Bite Size Memoir #1: “School at Seven”

I have been meaning, for some time, to start writing my memoirs. I see it as a series of vignettes, with a certain theme that I will not share yet. (No spoilers!)

I came across this fun memoir writing project on another blog through my friend Ruby’s blog. I thought it would be a good warm-up exercise.

This week’s assignment is to write 150 words of prose about school at the age of seven.

Find out more about the project here: Lisa Rieter – Sharing the Story

The age of seven was a heavy one for me. After my last rather serious post, this will add to the pile! My next post will be about kittens and rainbows, I promise.

______________________________________________

Second grade was dancing and singing, pretending to be a cat and wearing pink tights. I was gregarious and scored high on tests. Then for third grade I moved schools. Webster. Before my first day I had a nightmare, that strangely involved shellfish.

I sat on the swings, surrounded by the other girls hateful stares. They called me “Medusa” because of my long blonde hair. I withstood their abuse and ate lunch by myself every single day.

Mom and I sat in the principal’s office. The principal wouldn’t let me switch classrooms, because my teacher was black and the other teacher was white. 

I befriended the only other white girl, even though we had nothing in common, aside from exile. We hung upside down on the jungle gym and she told me she wanted to start a girl gang that stole comic books.

 

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12 thoughts on “Bite Size Memoir #1: “School at Seven””

    1. Oh, mom, I know! I was too young to really communicate the severity of it, and that school did not know how to properly address bullying. Love you.

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  1. And I think kids will bully anyway, unfortunately. They want everyone to ‘fit’ and be the very same at that age. If you look different to the pack, you’re in trouble! It must be left over from tribal identities millennia ago. My son had ‘trouble’ moving school when he was young – took us ages to work out all he needed was a short haircut to fit in. But none can change their skin..
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was aware it might be a tricky time for some people, so I’m desperately trying to come up with something fun that includes everyone, next week, if you want another go.

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  2. Racism is reactive to the fears that filter our lives. I like the saying, “No one is born a racist,” because I believe it’s true. But raised in those fears that seep into every day lives, children become racists and bullies. What’s interesting though, it the person who becomes the savior–the friend who dares to swing with the new girl with blond hair. This is a powerful memoir in flash. Really gets my wheels turning. Nice blog! Discovered it through Lisa’s challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Charli! And yes, no one is born racist, or a bully. I understand completely now why those girls hated me. It didn’t make it okay, and when I was that little I think none of us knew anything about the drama that we were playing out in our playground interactions. But I sympathize with their anger and pain. Being a tiny white girl has made me an easy target for many people throughout my life. I try, my very best, to not take it personally, but it really just goes to show that racism hurts us all.

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      1. Yes, it does hurt us all. That’s why I like creativity–writing, art, dance–ways to breech those walls, explore and better understand each other.

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  3. Cypress that hug was for your Mom, not that you don’t deserve one as well. Wondering if you’re on Twitter and also may I have your dob for my bitesize compilation please? You can say no ! (you can also remove or edit this comment! – I could find no other way of getting in touch.) Lisa xx0

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    1. Hi Lisa! Oh, thank you, my mamma deserves lots of hugs. I am on Twitter, @missdreacakes, and my dob is 10/22/79.
      Currently mulling over assignment #2 and excited to get it down on paper, so to speak. 🙂

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  4. Well I’m biting my nails hoping it’s as enticing as the first..
    I’ve sent a twitter request but I can see you probably don’t want to use it generally so feel free to not accept!

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