by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett
Okay, summer doesn’t officially end until September 23, but for most of the country, Labor Day marks the end of the summer season.
Just yesterday, I went thrifting with my neighbor and her two boys and I admitted to them that I hated school, and my neighbor’s youngest son (who has the same name as my younger brother) shouted, “YES! She gets it!”
Of course, his mother didn’t want to hear that I hated school, but she also had to concede that a hatred of our educational system still managed to produce a New York Times bestselling author.
Except … that I don’t think I ever learned all that much from public school (besides learning to read and type). Algebra? Forgetabout it. (My favorite subject wasn’t English. Sorry, even now I could not deconstruct a sentence.) All that crap bored me. In fact, I spent a hellulva lot of the hours during my public education daydreaming (and getting in trouble for it). There were stories running through my head and I found it really hard to focus on schoolwork. Mr. L thinks I am probably mildly dyslexic. I had a couple of classes (and teachers, two who were actually married to each other) who encouraged me, but most did not. I fell through the cracks.
My neighbor is currently homeschooling her oldest son because traditional high school let him down, and he's doing well. This kid is gifted. He’s a little nutty, but guess what—that’s what sets us creative people apart from the rest of the crowd. If the opportunity to be home schooled had been open to me, I think I would have flourished. Mind you, through high school I still managed to hit honor roll for three of my four years, but I can remember so many times when teachers stomped on my work because it wasn’t “mainstream” enough for them. Excuse me for being pompous, but I’d sure like to shove my NY Times bestselling honors up their butts.
School is still a sore subject with me. Far too many kids are pushed toward college and saddled with tremendous debt that will shadow them for a decade or more. If I was coming out of high school today, I think I would have considered the construction trade. (I did take wood shop in high school, which was actually quite fun.) Even so, I know I still would have been writing, but I would have had a trade and good-paying job. As it was, I was caught in the pink-collar trap and made crap wages for almost all my traditional working years.
Glad that I don’t have to go back to school next Thursday. Instead? I’ll be working on my next novel. And that makes me happy.
How do you feel about your school years?