what if for one minute
he's given a chance
and he does something brilliant
but he'd rather not know
cause walls protect him
his bedroom's a prison
now is your chance boy just ignore
the dreadful things they say
go on, give up, you’ll never win,
no crying now, they're watching him
his blood will boil, the kids will sing
learn to drown before you learn to swim
So, as I’m waiting for classes to finally begin, I’ve been doing a lot of research on what I want to do once I (hopefully*) complete my degree.
The focus I’m most interested in is child psychology/development. I would love to both teach and provide therapy for special needs kids or children with behavioral issues. The education portion appeals to me because I feel like parents are afraid of the stigma involving psychology and their children. Or maybe, they don’t realize their child might need some extra help. As an educator, I’d be automatically implanted into the child’s life and in the position to have an influence. I know how important this is, because it’s something I wish could have happened to me when I was a kid.
I wasn’t a troublemaker. I didn’t get horrific grades. I was pretty average, I suppose. But I went to a small school, and kids are cruel, as they are anywhere. And I just..couldn’t deal. I didn’t really know how to. Self esteem wasn’t exactly promoted in my household. My parents were either blind to it, didn’t think it mattered, or were too wrapped up in their failing marriage to see what was really going on. By 5th grade, I was really waiting for the chance to call for help. One afternoon in our daily religion class, I was given that chance. Pastor Simon gave us an assignment; write down something on a sheet of paper that really bothers you, but feel like you can’t tell anyone. I figured the main message was for him to tell us to go to God with our worries. I didn’t think anyone would be seeing what I wrote, so with my #2 pencil in hand, I feebly scrawled the words “ People make fun of me. I feel alone. No one cares.”
But Pastor Simon began walking around the room, reading what each of us had written on our sheets of paper. “ Susie, you’re worried about your math test tomorrow?” Susie, the smartest and most popular girl in the class, smiled and nodded mockingly. Pastor Simon gave her advice consisting of studying with her parents, and perhaps some prayer, and then moved on to the next student. Finally, he came to my desk. My face flushed and my mouth grew dry. He whispered to me. “ Have you told anyone about this?” I squeaked “ no.” He said nothing more and went on to the other students.
After religion class was over, I desperately wanted to go to the bathroom to throw some cold water on my face. That assignment had taken a lot out of me. As I approached my teacher’s desk, Pastor Simon was confronting him.
“ Do you know this has been going on? I’m concerned for her.” He told my teacher.
“ She’s just going to have to learn to deal with it.” the teacher responded nonchalantly.
Those words sting me to this day. I realize that everyone needs to grow a pair of balls if they want to get through life, and eventually, I did. Or rather, I ‘learned how to deal with it.’ To this day I have trouble expressing my feelings, my needs, or my reaction when someone has hurt or angered me. I was taught early on to keep it to myself. I love who I am, and wouldn’t change a thing. But sometimes, I wonder how different I would have been if maybe my teacher had reacted differently that day. Maybe if he had just reached out, or even called my parents to find out what was going on, things would have been different. But everything has it’s purpose- I want to be that difference in a child’s life when they feel like they have no one else to turn to. And I won’t wait for them to ask or cry for help. I will be the one person that understands them when they feel like they’re alone.
* Hopefully? You ask- where has that positive attitude gone? Well, it’s still here, but I got a response back from some of the Universities I was interested in that their psychology program is a day program. That’s a problem. I have a full time job. An established career, if you’d like to call it that. I need it, to pay my bills, and to pay tuition, because the federal government thinks I make too much in order to qualify for any sort of grant. Funny, because the last time I checked my bank account…. In short, here’s hoping that in the 2 years before I transfer, they’ve decided to branch out to adult/non traditional students a bit more.
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