Wednesday, May 22, 2013

having served time

Emma Sansom High School
I ran across this picture of my old high school online tonight.  It brings back a lot of memories.  Most people have great memories of their high school years.  I just wanted out.  My wife had wonderful memories of the school she went to.   I can't relate to her good experience, nor can she my negative ones.

I had no interest in band or sports.  I ducked out of pep rallies and only went to one home game out of curiosity.  I didn't care to go back.  I never went to a school dance or a prom.   I just couldn't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to go to school function when school wasn't in session.

I developed only a handful of relationships among my peers.  I was in survival mode during my junior high and high school years.  I tried to fly under the radar when in class.   I counted the hours down until the end of each day.  The best part of any given school day was the moment I could walk out the door.

Most of my free time during my high school years were spent with the gang at Christian Brothers Coffee House (aka: FREE House).  I looked forward to hanging out at the coffeehouse on Saturday nights.  It was the only place I was in my element.  When I was at the coffeehouse ~ public school was a million miles away.

I had a teacher tell me in my senior year that most of my other teachers thought that I was illiterate.  This teacher had been around me and had taken interest in me.  He knew that I was an ardent reader.  I read all the time.  I enjoyed delving into scripture, books on theology and non-fiction about Christians like Andrew Murray and Corrie Ten Boom.  I'm pretty sure I read everything Corrie ever wrote.  I was an avid fan (and still today) of C.S. Lewis.  My brother introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien's world too.

At home, if  I wasn't reading, I was learning to play guitar.  I wanted to write songs, and I picked up my brother's Yamaha FG-180 and started learning chords.  I was ever learning when I was away from school.  I had a pretty good time off campus.
I didn't attend graduation.  To me, public education was serving time.  I just wanted the jailer to pull out those keys of his, unlock and swing open those drab green doors.  I liked my classmates, but I didn't seem to share the same fondness of that school experience.  I got through school by the skin of my teeth.  There was little that I could say that I accomplished.  While they were all tossing their mortarboards into the sky, I was heading for the county line.

Public school was a hard experience for me.  It was even harder when labels were attached.  I know I'm a peculiar fellow.  Through the years I've had plenty of labels attached to my back that I couldn't see ~ crueler than a 'kick me' sign.   There was one label my 6th grade teacher gave me ~ she told me I was "stupid".  That wounded me for years.  I was at an age to believe that when grown-ups say something (especially a teacher) it must be true.  I took it to heart and the curse got ingrained in my mind.  
I guess I allowed that label to clip my wings and taint my entire experience with schooling.  
Confidence is a terrible thing to lose.  It's hard to find in the dark.

Lost confidence is never easy to regain ~ there's always a challenge and a struggle.

NOTE: Not all posts here at Boomerville,USA are upbeat.  Forgive me if I got a little dark on this one.
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