Do you still love me? Now what kind of a question is that. in HOW MANY PUBLIC BOOKS WILL I MAKE AND THEN EVENTUALLY PRIVATIZE

  • May 7, 2020, 8:02 p.m.
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I really need to stop getting sucked into Twitter threads lol fuck.

Last night’s thread was about gifted programs–folks who think you’re a whiny fuck if you complain about being a “gifted” child, and a bunch of other people arguing that (A) you’re allowed to be affected by what you’re affected by and (B) gifted programs were largely very bad.

Liiiiike, I knew “gifted” programs were more or less a way for schools to get more tax dollars. Having more “gifted” and “special education” students means the school is allotted more funding, so kids were being jammed into these classes based on bullshit metrics just to fill their quotas.

I would absolutely argue it was probably more damaging to be arbitrarily placed in a special education class than a gifted one, but both seem fuckin’ ridiculous and WHY DO WE FINANCIALLY INCENTIVIZE CATEGORIZING CHILDREN AS OUTLIERS THIS AT ALL, THAT IT ACTUAL FUCKING MADNESS.

MY intiution tells me–and thus I need to be very careful to do research before I start leaning on this concept–that there were probably a lot of kids being shoved into “gifted” programs and “special education” programs for the same fucking reasons; behavioral issues, attention issues, inconsistent grades. For “special education” this was probably seen as a sign of a learning disability or other atypical brain stuff that meant you couldn’t handle a standard classroom environment. And with “gifted” kids, it was that you were BORED WITH THE WORK because you were TOO SMART FOR IT and when kids get bored of COURSE they act up! That’s why they need to be CHALLENGED. By making A LOT OF DIORAMAS AND SHIT. By using A WHOLE BUNCH OF PAPIER MACHE and MAKING UP THEIR OWN DEFINITIONS OF WORDS THAT SHAKESPEARE INVENTED. That’s how you stimulate their brains!!!!

I wonder how mnay folks with ASD and ADHD got shoved into both categories using nearly identical reasoning, and how much of that was affected by how many kids they needed to fill the classes to keep their funding.

Anyway, I wasn’t the only “gifted” kid who wound up doing a fuckton of papier mache projects instead of real learning, lol.

Someone pointed out this was likely due to scarcity of resources, which I guess I hadn’t really thought of? When you’re “”“”“”“”“”gifted”“”“”“”“”” you’re sold the idea that you’re super special and great and you get weird, nebulous assignments because you can think in more abstract ways than the normies, so you should be able to learn about animals by making them out of strips of paper and flour water. Unlike those BORING NORM-OS who have to READ about a subject to absorb the information.

I mean, we did ALSO have to read about shit. Lol. It wasn’t all art projects. But it makes sense to me that the school was absorbing this funding so they could continue to educate, yanno, the majority of the population, so they weren’t necessarily funneling all of those resources into the gifted/special ed classes. They were likely spreading them around everywhere.

I was in public school until halfway through 4th grade. The first and second grade “gifted” classed were combined into one, so my 1st (and 2nd) grade teacher was essentially having to produce, teach, and grade the work for two very different education levels. There were probably… 30 to 35 kids in that class? Half 1st grade, half 2nd? Can you fucking imagine?!

So, yeah. The school has an overwhelmed teacher with too many students in tow different grade levels, AND a desperate need for that “special kidz” funding elsewhere in the school, and you have… “Just give them another art project lol, that’ll take up some time. Oh, because, uhhhh.... Because SMART KIDS ARE V ARTISTIC I THINK?????”

Anyway, I’m thinking about this instead of the thing where LP has been weirdly specific about which days he wants to go to the grocery store, like he has, yanno, plans or something, and also takes well over an hour longer than makes… any kind of sense, even with lines and restrictions on number of people in the store, and I’ve assumed this has something to do with running other errands or having to make multiple stops but I ask that and he says no. He’s grocery shopping today and I can almost guarantee he’s gonna suddenly show as online on FB messenger even though he hardly ever uses it on his phone, and stay on for a long time, and come home after 3 hours and tell me the lines were super long even though I highly doubt they were because they never have been for me.

And it’s aaaaaaaaaaallllllll fine, y’all. IT’S ALL FINE.


… I don’t think I can handle it, yo. I think I’m probably gonna bust my nut, even if it means the next few weeks of quarantine being Actual Hell. I’ve held off for, what, a month? But my mood is rapidly spiraling and I don’t think I can handle it much longer.


The fruited tree
with her orange cheeks
ballooned, puffed gills, in treacly
wind, or, if you like,
the spill of the tanked gold sun.
Do you still love me? Now what
kind of a question is that.
And yet it can’t be taken back.
The bachelor-lady’s house wants
filling, the drip line’s laid below
our promising new life.

