So today I want to clear something up. Some are saying I shouldn’t be saying that all of eastern Kentucky has a bad educational system. That is true, I can’t vouch for ever school in eastern Kentucky, I can only speak on behave of my experience in the Martin county school system. I’ll go on and add that from what I understand that the rest of the school system isn’t that good either in eastern Kentucky. I guess though I am asking people who grew up poor.
See even when I was very young I saw the class system that was given to the students based on their parents. I grew up poor, so even though I had a high IQ I was cast into the pile of children they deemed worthless. It was just odd that the students that went into that pile came from poor homes. Hell most of us deemed to dumb to teach, would ride the same bus to the same government housing I grew up in. So we where over looked and when we needed help, most of the time, the teacher didn’t have time to help us. Though they could help the other kids, the ones that mommy and daddy would drive 35 miles to the closest McD’s at the time and then drive 35 miles back to drop them off lunch. The ones when a school project was do they had computers to do their work with. I didn’t even have a computer until I was in high school! October of ’01! This stuff I am talking about, is way back when I was in elementary school, so like 1993.
At one point we moved to Virginia, where I attended Spotswood Elementary school for a few months. Now this is how I knew something was wrong when I moved back to Kentucky. See out there, the teachers worked with me. In fact they worked harder with me because I was so far behind the other students and in a few short weeks, I was at the same level as the rest of the kids in my class (even doing better then some). Now this is around the time I first wanted to be a writer, or at the very least tell stories to other people in a written and at the time illustrated form.
I had a teacher out there who’s name I can’t recall, but I called her Mrs. Americas, but she was so nice. We had a computer class, we had a gym class that did things, like climb ropes, I was only got into trouble once out there and that was a miss understanding. There was a kid that reminded me of Mark Summers and thus I called him that. I was friends with a kid named Mario, which I thought was cool, because I loved Super Mario. I would ladder be made fun of by a teacher in Kentucky for being friends with him. Why? Because I had drawn a picture of us playing after I had moved back. I had missed Mario very much, in ways I think he may have been my first real friend. So when this teacher made fun of me for having a black friend, I was crushed…
See after going to Spotswood for that short time, coming back to Kentucky was a true horror. I didn’t like how the teachers didn’t want to help me and how they would blame it on the over crowded class rooms of 30 kids (I think my class in Virginia had 35 maybe 40). How, when I did better then the rest of the kids in my class, even the well to do kids, I was punished for it? Sent to the principle’s office or when I got to the third grade put in a little corner all by myself for the rest of the year. Two teacher made fun of me for being friends with kids who where not white. The one I said before and then another one when I was the only kid who would talk to the new/only black kid at the grade school… Sadly he didn’t stay around long enough for me to even lock his name into my memory. He lived in the same government housing as I did and people there didn’t take to kindly to color folks moving in…
Things only got worse and I wasn’t the only victim of the bad schools and the really bad teachers. Now I am not saying all the teachers where bad. In fact there are a few good ones that always come to mind, some I can recall on and it brings a tear to my eye at how much they helped me.
See when I started the fourth grade, I couldn’t do math past add and subtract. Like I said before my third grade year, I was put in a corner almost from the start of the year, then switched to another class that they said was the same grade level as me, but my sister was in there and she was and has always been a year behind me. So I didn’t learn a think in third grade, other then how to spell building. That word is what got me into dirt and put in the corner. I could spell it when the teacher niece could not. But I am getting a little side tracked here.
So when I started the fourth grade, no real math skills, they wanted to put me into special ed. No this wasn’t the short bus type, no this was for kids who couldn’t learn the why they wanted us to learn. So slow kids, or as I would come to call them in recent years, broken kids. There was just one thing, the first teacher in the special ed class sucked. She didn’t want to do a thing. Then they brought in a woman who, worked with me. I embraced it, when others didn’t. I knew to embrace that, that was the type of education I was starting to get at Spotswood. The other kids didn’t know how to deal with it, some would tell me that they didn’t feel right asking for help. So I took advantage of it even more. She would try to teach me to read, which I picked up on so fast, thanks to her help. She thought me not only how to multiply numbers, but also divide them, stuff that other fourth graders at the time didn‘t even know!
Then one day, she told us that she had to leave, that they where sending her to help some other kids, older kids that where not as good as us. She gave us all a brown paper bag full of candy, hugged us with tears in her eyes. That was the last I saw of her. The old teacher came back and the only think I learnt the rest of that year was New York’s York wasn’t spell Yourk. That was do to a computer game. So my mind was left to rot. What I learnt that year was all I really learnt until I was in the seventh grade, that’s when I found out that you could learn from home.
Now I know you might be thinking, how could my parents ever let the school put me in a slow class? Truth be told, they didn’t want to and if I recall right neither did the principle. It was my teachers that did and the teacher that tricked me into begging to be put in there at first. I had to stay after school for math tutoring, one day. I say one day, because she learned how to trick me that fast. She told me that the kids who went into special ed got to take cool field trips; filed trips to see dinosaur fossils. That perked my interest and what else pushed me was the big ass packet of dinosaur things she gave me. Books, a build your own paper dinosaur, a record with songs about dinosaurs and more! So I went home and begged to be put in there, not knowing it was going to be a trap until the day I graduated high school. I really was trapped. I tested out of Special ed three times, all three times they said I had cheated on the test because I got a perfect school.
This could be where my anger came from, who knows. I know I hit teachers after coming back to Kentucky, I tossed trash cans at them for saying mean things about Mario. Hell I tossed a desk at a teacher when she told me I was so stupid I didn’t know it(second grade). She told me that I would die underground digging for coal.
Well this isn’t really what I wanted to talk about today. Then again, I don’t know much about keeping a blog and what I should and shouldn’t be posting on here. Maybe you didn’t want to know about this part of my life. For that I am sorry. I just have to point out that when I say, Eastern Kentucky has shit for education, why I feel that way. My experience was bad and I know lots more people who where beaten down. In fact third grade was so bad, that when First Time Dead 2 was printed I wanted to ship a copy to the dumb ass teacher who stuck me in that corner and told me I wouldn’t amount to anything in my life. Only thing is, I don’t want to know if she is alive anymore. Once I stopped seeing her fat ass out in public a few years ago I enjoyed public places a lot better.
No I really wanted to talk about how I went through tons of stuff today(yesterday), that I hadn't in years. How I found the first chapter book I ever read, I was going to have nice pictures and everything. Now all I left you all with is a rant. There is always next time folks.