9. Make a compliment to someone you hate/dislike.
-From Darkest Days, Brightest Nights
This makes me chortle with mirth as the diarist who suggested this theme has blocked me for being too liberal🤣🤣🤣 anyway, I digress…
I don’t like hate, it is such a strong emotion that I ‘hate’ to hear it bandied around so casually. I don’t think there are many people I dislike, I would say that there are people who irritate me but I fully recognise that it’s my issue and not theirs.
I think I will have to aim this at a teacher.
In my experience, teachers are like swans, they look like they’re on top of it all to the parents and the kids but, the reality is that they’re paddling like fuck just to keep up. The British school system sucks for kids (especially for those like the child I mentioned a couple of days ago) and for teachers.
But every so often there is a teacher so intently entrenched in the bullshit that is modern education (which has changed very little since the days when it was created, the industrial revolution, in order to stop children from being children), this was one such teacher.
I shall start by telling you why I have such strong, negative emotions towards her.
She was my eldest’s year head when eldest started secondary school in 2017. For anyone who doesn’t regularly read, my eldest has a diagnosis of what is called ‘high functioning autism’. People who are considered high functioning are, essentially, just really fucking good at masking (hiding their autism in public). Underneath it all, the related autistic schtuff/sensory processing etc is still there.
Secondary school is a huge cliff leap for most kids; you change from a quiet, small, nurturing environment to a large, noisy, confusing place in which you are left, pretty much, to get on with it.
Eldest ended up having several meltdowns (big explosive reaction to sensory overload) or shutdowns (switching off all sensory processing abilities to keep the chaos out) and was constantly punished for ‘leaving the classroom without permission’ or ‘not following an adult’s orders’ amongst others.
At the school there was a safe space for the autistic contingent and they were all given a card to use in order to allow that child to leave a classroom and go there for support from the (truly amazing) member of staff who manned the safe space.
But the expectation of an 11 year old to be able to make such an executive decision while the sensory processing alarm bells were going off was ridiculous. And instead of punishment, eldest should have been given one on one time with fantastic member of staff to help eldest to recognise what was happening before everything became too much.
I had countless meetings with this awful member of staff in which I would explain what happens in the autistic mind when these overloads happen and the member of staff would nod, sympathetically, then say, “well, they didn’t follow an adult’s instruction so the Saturday detention/isolation will still be going ahead.” Seriously, head v brick wall would have been less painful than those meetings!!
So, Mrs Stupidhead; a compliment? Well, sometimes your blouses weren’t completely horrific…
How was that..? Did I fail the assignment? Oh well, you’d better put me in isolation then 😘
The compliment I would give to my toe fungus is: bloody good staying power mate!