Dana Goodyear (2013)

girl in recession May 07, 2020

My town never had any gifted programs, I hadn't heard of them til I met a girl online from Kansas and she told me she was in her middle school and then high schools gifted programs.

In my elementary schools everyone was just smooshed together and an aide would be in the class for students who needed extra help/support.

My middle school and high school just had levels of classes: Standard, Honors, Accelerated and AP (for college credit) and you could sign up for any level you felt you wanted to be in for different subjects. Like, if you really liked / were good at geometry and hated english you could do Standard or Honors English and AP geometry, or whatever...

Now i'm curious if my town's schools just forgoed federal funding offered for those types of programs.

One Angry Dwarf girl in recession ⋅ May 08, 2020

I do wonder how different it was per state/school district. And I THINK high school was the same in our area re: testing into and signing up for individual classes. Idk, I didn't go to high school lol. But that was my impression. I think "gifted" classes were elementary/middle school only. (My sibling's middle school was even worse with the GT shit, which is why my parents decided to homeschool us after they hit 6th grade.)

girl in recession One Angry Dwarf ⋅ May 08, 2020

How did you feel about being pulled out of school and homeschooled? My mom always tells me and my siblings that she wishes she homeschooled us. She is filled with regret.

Fortunately we didn't have to test into higher level classes, but if a teacher didn't think we were ready for it we did have to get a parents signature to basically "force" the change to a higher class.

rhizome May 07, 2020

my fourth-grade gifted class was kind of like that -- we were literally forced to sit outside on the sidewalk and do creative writing. there were only three of us, though? so it was a bit more manageable.

hilariously, one of the three girls turned out to be a jesus-worshipping conservative, and the other one ended up in the bay area living her best life as an unrepentant slut. you can guess which of the two i'm friends with.

rhizome May 07, 2020

oh, and also -- that bra sounded nice, but in practice, makes me look like a weird blob of uncooked dough. womp womp.

but animal crossing is the best game EVER and i actually cannot stop playing it. thank you for pushing me in the right direction!

One Angry Dwarf rhizome ⋅ May 07, 2020

It's the bessssst! I can add you to my fb group where people exchange stuff/track turnip prices (which I don't think you've gotten to yet but will eventually be v helpful for paying off house debt).

Awww, I'm sorry the bra didn't work for you! In the website pics it seems like it doesn't really change boob shape at all for bigger boobs than mine, just kinda... slightly covers/supports them in a comfortable way, but I have zero knowledge of how that works out IRL.

rhizome One Angry Dwarf ⋅ May 07, 2020

that sounds super helpful! the turnip lady will visit soon, i'm sure, and i would have no idea how to strategize buying and selling without this group.

yeah, i couldn't have known this until i actually tried it on, but it digs into my sides in a very unflattering way. it's not a structurally sound item, which is precisely what makes it comfortable, but it also kinda collapses in unpredictable ways on the body.

Honestleigh May 08, 2020

It's possible that he just needs a break and sunshine? Like, aren't you all poly / open? Why not just be truthful about what's up? Oh, wait.. we're talking about LP. That mother fucker can't have a conversation effectively to save his gd life. :) (sorry, not sorry for being honest?)

synapse May 08, 2020 (edited May 08, 2020)


I was too poorly behaved to be in the gifted class but too bright for the special needs class, so I got my desk shoved into the hallways with extra work as punishment. It seemed super sketchy; They had the same lines and told me I was gifted in the principle's office, how they kinda acted like that was supposed to be news to me and not something I'd heard a million times before and already felt jaded about. There is growing research suggesting this is harmful, but of course public education does not at all respond to research.

Serilen May 09, 2020

I feel weird guilt about gifted programs because my local one was really good for me when I was a kid, opened up new opportunities and I'm convinced my life is fundamentally different because of it. But I look back and see how racist it was, how much better treated we were than the other kids, how unfair and inequitable that was. And I can't change the past.

I haven't been here in aaaages but I've enjoyed binge-reading your entries. It's really good for the broad overview, and I wish I could say that from this high perch I saw much promise in either of the men you've had any kind of romantic/sexual relationship with recently. I'm really sorry this is so hard.

Whims and Woodlands May 11, 2020

After reading "Mindset" by Carol Dweck I'm suuuuper wary about labeling a kid "gifted." Praise a kid constantly for their talents/intellect and you produce a kid who only feels worthy when they can impress you and avoids challenges because they can't impress you if something's hard. Hashtag not all gifted kids, I'm sure, but it's something I'm mindful about now.

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