A day in the life

A day in the life

A Story by Joseph Cooper
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A first hand account of school from the eyes of a elementary school child with ADD.

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Chapter 1: Elementary School


A beautiful morning, filled with promise. Laying in my bed awake before the clock, hoping maybe today it would not go off. “Honey, it is time for school” my mother cries from the kitchen, preparing breakfast. Unwilling to rouse me from my sleep she sends in her secret weapon, a huge husky named duke. He jumps on top of me and licks me until I get up, the big black and white alarm clock. I rise out of bed and hop in the shower, washing off the sweat from a night full of dreams and nightmares. The shower was my place of contemplation, a place where I could get my thoughts in order. Although they would usually take forever, as I would get distracted by the various bottles of shampoos, wondering what each one smelled like. Although you would think I would have smelled them all by now, there was always a new dynamic to each scent. Simply put, I just loved not being in my head. “You are going to be late for school, get out of the damn shower” Came the secondary alarm clock waking me from my day dream.  

                My mother always drove me to school, she loved spending time with me. Although I would usually have headphones in listening to music. One of my favorite activities was imagining me as a super hero while listening to the song, and the song was narrating my life. I would not be able to keep on one song though, I needed to switch them all the time, a symphony of guitars and drums all painting pictures of heroics and badassery in my head. Yes I always wanted to be a badass, although you would not gather such things from looking at me. I was a chubby kid.

                Upon arriving to school I would get out of the car, my mother would say all forms of mushy stuff and embarrassed I would walk towards the door. Upon entering the school I would go straight to my classroom, trying to avoid the bullies that lurk in every dark corner. Getting in the classroom I would go straight to my desk and get my books and notebook out. The teacher would walk into the classroom and tell all of us to sit down, and get our stuff out. I was always ahead of her. Beginning each day we would be forced to say the pledge of allegiance, a set of words that somehow meant we loved our country (Although if you asked any of us we had no clue what it meant). After that we would have a moment of silence, now this was my favorite part of the day. A chance to just imagine whatever I wanted, maybe today the teachers hair would be caught on fire! Would show her for calling me lazy the day before. After the moment of silence came the part of school which I dreaded; the turning in of homework.

                The teacher would go to each of us individually, as if she wanted to show how much of a failure you were for not turning in a piece of paper with a few simple problems on it. Of course the other students would have their homework, and turn it in. She would praise them, say they had excellent work ethic. When she would get to me though she would just fold her arms and tap her foot. “Well Mr. did you do your homework today?” She knew the answer already. “No I did not, I left it at home”. That was my common excuse for I got distracted and forgot to do it. “Why can you not turn in homework like the other students?” She would say this not wanting an answer, but just as a tool to make me feel like a fool. As always I would just shrug and go back to staring out the window. You would have thought if this was occurring all the time that maybe she would have tried to find out why the homework was not done, and not just attempt to be little me. Next came the lessons, these were truly torture sessions.

                “Alright so in…..” and that was all I would get because as soon as the teacher opened her mouth I was somewhere else. While she was talking about some explorer, I was imagining what it would look like if the floor was covered in frogs, or maybe if Mary sitting in front of me would ever go out with me, maybe what the classroom would look like from space. These are just small samples of the millions of thoughts running through my head. During the beginning of the year, the teacher would snap at me to come back to reality. As the school year went on though she would give up, considering me a lost cause, and to think I WAS THE LAZY ONE! Next we would get our tests back, this was always my favorite part.

                “Alright when I call your name please come up and take your test”. When she called my name I would go up and grab the test, look at the grade, and smugly smile at the teacher. She would not be so amused and would tell me various things like how not to be smug, or I was being disrespectful. I always just enjoyed the fact I would get A’s on the tests, while she would tell me how bad of a student I was. Even to this day it is strange to me that little slips of paper which monitor checkpoint progress, can mean more than the test which measures overall competency levels. Recess was always brutal, a mixture of loneliness due to lack of friends, and utter joy at not being stuck in a classroom. With me it was always a constant struggle against boredom. Even when I looked perfectly still, I was away in my head flying on dragons, being a powerful wizard, exploring the vast world that my mind could create.

                This would then end of course and we would have to go back into the prison cell, we would line up like inmates. Then they would call on our names, make sure all the prisoners were off the yard. I remember once someone tried to run and escape, lucky guy. They expelled him, so he got what he wanted anyways. As always the classroom would suck the very life out of me, and upon leaving I would be nothing more than a shell. That was until I got home and delved into my book collection. This was always my favorite part of the day…..”You need to do your homework, if it is not done then you will be in trouble” So I would heed said warning and go and attempt my homework. I would sit there at the kitchen table and stare blankly at the piece of paper. It was not that the homework was hard, or I did not understand the material. Suddenly I would hear a noise, and my eyes would divert from the paper and land on the window. That magical portal which if I could only go through would lead to freedom. Out there was a world filled with dragons, evil wizards, brave Knights, beautiful princesses, and thieves. Funny to think how that same image would still ring true even into adulthood.

                Even without the books in front of me I could still recreate every image, and even insert myself into the action. My teachers always told me I had a lack of willpower, but let me tell you, I tried my hardest to do this homework. The problem came in the fact that when I would start to concentrate, even the slightest hint of movement, or the slightest change in sound, would send me into a world all my own. This even distracted me when I would try to go to sleep, rather than be able to settle down, I would instead imagine myself as a famous author, or actor. Always on a talk show, saying how I got to be this famous. My imagination was what helped me escape and deal with school. Being called lazy, and a failure for six years did not do much to help one’s self esteem.

© 2013 Joseph Cooper


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Added on November 24, 2013
Last Updated on November 26, 2013
Tags: ADD, ADHD, Education, bad teacher, homework, dragons, school, classroom, prison

Author

Joseph Cooper
Joseph Cooper

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I am a strange person, both in love with his emotions, and furious at them. I feel that sadness is the well from which all writers draw inspiration, and that trying to draw from any other well just co.. more..

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