ode to the teachers that taught the immigrant child to hate
to the grade 6 language arts teacher, who, knowing i had just come into the country months earlier and that english was my third language, gave every essay i wrote a C or a D. filled each paper with red, unreadable scribblings i couldn’t have understood even if i had ever seen english cursive before.
i was too afraid and confused to ever ask him to clarify, and he never offered. the contempt he always had in his eyes was enough to reassure me it would have done little good to ask, anyway.
on the final day of school, finally gathering up all my courage (very little altogether) to talk to him, i asked him if he failed me. his answer? “you can only fail yourself.” for the next four miserable hours i was afraid of having failed my first ever course. finally, he gave me my report card, marked 60%. “you almost didn’t make it,” he reminded me.
fuck you, asshole.
to the grade 9 math teacher, to whom i dared say - when she asked me what i think of her course - that back in israel we had learned this in grade 4, who angrily told me that if i think her class is that bad maybe i should just be assigned harder things,
and proceeded to give me the same assignments her grade 12 class got, which i couldn’t understand at all, until i told her that i can’t do them and, smiling, she started giving me the easier stuff again.
for your need to humiliate a 14 year old to feel better about teaching on an embarrassingly low level, fuck you.
to the grade 11 french teacher, who would shout at me for twirling my hair with my finger, something that i did to concentrate back in the day. who would go to the very back of the class where i sat, leaned over to check my legs under the table, and chastise me loudly for twitching them.
twitching them because i developed a whole host of exciting tics, trying to deal with the daily humiliation that was school.
for doing all this, especially when other students clicked their pens or texted and nothing was said to them.
for expertly picking out the most scared, confused and weak person in the class and going after them.
for telling me i’ll never be able to speak french correctly because of my accent,
for the highschool homeroom teacher who grounded me for every lunch time for an entire year for skipping 54 days of school in one year, keeping me from my friends, the only people who helped keep me stable-
you should have asked why i did it. you should have wondered what drives a child to hate so much he develops an illness. that he forces himself to throw up in the mornings so his mom wouldn’t force him to go to school. to have his first pill overdose at the age of goddamn 13.
no one ever asked. and i never told because i knew no one would care. because if they cared they would have asked. and i am so fucking messed up. and you did it. you all did it.
my entire childhood was in your hands. i knew school better than i knew home. and the very bare minimum is what it was worth to you.
if even that.
so fuck you.
2 months ago · 13 notes
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