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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My Advintures In Home Skooling

School was always a hard for me.
I didn't make many friends, and my Mom told me that the other kids didn't want to talk to me because I had no Dad, and we were poor.
After having that drilled into my head every day for 12 years, I totally believed it.

Once in 3rd grade my Mother let me go to school before Christmas dressed like a Santa's Elf, complete with a bell around my neck.
That didn't help my popularity at all, but I did come home with some gobs of gum stuck in my long hair, and a "Retarded Elf" sign taped to my back.

I switched from my public school, to a Catholic school in 4th grade.
The memory that stand out most for me from that year was a kid in my class laying under our teachers desk (who was a Nun) and telling everyone that she had on no underwear, and he saw her bush.
Being the new kid in a class that had been together since pre K wasn't any easier.

In 7th grade I found out I had a thyroid problem, when I almost passed out because my resting heart rate was 166.
I missed many days of school from Dr's appts, and being sick, which didn't help me fit in.
I also was so far behind that I was failing 4 subjects.

At that point my mother, who had dropped out of Junior High, thought it would be a GREAT idea to home school me.
By that time I hated going to school so much, that I would get sick every morning just from the anxiety of thinking about going.
I was actually excited to be able to stay home in the beginning.
What 12 year old wouldn't be?

Once my Mom found a "home school base" nearby we got all of the books and lesson plans I needed.
She went to work every day, leaving me chapters to read, and quizzes to take.
The second she was out the door I would bust out the hidden teacher guides, which were not hidden very well, and copied down all of the answers.
I added a few wrong answers for good measure, so she wouldn't catch onto my scheme.

I had also discovered The Rosie O Donnell Show, which introduced me to Broadway.
I taped every show on VHS and would rewind the Broadway performances watching them hundreds of times.
After that, all I wanted was to go to NYC and be a part of that world.
I would sing on Broadway, and be friends with fabulous gay men who would help me attain a fierce designer wardrobe.

Once in awhile I would go to the home school base to be around other kids and take a class.
The idea didn't work so well, because we were all such anti social shut-in's that we sat there in silence not talking to each other.

At the end of 7th grade with the help of the teachers guide, I passed my final exam with flying colors!
"And people think I couldn't teach you!" my Mom said, as we ordered a pizza and Sour Patch Kids on her deli tab to celebrate.

The following year my health was more stable, and I decided I would enroll in 8th grade at a public school.
The real reason I wanted to go, was that I found out they were doing a musical I wanted to audition for.

On the first day of 8th grade, I walked up the hill in 1997's most stylish outfit.
When I got to the bus stop the bus had already pulled up.
As the doors slowly opened I started having flashbacks of my years of horrible experiences in school.
I got so scared that I didn't get on the bus, and almost had diarrhea.
I should have worn depends that day.
I turned around, went home and got yelled at by my Mother.

After a few days I think she gave up on trying to get me to go back, and settled on homeschooling me for all of 8th grade.
My 1997-1998 8th grade education was anything you could find on TV between 8-5pm.
With my handy dandy teachers guide to cheat from, I had the time to become a pop culture queen.
I couldn't divide or spell, but I could tell you what Oprah and the Spice Girls were doing.

After that year, I decided I should go to High School because they had a Drama Club.
On the first day of High School, I put on my fiercest dress and headed out.
Somehow I got through the first day, but because clicks had already formed from each Jr High,I ate lunch alone.
Sometimes someone would come up and ask if a chair at my table was taken.
I would get excited that finally someone was going to eat lunch with me.
When I told them it wasn't taken, they always took it away to another table to sit with there friends.

By the middle of Sophomore year I was hating school again, and flunking almost every subject. Mostly because I hadn't learned a thing accept show tunes since 6th grade.
Since I didn't meet the grade requirement's for after school activities, I lost my part in the Spring play.
If I couldn't be in a play I saw no reason to go to school.
The teachers told me I would fail for the semester no matter what I did, so I refused to go back until the year was over.
I had to take 3 summer school classes to make up the credits.

Finally at the start of my Junior year I was tested for learning disabilities.
Once they figured out what was wrong with me (a complex auditory disorder) I got the extra help I needed, and didn't have take all of the mainstream classes.
I got to keep my parts in plays because I wasn't failing anymore, and that was what kept me going to school.

Senior year I was learning Math which I should have learned when I was 12, and struggling.
But by some miracle of god I graduated High School with everyone else.
I had to search for colleges that didn't require SAT scores, because I knew the test was for smart kids.

Going to College in NYC was my only chance to escape into the land of my gay man filled Broadway dreams.

When I took my college entrance exam, my results in every subject were so bad that I had 16 classes I would have been required to pay for, and take for no credit.
All before taking the core classes to start a degree.
Instead I signed up for all acting and signing classes, and dropped out after a year.

Today, I am the most anti home schooling person you will ever meet.
And I still can't do math without a calculator :P

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