB School System

So after my first inkling in the 7th grade that all was not well and a conspiracy of some note was afoot I started paying attention to things and asking questions.  The questions got me two things answers and trouble.  I found out there were higher level classes, so I asked why I couldn't be placed there?  Answer we can't discuss that with you.  Initially.  I continued to press.  Finally tricking one school official into "accidental" (perhaps, perhaps not) dropping
"Your Grades don't merit it"
"Well actually I don't try to get good grades, since I am bored, I've done all this before (in 5th grade, in VA), and I'm just not interested and don't care."
I should mention that at this school level the Guidance dept was basically the peace keeping squad of the school; A place to send the very worst offenders of school order.  Onion Eyes had once been a frequent customer.  They were sent there to be guided back on to the true path, if it sounds like group therapy on a sort thats because well it was from my understanding. As my years have gone on and I have meet others out side of EB, I have discovered it's supposed to be the place that can help to fix the problems I was having the mis-tracking, and so forth.  I never warranted their attention since I was not a chronic daily trouble maker; I never needed to guided back to the true path so to speak.

In-fact the one and only time I even got to deal with guidance was near the end of 8th grade.  We had been given the class list for freshman year of HS and had to pick our classes.  The reason for guidance?  I tried to leave the true path of tracking.  I needed to be guided back, I had become an aberration in the equality of the EB School's Matrix.  Like Neo I had seen past the facade, I saw Algebra on the Class list.

Finally something to peak my interest!  I filled that bubble on my scantron sheet. 

All the bells and whistles started going off, a Beta was trying to be an Alpha.  His soma dosage must be off quick take him in for re-education.

I was called to Guidance!

"You signed up for Algebra next year"
"Yes, I'm looking forward to it"
"You can't take Algebra, your grades don't reflect your readiness for it, and your current math teacher doesn't think your ready. I'm reassigning you to Pre-algebra."
"What is that?"  I asked somewhat in disbelief, since I felt that I had been doing pre-algebra for about 4 years now.
"Its similar to what you are doing now, just a bit more advanced"
"I can do what i am doing now, just more advanced already"
"Your Grades don't..."
"Thats a load of crap and you know it"
"Excuse me?"
"Yes you heard what I said, lets stop pretending. I know I'm ready for that class, I was ready 2 maybe 3 years ago"
"Your Grades, don't reflect..."
"Yes they do your looking at it wrong, been there done that, bought the tee-shirt used it as a dishrag" I was quite found of that statement back then I had picked it up someplace and kept using it. "I've been doing the same damn thing for 3 years, I don't want to do it anymore, so I don't! I have been doing the minimum to get by to the next class, and not have to stay back."
"Thats your story, I'm putting you in Pre-algebra, you can go now"
"But..."
"Thats the end of this discussion"

I went home and explained the situation to my parents.  Its a funny thing, I have never asked, and probably don't want to ask, but either they were unaware of the tracking error that I was a victim of, or fully complicit.  I don't know which, it was my own footwork after leaving EB schools that got me most of the information I now know about the "error".
I told them I wanted to take Algebra. I can't honestly remember the discussion that ensued, but in the end I convinced them to be on my side of this.  They would talk to the school.

This lead to my second and last Middle school guidance encounter. 

Mom: "He wants to take Algebra, we think he should."
Guidance: "The school system doesn't think its in his best interest, and his grades don't reflect readiness."
Mom: "That doesn't matter he says he can handle it, we believe him"
Dad: "What does he need to do to prove he is ready"
Guidance: "Readiness should be reflected..."
Dad: "He says his grades, don't don't actually reflect his knowledge, I've seen him do the work, and he does his homework in no time, I've also seen what he does when he is not in school, He's ready"  I think dad was referring to the books on physics of Lasers, Atoms, Rockets, etc I often was checking out of the Library, I had read out the local Library and had them getting me books from others.  I had also quite proudly recently shown him how I had worked out the relationship of the parts of a Hexagon so i could drawn one with out the old circle and compass trick, with just a ruler.
Guidance: "Ok, then you wouldn't object to him taking a test to prove him knowledge"
Parents: "No, if thats what it takes he will do it"
Me: "Yeah" I though the test was a load of crap but whatever.
Guidance: "He can take the test, and we will evaluate it, if he does well we will put him in algebra, otherwise we are placing him in Pre."
Parents: "Thats fair"

I Must have passed, I don't recall anything to hard on the test, certainly nothing I couldn't handle.  I took Algebra Freshman year.  I struggled at first (Remember this was the first time I had to learn anything new or even had to work at school in nearly 4 years), but ended up pulling a B for the year.  Geometry the Next year went even better, Algebra 2 Junior Year was hard and I had some troubles but they were more related to Enemy #6, than the class work.

I later found out that there WERE other things in the matrix that the machines had endeavoured to obscure from me.   For instance everyone has to take "Freshman Science and English" its a vote in China choose one.  There is only one! Yes!  However what you got was a result of tracking, 90% of the students ended up in Earth Science.  If you qualified for Honors you got to directly to Second Year Science Biology.

I'll relate more more the tale at a later time.

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Remarks Related to CBB Enemies Part VIII | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I Can't Relate. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:53:50 AM EST
I went to school in Honeysuckle Lane with wiredog, and every day after classes pixies would come and braid our hair.

We brother Isosceles Cat had some experiences similar to yours: he tested right on the borderline for the gifted programme, which caused the school to ask him (and my parents) if he would rather essay gifted or stay where he was.

My brother: "Gifted!"

My parents: "Gifted!"

The school: "We've thought about it and uh, no. We don't want him to struggle at the bottom of the class. He's doing fine where he is."

Thanks to this delicious smack of discouragement, my brother's grades dipped. Why try? His academic fate was later sealed by having an Evil teacher for a critical formative year.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
I was in a mood yesterday... by haplopeart (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 09:02:46 AM EST
...Your post touched a nerve and I just started dumping. 

My Wife's comment to the post was, "Bad day?"

I always seem to get started on such things when I have a bad day. 

I hope you know I was intending to commiserate with my post?  I just flew over the edge a bit in retrospect.

Remarks Related to CBB Enemies Part VIII | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback