Sepia Saturday would have us go back to school.
The prompt picture depicts a chemistry class.
Since we have to,
Me in my teenage years.
Lousy school card pic which I've fixed somewhat.
One of the rare pics of me in those years.
those who know my story know why...
I don't have the fondest memories from school.
I liked the academics well enough,
but life at school was hellish
because I was bullied throughout elementary and high school.
All those years of verbal and physical abuses could have groomed me to become a serial killer,
but I remained that shy guy even for many years after...
Not so much anyway...
Going to a Catholic school when you're not is a burden.
Going to a French private school when you're anglicized is another.
Being on the Queer side is the icing on the cake for those bullies.
I understand those kids that commit suicide because they can't stand it anymore.
I've been "there"...
But as they say now,
it gets better [somewhat]!!
I gave the pic above a little Disco flavor
because that's what I liked back then.
Being raised on Motown music,
it was a natural transition.
I wasn't listening to those French Quebecker folk singers whom I found mostly boring,
except Beaux Dommages.
Another reason to be made fun of...
I wasn't the brightest student nor the dumbest,
but I did have my moments.
You'll notice that most images here today are not mine.
Found them on Google Images just to illustrate for you various situations.
one of those moments was in Biology
when the teacher assigned us each a slide which we had to look at under the microscope
and reproduce our findings on paper.
Being a sharp observer with an artistic flair,
I did well.
I did so well that I had an excellent grade for my paper
while the rest of the class flunked or did poorly.
That brought attention on me,
which I didn't like...
and seeming smarter than them didn't help my cause.
I looked through my old papers to find that paper,
I kept it [for a long time] but couldn't find it anymore.
But I remember it was what you see in the pic above,
Obelia, Medusa Stage.
And my drawing in color perfectly reproduced every details.
I was very pleased with it [despite the unwanted attention]!!
Never fancied myself of a scientific mind as I always preferred Arts,
but who knew that a couple of decades later,
I would again peek into a microscope,
and make another enemy.
I was working at the Delivery Room
when I heard the intern (medical student) tell the senior resident
that the patient's Fern test was negative,
meaning the mother-to-be's waters had not yet broken.
The slide was still there so I took a peek,
adjusted the lens and the slide,
Beautiful monochrome ferns appeared under the light of the microscope.
I told the resident to check the test because I believed the test was positive.
The intern didn't like it one bit...
a simple orderly with a college degree in a non-scientific field,
outshining a university medical student...
I just knew how to make friends,
But the good news was that the expecting mother got to stay and eventually delivered her baby,
instead of being sent home,
which would have been unsafe.
Let's go back now,
back to class, back in Time!!
If I was clueless on how to have better chemistry with my fellow students,
I knew about Chemistry itself.
I became rather well acquainted with "25Mn",
Too well actually!!
The teacher teamed me up with one of those whose grades were failings to help him along,
against my will...
during the experiment as everything was set up,
he was not paying any attention at all
and was having fun instead with his friends,
and with a broad gesture,
sent everything flying off!!
Some of the heated Manganese fell on my left hand
and I watched my skin melt.
The teacher rushed over to make sure there was no fire issue,
but nobody cared about my hand...
I was told to man-up,
that it wasn't a "big deal"...
Took months for the hole to fill up again and finally become a whitish bump
which stayed like that for most of my life.
Now the bump has receded somewhat,
hardly rising above the rest of my skin,
but still discolored.
Would you believe I still remember the jerk's name that did that?!?...
Another situation in Chem class.
I was a front row student
but one day,
I was sent to sit at the back of the classroom by the teacher
after she caught me staring at her cleavage...
If she had known me the least bit,
she would have known her breasts were quite "safe" with me
as I had [still don't] no interest in such "things"...
As it was the fashion in the 1970s,
she was wearing a pendant with her astrological sign
and I was looking at it from a distance,
trying to determine which sign she was.
Never found out!!!
Class is over!!
Time to head back to
I didn't mention Physics
as there was nothing much to report
except that I really didn't like my last teacher...
Which reflected on my grades.
I didn't flunk but it was an unremarkable performance.
It started well in the previous years when I had a different teacher...
That boy is still somewhere inside
and I feel sympathy for him.
He survived everything that came along,
and a lot came along,
especially during those years...
May he rest now.
But who knew I'd be surrounded by such things later in life?!?
The career counselor told me I should become an accountant...
I find these guys,
who have a university degree...
Anyone had a better experience with such folks?!?
And given some recent experiences with university graduates,
can I say I'm glad I didn't go on to university!?!
Geesh, they're SO dumb!!
I'm just glad I was able to keep a flexible mind on more practical matters.
Much more useful in life and at work.
My first college experience wasn't that great
as it was my first time in a public school which sent me into shock...
in business administration!!
Dropped out real fast!!
Learned some German though along the way,
and benefited of some experimental program in Philosophy!!
Not a total loss...
Went to another [public] college,
as my parents wanted me to get a taste of the "real life"...
into Graphic Arts.
That was fun!!
Met some great people there!!
Still great friends with some,
and going to my School Reunion this summer!!
Never practiced that job per se,
but did eventually work into some connected field,
If I look at my CV,
it is an odd journey for sure,
something that no counselor could have predicted,
but it is said we are called to change career path a few times in our lifetime.
I've done my share!!
Off you go!!
I've said more than enough for today...
I wrote this post in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Not long after,
we heard a terrible news at work.
One of our colleagues had just lost her young son (14) to suicide...
Bullying is considered the cause.
it seems he had neither confided in his parents nor his friends about this matter.
It shocked us all
and some spoke to their kid(s) that evening
to check on them.
It's the kind of wake-up call some folks need
to put aside the daily worries and focus on what really matters,
I saw kids in a kindergarten today [Thursday] playing together,
and sadness filled me,
as I wondered how many among these would even make it to 20...
Kids have it rough nowadays!!
Some commit suicide,
while others are tortured and even murdered.
Life, it seems, has been trivialized and violence seems like the norm.
Respect is now gone!!!
A thing of the past...