middle school and religion

6th grade
It’s bad enough to go through puberty but do we have to keep switching principals, classes and go through bomb scares almost everyday.

I often think that things would have been better at this school had Bible thumping Christians not attended this school.
Let me clarify a couple of things here so that there are no misunderstandings.
My mom and I attended a Catholic church for two years. I went to confession every Sunday and 2 masses. My mom was devoted into making me into a Christian and having me join the Catholic church. (She was born a Baptist, Dad and her best friend Mrs. Wang were Catholic). I went along simply because I realized at a young age that Mom was living her life through me since I had far more opportunities (Women’s Lib) than her and I wanted her to have happiness since her own childhood and first marriage were horrible.

Now this is the bizarre part of Christianity that became the turning point in my life. My mom is a devoted Christian, she used to go to church every time the door were open and she reads the Bible all the time. She also watches Billy Graham occasionally and prays for her sick friends. The Catholic Church rejected her twice. We went to two different churches and since she previously had a divorce, she was not welcome as a member. Now my father has been a better man to her than her former one who was actually married to another woman in another town and lied about everything on the marriage license. It was beneath the Catholic Church to allow a remarried woman to become a member. Some of the children I spoke to told me that since mom got a divorce, she broke God’s law and would burn in the lake of fire. The adults just acted cold and distant when they found out WHAT my mom was. It was as if my mom was a prostitute offering the priest a blow job during the sermon. Now, there were times I told my mom that I hated her (childhood rebellion), but this pissed me OFF. I decided then that Catholicism was bullshit. I told my mom we were trying another religion.
Mom decided to go to the Baptist church. FINE…Mom decided it was time that I read 7 chapters of the bible a night so that I would have a deeper understanding of religion. Now….here is where I started noticing conflicts. You have the Old Testament and the New Testament. Christianity keeps the Old Testament part of the book but says that anything in the New Testament nullifies anything in the Old Testament so you should really read the New Testament first to understand how you should live your life. Of course, if you went through History class like I was doing at the time, you will notice that we had the Holocaust. (Millions of people were slaughtered worse than animals simply because the didn’t believe in Jesus, the sinless man.) What ever happened to love thy neighbor? I started noticing from that moment on how Christians would call the Jews “Christ Killers” and say something like spin the draddle.

The Baptist church didn’t work out either. We went to two different churches. One church had a “visiting” preacher for 3 years. He was a very nice man. However, he wasn’t considered good enough. They bring this other man in who preaches a couple times to us and they kick the other guy out. Now, all the other members of the church who hadn’t shown up in 3 years decide to come back. Did these people just stay at home saying “I can’t go to church until our church gets a permanent preacher.” or did they go touring all the Baptist churches in our state that had permanent preachers.

The other Baptist church we went to was very nice…..until you mentioned other Christian religions. If Jesus Christ was living today, he was not be a Christian.
We had our Bible school the way we normally do and someone brought up Jehovah Witnesses……mentioning that they had come to the door. Now if you are like me, you take the booklets and thank them for their consideration and then toss them into the trash when you shut the door. Not this teacher, he told us (David was attending w/ me at the time) to slam the door in their face and let them know beforehand that they are going straight to Hell because they do not really know the Work of God.

We also went to a Holiness Church. I was friends with Mary Lou who gave me friend guitar lessons and though this would be a good church. Now the people were wonderful and very considerate…..they practiced what they preached. However, I don’t want to kick my legs up into the air and act like I am having a seizure. I will say that the other people seemed very sincere because even in their homes, they practice christianity. Mary Lou even brought my nephew to tears with her prayers to Mike (my brother-in-law was diagnosed with ALS). Mary Lou’s daughter is now a missionary for foreign lands. I DO REALIZE THAT THERE ARE WONDERFUL CHRISTIANS OUT THERE LIKE MY MOM AND MARY LOU.

