the clown show
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Cervantes, was an old lady who liked to smoke during breaks. The fact that those breaks would happen in the classroom can tell you more or less how old I am.
I remember little about the things I learned during second grade. Most of my school memories are blurred together and there are bad memories here and there. You could say that some things I put away on purpose.
As a kid I didn’t have the concept of resentment. That’s something that I wouldn’t think of. Bad things happened and I would be told to man up and that was the end of it, but as an adult, I look back on those moments and realize how messed up the world was around me. I feel cheated and want revenge, impossible now that so many years have passed, even the people who wronged me are not around anymore.
Of course, after feeling this I realize how futile, wasteful and petty it would be to “get back” at them. That does not cancel the fact that some of them were adults, being petty with a child.
One of those times, I remember not having money for a school event. Even worse, it was not because my family could not afford to pay. Maybe I forgot to ask for it. Maybe my parents didn’t want to pay for something not necessary.
On Children’s day, just before the lunch break, almost all the kids were let outside, but me and some other kids couldn’t go out. Since we didn’t have the money for the entertainment outside, we wouldn’t be watching. The curtains facing the school yard were shut and the door locked, too.
But we could hear. We listened to the lame jokes all the same, a poor guy humiliating himself in front of a though crowd. In the end I don’t know what it was. Maybe school policy, or the clown’s rules. But we had a good time, making our own games in the classroom.
Your post resonates a lot with me. Sometimes I look back to the 70s and think: "wow, things were so cheap back then, jobs were so plentiful, what I would give to go back to a time like that!"
And then I hear about the normalised abuse that took place if you weren't a rich white kid with happy parents, and I think... hmm, maybe the best time to exist is the time that I am in right now, flaws and all.