It used to bring me to tears. Tears that would saturate my urge to propel myself into a new reality. Every year, I’d go through the same emotions with every word spoken. School had always resembled the monster under my bed. Its mouth full of wild teeth that dripped with high expectations, and never surrendered. It had stretched out hands, that I greeted with feverish hours of practice and plausible deniability.
It even attended my instructor meetings, and family game nights every Thursday evening – my monster and I. We went everywhere together. It never stayed underneath my bed. Its feet constructed only out of backwards letters and miss pronounced words. His tail leaving an imprint in the earth behind him.
In school my fingers would spend hours tracing out textured letters of the alphabet. Reciting phrases for my speech therapist of seven years. Earning small tokens of congratulations. Eventually we evolved – as did the students who told us we were mindless. And the teachers who commented that I would do better, if I tried harder and spoke up more.
So we stopped. I stopped. Four hours a day, three speech secessions a week weren’t enough. Our words were always jumbled and our vowels always came out weak. R’s were W’s and that was that. Somehow along the way my perspective of education changed. The monster grew hungry.
It was then when I was led to homeschooling, where I learned how to find my own answers. My relationship with school has always been one of trial. Yet, the monster under my bed did go back to resembling a monster, and not my identity. I’m not exactly sure what happened to it. One can only assume that it starved to death next to the dust bunnies that neighboured its home.
So I kept going – and now I’m here. Ready to learn.