Today I am toying with the idea that I am a talented and prolific writer. I am playing a game where I can sit down and write short stories, jokes and plays that are interesting, novel and inspired. I am witty and entertaining.
It feels like a game to say these things. Especially today, because yesterday did not go to plan and I was derailed. Therefore writing that I am talented and prolific seems to fly in the face of the evidence.
For example, there was the primary school teacher who I overheard telling my mother that he could only really remember teaching my older, cleverer, sister. For this, he is not worth the space in my head.
Remember, when I watched him lose his temper with a young boy who had done nothing substantially wrong. He slippered that young boy in front of the whole class. A class of seven and eight year olds had to watch a boy being told ‘to take his punishment like a man’, by an actual fully grown man.
Remember that one time I tried to spell something out loud and he mocked me for getting it wrong, despite the fact that I regularly got 20/20 for my weekly spelling test when it was written down.
Remember how he would tell me off for talking to my best friend. We had finished our work and were bored.
Now forget him. I learnt despite, not because of him.
Then I moved city and I had to settle into a new school. I heard some of my classmates tell a teacher that the new girl was really clever. And Miss T. retorted that she can’t be as clever as David W. Well, she was wrong. And when I think about it, she never actually taught me so what did she know? I am moving her out of my head.
In that new school, there was a teacher that frightened me and the rest of the class from answering questions. I was new, nervous and shy and she showed no kindness. I felt powerless as she bullied one young girl who was obviously struggling and needed extra support. 11 years old and I knew she was cruel. But I should also remember that despite all that she did to undermine confidence, I got up every day, attended school, ignored the bullies and the harassment and got on with it. Bullying was rife at that school, because it was modelled for the children. But I got through it. That teacher is dead now. She is buried.
In secondary school, there was that time I was the lead in the school musical and the stupid nun in charge of the school called me by my older, cleverer, more respectable, more sensible sisters name. When they put up a poster with Ruth’s name instead of mine, they were telling me that no matter what I did, I will always be over-looked? What did I do? I took an eyeliner pencil to the poster and changed the name. Sister Marie’s prim Scottish accent will never be the voice I need. A woman who cannot bring herself to remember the name of someone representing her school is not worthy of my consideration.
Instead, I should remember that time when I heard Mr Frank, under his breath, call her a ‘stupid woman’. It made me giggle. It was joyful that he knew. He knew she was unthinking and that she viewed the world from such a lofty position that she couldn’t see details, like the children she was supposed to be looking after and nurturing.
And remember, even though she attempted to frighten children into submission I still wore dangly ear-rings to school and rolled over the top of my school skirt.
I also left her school as soon as I could. All I need to take from her is that she taught me how to do low-level, but effective rebelling.
Demons aside – today I am a talented and prolific writer.
About the Creator
Writer-Performer based in the North of England. A joyous, flawed mess.
Please read my stories and enjoy. And if you can, please leave a tip. Money raised will be used towards funding a one-woman story-telling, comedy show.