Steemit Exclusive: Sound Bites From My Childhood…

The following story from my childhood was originally shared on my Steemit account.

I’ve wanted to upload this story sooner than today, but our oldest cat has been sick and after a trip to the vet yesterday it was determined she needs dental surgery. So it’s gonna be a fun next couple weeks up in here.

*The name of the main character in the story below has been changed to protect his privacy and dignity.

Although I was in kindergarten more than 30 years ago, I still very vividly remember this next story. My class was small and one of the kids in my class was named *Fredrick.

On the outside, there wasn’t anything extraordinary about Fredrick, but while we were in kindergarten he was going through an interesting developmental phase…..

He bit people.

Specifically me.

I can’t recall if I was his only victim or if he had others on his munchy list, but I do remember several instances where my arm and his teeth connected. Of course, I told my teacher about this and she made sure that we no longer sat next to each other.

But Fredrick still found a way. I remember one day in particular when I was several kids away from him in the reading circle. Unfortunately, I was sitting next to one of his criminal associates (no doubt part of some sort of kindergarten biting mafia) and they grabbed my arm and stretched it out so that it would make easy contact with his teeth.

This incident prompted a call to Fredrick’s parents and a few days later I got a letter in the mail (this was way before email was a thing) along with a small stuffed bear. The letter was a formal apology from Fredrick.

The biting stopped after this letter was sent. I found out later that in addition to the apology letter/teddy bear, Fredrick’s mom took him to the library (back in the day these were building where you could go and take out books to read for free) and had him look up the word “cannibalism.”

I’ve since tasked mom’s I’m living vicariously through to do this if their little one has a biting phase. 😛

Fast forward 10 years. I was going to a high school that had weekly assemblies. These assemblies had assigned seating that would change every semester. My senior year I looked at the new assembly seating chart and who was I assigned to sit by?

FREDRICK!

I guess this is what happens when you live in a small town and need to fill an assembly hall with assigned seating.

Thankfully, Fredrick kept his teeth to himself during the semester and I emerged bite free at graduation.

So take heart, parents of tiny cannibals, most likely your child will grow out of craving human flesh.

And if not, at least he’ll become an awesome apology note writer. 😉

Cheers! 

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Math, School Anxiety, and American Idol

I’m a sensitive soul. Always have been. The youngest of 3 kids, I can remember yelling at my siblings to stop fighting when they were in the midst of a brawl. This sensitivity extended to other areas of my life. School was an anxiety producer for several reasons. The earliest example of school anxiety came every year in the first week of October. Fire Prevention Week.

One day in 1st grade, our class was having circle time. During this time our teacher would make announcements, we’d recite the day of the week, month and year, and read a book. On this particular day, our teacher mentioned that we’d have a fire drill sometime in the coming week. I had never heard that term before, but I remember feeling a sense of dread. Perhaps it was the word ‘fire’ that made me afraid. For those of you outside the US, Fire Prevention Week is celebrated in schools across the country as a way to educate children on fire safety. The week includes a fire drill so the kids are able to practice what to do in case of a fire.  FPW filled me with such dread that I tried to gauge when the drill would be, then feign sickness that day so I could stay home from school. Yes, it seems silly and extreme to stay home from an entire day of school for an anxiety inducing activity that only took up 5 minutes of time, but I was desperate.

I also had anxiety in another area of school. Yelling teachers. Even if the teacher wasn’t yelling at me, I’d still be on edge when they’d yell at a classmate. Fast forward to 8th grade. There was one specific teacher that gave me anxiety; Mr. C. He was known for being short-tempered, and there was even a story about how he threw a chair during class one day. Needless to say, I was a jumble of nerves in his class. Unfortunately, he was also my math teacher, and I’m about as good at math as William Hung is a singer, without the awkward movements.  As the year wore on, I was spending more and more time in the nurses office on a rubbery cot covered in thin paper, and less and less time in math class. Of course my grade in math suffered greatly. Then my teacher had an idea midway through the year. Every other day going forward, I’d leave class early to be privately tutored in a calm environment by an equally calm tempered tutor. GENIUS! This fix helped my grade just a bit and I ended the year with a passing grade. Phew!

In life you are gonna come up against people different from yourself. They may give you anxiety. The key to coping is to make sure you have others around you that can act as a support system. This can make the difference between a failing or a passing grade.

Remember you are not alone. I’ll see you tomorrow

Cheers!