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A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Dorset Park Years - Part The First

So begins my education.  The post today will deal with what memories I can pull out from my first three - four years of schooling.  As mentioned in the previous post, at some point another person came to live at our house, and I am going to try and keep that separate from things until I can guarantee that my memories have to include him.  I know this occurred when I was about 5, as he was 11 years older than I and we met him when he was about 16 or 17, but somewhere my memory breaks down on this point as the meeting came at a camping experience, and I am unsure as to when I started scouting as well.  Anyway, all will be made clear as I continue writing.

My first days of school were kind of confusing.  I remember being lead to the building by my mother, seeing the jungle gym at the back of the school, and going in a metal door to find bright colours and other kids inside.  I don't remember being abandoned or crying when my mother left, but that could have happened.  I'm actually pulling up memories of this event only as I sit here thinking directly about it.  I remember fingerpainting, and not a whole lot else.  I was only in kindergarten for a couple of days.  I was considered too bright for the class, easily bored, and was then transferred up to a grade one class.  So, at four years of age, I started grade one.  With my birthday being April 28th, I would always turn the proper age for the year I was in just a couple of months before that year ended.  I am not certain any of the other kids knew that about me, and I certainly didn't share the news.

A few days after being transferred to grade one, I was given the role of 'teacher' and was sent back down to the kindergarten class during recess for the purpose of helping those my age do stuff.  I still have absolutely no idea what the school was trying to do, but I was denied recess with all of the people in my class, and I now feel that as a result my possibility of making friends this early was stunted by this decision.  They were playing, I was teaching other kids.  It lead to a lot of confusion for me, and possibly resentment that spilled on to my mother.  No idea.  I do know, however, that I acted out as a result of it, in two specific instances that stand out to me.

Dorset Park was odd in that the kids didn't all play together outside at recess or at lunch before classes resumed.  I assume that it was odd, anyway.  See, one side of the school was meant for the boys to play outside, and the other side of the school was for the girls.  So, basically, unless you were in class you never did anything involving the opposite sex.  We were too young to care, but as a result of this strange division one side of the school was off limits, and so sometime during my first few weeks at school, I went to the washroom right before recess time, and the washroom was on the main floor whereas the classroom for grade one was upstairs.  I came out of the washroom, wandered a bit, and found myself in the 'girl's' stairwell just as the recess bell rang.  I panicked, and went and 'hid' under the stairwell.  It wasn't exactly a good place to hide, as if anyone outside looked in the windows beside the doors to go outside (and they were fairly large windows) they would clearly see me crouched in the corner against the wall (the stairs came down facing away from the doors, thus I was not hidden in the least when viewed from outside).  Since the girls were chatting and unconcerned about anything other than escaping the building, I actually avoided being seen until the very last few were headed out, at which point one girl spotted me and a general clamour revealed my hiding spot.  I hadn't done anything, but was reprimanded - I assume.  Don't recall, but the event itself sticks out in my mind.

The other event is the first in what I like to call 'dream phases.'  There were at least two times as I grew up that I felt that i dreamed something, only to discover that the event actually occurred in reality.  From my viewpoint in the present, I cannot honestly say whether I actually dreamed something and then acted it out, or whether I kind of lost touch with reality as I did something, but either way there are two incidents that really stood out in this manner, and both happened before high school.  This is the first one, and it happened one lunchtime in my grade one class.  My teacher was Mrs. Charleston, and was the one responsible for breaking my ambidextrous ability and forcing me to use my right hand for printing and writing.  My mother was angry at this, and invited her to lunch one day to have it out with her.  I was fairly ignorant at the time, but this is what was going on above my head.  I of course recall it as a nice lunch with my teacher, though not knowing why she was there, but given that my mother was hating her as a result, I figure I must have carried animosity from my mother over to Mrs. Charleston, and so one day I decided to urinate all over the classroom when the room was empty for lunchtime.

Now, I have no real recollection of doing this, but I do remember somehow gaining access to the room one day when it was empty, a big no-no, I remember that it was at the very start of lunchtime, as there was a lot of time that passed before the incident was discovered, and to this day I don't know what it was that made them realize it was me.  Honestly, I'm not even sure it was me, due to this dream-like state I saw it all in.  Either way, it happened and that was that.

Other school memories included running down the hallway into the gym because they wanted to time sprints and stuff and we couldn't go outside for it (I assume it was winter), a bully who was diagnosed with some mental disorder which made him my friend one minute and a violent enemy trying to injure me the next, and many threats of "You're dead at 3:30" which never made me run from the school but which never seemed to materialize as I headed home each afternoon.

Two big events marked my other two years at Dorset Park, one each in grade two and three.  In grade two, we were given these math books, red covers, filled with tons of addition and subtraction problems.  The idea is that we were not to actually write in the books, but were to copy the problem into our little Scarborough Board Of Education white notebooks with the Civic Centre on the cover, and complete the problems there.  This basically turned what could have been a half hour of math homework into an hour and a half of copying, then doing the actual problems.  I hated it, and argued with my teacher and my mother about the stupidity of needing to copy the problems when I could just look at the problem and see the answers.  At some point my mother intervened at the school, and I was given my very own math book in which I just did the damn problems and all was well.  This of course meant i was done way before the other kids, so then I would end up going around and giving aide to the others, showing them where they were adding wrong or not carrying a number over.  To say that as a result teachers and my mother had a higher expectation of me as a result would be stating the obvious.

The other big event needs some major explaining before I can properly describe it, so that will be in Part 2, coming soon to a blogpost near you.

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