Lifeline To Non-Special Ed

When I was in eighth grade I was still attending the Waldorf school. This was something of an embarrassment for me when around other kids–I don’t know why it was, but maybe it was because I knew there was something weird about going to an expensive private school and I didn’t really know how to be thankful for that privilege, so I made fun of it instead.

Anyway, at the end of eighth grade my parents and I were trying to decide what high school I should attend. There was a Waldorf High school in Seattle, but the commute would have been atrocious and the cost as well. I visited the public school and the only part I can really remember is visiting the special ed English class.

The class was writing “poems.” I say “poems,” because they were only poems in the loosest of terms. The prompts were dull and didn’t promote lyrical interest or precision. It was more about comparing things to other things. I wrote about a pig, but I can’t remember what I compared it to.

I remember the people in that classroom being quite nice, but still, I wasn’t impresses with the public school system. I felt as though they were catering to the person who moved the slowest–which, in many ways, it does. Regardless, I would spend countless hours in that classroom over the next 3 years. There was no way to avoid it, and parts of it were actually pretty fun because every once in a while I’d find myself in the class with someone who wasn’t socially awkward–he was behind in some way, but he was also a popular person outside of that classroom. It sorta felt like I was their lifeline, and they were mine, to the outside world of non-special ed courses. It felt good to be that for someone, even just for one class.