Though I was tested for hyperactivity (which was what they called it back when I was in third grade), I wasn't hyperactive. At least, not at home, where I could sit down for hours at a time and read quietly. At school, well, that was another story. Bored out of my mind, anxious about what other kids might be thinking or feeling, knowing, somehow, that I was missing something by just being in the classroom and not outside or near the office or in the parking lot or at home, for god's sake, I did untenable things like get out of my desk and look out the window. I made little, third grade type jokes, I talked to my neighbors, I rummaged through my desk during a lesson. I stood up, I sat down. I asked to go to the bathroom. I wanted, mostly, to hide in the closet.
So I was tested and put on pills and then taken off them because my mother realized that I didn't need them. My teacher was joyous over my new behavior (read, no behavior) but not so my mother.
And yet I recognize myself all these years later in that little third grade girl. I sit down to work. I stand up. I sit down. I look out the window and think about what everyone out there is doing. I rush down to do laundry. I write for a half hour. I eat a sandwich. I go outside and rake like crazy. I drink some grapefruit juice. Up and down the stairs, over and over again.
I'm still doing it, but at least this time, I won't get sent to the principal's office because of wretched habits.
If I could do it over again in different circumstances with a better disposition, more money and patience, I would home school my children because I know that putting 35 children in one room and expecting them all to behave in one way is ridiculous. If someone had told me back in third grade that my little jumping up thing was part of my process--showing me that bursts of energy led to contemplative thought and writing later--I might have decided to pick up the math book and give it a go after speeding around the room a few times. Of course, the classroom would be chaos with all the little processes going on, but how more adaptive.
I didn't home school for a hundred reasons, but I have a feeling that I don't have the personality, temperament, patience, or large, noble soul. I fear that a murder suicide would have been counter productive. But I wish I'd done something differently.
Grammar school didn't totally break me (or my children), but it came close for us all. I was that square peg in the round hole. I was the slightly strange girl who sometimes read books while she should have been doing math problems (still doing that!). I'm the one who needed a bigger room, less structure and somehow more structure, but a structure built for me only.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org