Gillian, from A Daft Scots Lass blog, made a comment on my "That Was It?" post which helped inspire me to post another story. She said, "This story really made me smile. I love to hear of bullies getting what they deserve." and that stirred a memory from high school. I had three bullies at my high school and I remember them all clearly. That's why the title of this post is "trying to blend in anonymously, part one".
I had made a mistake of putting myself on an accelerated pace of Algebra in 8th grade (I was trying to compete with other students for "first place" that existed only in my mind) because I found myself in 9th grade Algebra where it was normal to have two or three sections assigned daily. Why was that a mistake? I didn't understand what was going on, let alone learn effectively...and to exacerbate the matter further, I felt like a fish out of the water.
Didn't help that I was the lone deaf student in that class. A student took advantage of that. Never forgot him...his last name was Nugent and he made a big deal out of that by wearing Ted Nugent shirts. Never was related to Ted...he couldn't possibly have since his actions were more on par with the Neanderthal than with the homo erectus or even homo sapien.
Each and every time the teacher turned around to write things down on the blackboard, Nugent would try to bother me. At first, it was easy to ignore him because he tried to talk to the back of my head. Hello...I can't hear you...and you're in this class? Wow.
He finally figured out that he had to touch me in order to get my attention and that fed his feeding frenzy. I could tell that he wasn't being friendly to me - laughing at me and looking at his friends for encouragement is a dead giveaway. I tried to pretend to stare blankly at him as he either mumbled at me or spoke rapidly on purpose. That didn't work. I tried to ignore his taps on my back. Didn't work. Even tried brushing off his "touches". Made him more motivated than before.
I had to report Nugent to the principal when the teacher didn't believe me on what was going on. Nugent claimed that he was trying to help me understand whenever he talked to me. He was only reprimanded and the teacher was ordered by the principal to move Nugent to the opposite side of the classroom. Remember, this was the 80's. No suspensions, no detention hall, nothing.
Nugent kept bothering me in the class. He learned from one of the students that waving arms was an effective way to get my attention from a distance. He would laugh and wave his arms at me. I was extremely frustrated and that made it inifinitely harder for me to learn. The problem went away only because I was struggling too much to learn anything and I was moved to Intermediate Algebra.
That, was the "lightest" instance I had involving the three bullies in high school. I never interacted with Nugent again after I was reassigned to Intermediate Algebra. My sister moved on to 9th grade the following year and I found out from her why Nugent had disappeared. He got in trouble with the authorities over drugs and his parents moved away to avoid the shame.
Next Wednesday, I will write about Bully #2. Be sure to come back next week!
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