I Flunked Recess


Orchard Elementary School – My alma muddle

I flunked recess.

Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. In reality, I consistently got poor marks in “Works and Plays Well With Others.”

This was offset by good grades in the “Offers Good Ideas” category. Which usually went something like this:

Teacher: “Irvin, I see you have your hand up.”

Me: “Yes, I have a good idea.”

Teacher: “Splendid, Irvin, and what idea would that be?”

Me: “The idea that everyone should leave me the fuck alone.”

And so it went.

I struggled in school from day one. Partly because of undiagnosed hearing issues. I often misunderstood what the teachers and others said.

Middle birth order might have been another factor. Middle-born children tend to be underachievers. Unfortunately, this was in an era before Bart Simpson liberated us — made it OK for us to be underachievers and proud of it.

I dwelt in my own little world – misunderstanding and misunderstood. Fortunately, this was in the 1950s, before Attention Deficit Disorder had been invented. It would have been a pity to have been misdiagnosed with that.

Instead, I was just another fucked up kid. And I was OK with that.


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