Monday, October 31, 2011

Dr. Little Miss Queen of Darkness

Something made me think of this old post I wrote in January 2009, so I am reposting it. Maybe every time I re-post it I will get a tiny bit closer to being over all of my educational-emo baggage. I do think this is one of the reasons why I like to teach, because I know so intimately what its like to hate school and I want to change that experience for others.

Since I am experimenting with being a scientist lately, I feel like I am on the verge of becoming square. Some people think that because I am getting my PhD that I must be a good student. But I am really not, and I never was. I burned my report card in our driveway once, I remember my heart sinking in fear and sadness when I saw the flame eat up my mediocrity. And I remember feeling even worse when the report card was a yellowy ashen pile, but I still felt like a loser. And another year I meticlously cut out all the C’s, it created a swiss-cheese effect. I missed school many times—especially in 4th grade—due to “sickness”, that was brought on by I-didnt-do-my-homework anxiety. And then of course there was the time I climbed the Japanese maple tree in our front yard to escape having to get on the school bus to kindergarden. I can still picture my mom and the bus driver standing at the base of the tree looking up at me and yelling. Incidentally, my escape was a total success. I didnt go to school that day and I got out of playing the deeply dreaded duck-duck-goose.

Highschool was just a mess, over-fucking-flowing with bad feelings about school. Kicked out of honors freshman year, never to live it down to this damn day. Harassing the nun who taught us French. Every time she turned her back to write on the board-we moved our desks up just a bit-every-time-she-turned-around until we were right up on her and she was freaking out. I never really cheated or did drugs or anything like that, but I acted like I was bad-ass and pissed off enough to do so. I think I drew on my sneakers once. I identified with Holden Caulfield, even though I probably never really finished reading the book.

And then of course there was Art School...

And now, by some strange fluke of adult-onset academic goodness, I am back in school. And I am feeling a bit like a Pollyanna, which I am not. I feel like I should get a tattoo or start smoking and wearing darker eyeliner and maybe become a self-loathing alcoholic. I think my voice should be raspier to reflect some kind of worldliness and experience in badness. I realized the other day that I still love the people who are super-smart, but who dont conform to what school has to give and who—because they have some kind of advanced crazy mind—are dark and brooding and screwed up. I still love people who are the most clever in a conversation but who got horrible grades. I like the tragedy of it and I love that song Little Miss Queen of Darkness because I imagine that they are talking about me, but I guess it will be Dr. Little Miss Queen of Darkness soon.

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