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Absolutely Despicable, Horrendous, And Dreadful

, , , , | Learning | September 1, 2020

I am in the fourth grade. It is the middle of the first month of school, and while most kids have shiny new pencil cases and things, my family is going through a rough patch and has been barely able to afford school fees for the four of us that go to school. So, I have my sister’s old sneakers and one pencil to last me for the month. I guard it fiercely.

For the fourth and fifth grade, I have a teacher who HATES me, mostly because I have ADHD and need to leave class twice a day to go get my medication and take it at the water fountain. It takes less than a minute and I usually remember on my own.

I slept in this morning and forgot my pencil case — with my pencil and sharpener inside — on my desk. So, I lean over and ask my friend for a pencil for the day.

My teacher turns around so fast she might have tapped into the speed force.

Teacher: “Stop disrupting the class.”

Me: “But I—”

Teacher: “You’re still doing it.”

Me: “I need a pencil. I forgot mine.” 

Teacher: “You should have thought of that earlier.”

She turns back to the projector. My friend quietly rolls a pencil across our shared table to me. 

After the lesson, the teacher turns back. She demands as I scribble in my last notes:

Teacher: “Where did you get that?”

Me: “My fr—”

Teacher: “I told you to stop disrupting other students with your disorganization. Give it back.”

Friend: “It’s fine, ma’am.”

Teacher: “No, she’s lazy and ungrateful. She needs to learn. Give it back.”

Me: *Standing up* “But I need my notes.”

Teacher: *Towering over me* “Don’t care. You should have pencils at home for homework so this doesn’t happen.”

Of course, this makes my ADHD just dig its tiny heels in. I am in the right. I’m not doing anything wrong.

Me: “We can’t afford that many and there are four kids in our house that need them. “

Teacher: “Oh, they can’t afford pencils but they can afford your medicine for your made-up disease?”

Me: *Shouting* “It’s not made-up! The doctor says it’s just not common in girls!”

I stamp my foot, tears starting to run down my face.

Teacher: “It’s not. Your family is just poor and trash, and your doctor is just making excuses for your messy habits and terrible grades.”

I am furious and embarrassed and crying up a storm.

Me: *Shouting* “You’re a dumb face!”

I leave the class, attempting to slam the door behind me. I then walk to the office, still sobbing my little heart out. When I get there, my principal is waiting. 

The principal is one of the few people who knows that my dad has been fired for being very sick and that my parents are very close to a divorce. So, she invites me in and listens to me blubber out what happened. She then calls my dad, who is at the school faster than you could eat a candy bar.

I have never seen my father so angry in his life than when I burst into tears when he enters the office and my principal explains what happened. It isn’t his usual volcano; it is quieter, like a freezing knife. 

Father: “Go get your coat. Your sister can get your homework.”

Me: “It’s recess; there’s no one in class.”

Principal: “I’ll help you get it.”

The three of us go to my class. My teacher is there and she goes as white as a sheet when she sees my dad.

I have no idea what he said to her while I got my coat and bag but she never outright looked me in the eye again.

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