Back to the Middle School Years

Ever wondered how rumors got started? I got to find out more about this::

In sixth grade I gave my girlfriend, L***, a birthday Hug. Now I don’t know how giving another female a hug consitutes being a homosexual but we had some major Bible thumpers at are school. These kids must have been brainwashed by some major bigots. They were so homophobic that if they caught you using the word “girlfriend” they wanted to know if you had intentions of getting married. It was now my turn to stare at them as if they were space aliens and that freaked them out everytime. That was cool though, I knew how to intimidate a complete idiot and gave out “THE LOOK” as often as I could. I never said I was the nicest person out there. Anyway, I have about twenty people ask me questions about my sexual orientation for that week and one female (an 11yr with DD chest who sat besides me) accused me of looking at her chest. She didn’t bother to mention that she was scratching her nipples and that she was talking to me while she was doing that. That blew over real quick and she went back to treating me normal once the student body (our jury) decided I wasn’t gay by loaning one person ice cream money and giving out a boy’s name that I thought was really cute. (Puke)

I also started falling asleep in my first class this year. Now I take full responsibility for this…my first year in middle school consisted of many things : changing classes, my parakeet dieing the second week of school, having the kids ask me “what am I” (I had black hair and pale skin so people couldn’t quite figure out what ethnicity I was and made smart remarks about my unshaven legs making me feel like I was from outer space), and having to ride the school bus once again. I kept missing my bus trying to talk to teachers about my grades, forgetting my locker combination and trying to check books out of the library. I really hated having those lockers.

I hated school so much that I started to “accidently” miss the bus. My parents decided to drive me to the bus stop eveyday to make sure I went to school everyday. I mistakenly had a fallen out with my neighbors over this misunderstanding. Everyday they would watch me get out my father’s car and onto that bus. Now they didn’t mind this until it began to rain or snow. Sometimes the bus was an hour late during the snow season and they would stand out there in the freezing snow while I sat in a heated car and they would stare at me and I would stare back. This went on for weeks. S******* started calling me a “skinny whiteass cracker” everyday and they others would too along with “princess”. I would ignore them for a long time until my hair got pulled and then I started sitting sideways on the bus w/ my back to the window. Some of them didn’t like that because everytime I heard my name mentioned I would lean forward and stare at the individual. S***** accused me of having a staring problem and I said “F*** you N*****. Now, nevermind the fact that one of my closest friend, Michelle was black or that Spanky (neighborhood boy) played pool over at my house constantly…..They took this as a big controversy. Michelle threatened to kick the living daylights out of anyone who touched me. Looking back now, I have realized two things. 1. S****** was having family problems of her own and she was teased about being a REALLY BIG girl. That must have been hard since all the actresses and models were skinny back then…there was no Queen Latifah. and 2. What Michelle did for me was a lot like what Samuel Jackson did for Quentin Tarantino when Spike Lee took offense (I worship Quentin and this incident makes us just a little bit more alike — aside from both liking Madonna, Bruce Willis, John Travolta and being close to our moms who were waitresses.)
Of course, I realized then what a strong woman Michelle Sl******* was to stand up for me like that. I become very good friends with Tamika (rode the bus) later on when she realized how much we were alike.

I do remember that I was part of the PAWZ team (group of teachers) and all of our classes were in the first hallway of Godwin Middle School. Oh yeah, and I got suspended for fighting. In fact, the fight was over nothing but we both got suspended. I was walking to classes after lunch and got pushed from behind. I was pushed so hard I ended up hitting the wall. I turned around as pissed off as I could get and the only person I could see was a very tall girl laughing her head off. (I found out later this girl laughs all the time especially when she is embarrassed) I figured right away that she was picking on me and screamed out “You bitch” She looked at me and turned bright red. (I thought she was boiling mad and ready to fight) so I started swinging at her and the crowd started cheering me on. I turned around and saw that the crowd was laughting at both of us and was horrified. I ran into my math class and started to pretend to do math homework. The bell rang and Mrs. Z called my name and told me to go to the principal’s office.

I sat in that office until Mrs. P came and sat both of us down. We were told of school policy on fighting and we were told that we would be placed on a 3 day out of school suspension. I am so glad that neither of us had any tests in those 3 days so it didn’t hurt either one of us. Mrs. P looked directly at Traci and asked her “Don’t you feel ashamed for what you have done to this school? How does it feel to be branded a troublemaker? Traci put her hands to her face and started crying as Mrs. P kept going, “When I was your age, I respected the school policy..I didn’t get into fights” I started cracking up. I had to go home and tell Mom about the guilt trip that she was laying on us.

Mom that night was a bit displeased….she knew that I always had an “A” in conduct unless I was tardy (they had few bathroom stalls on our hallway). She called the principal and demanded that this incident not be placed on my record. Mr. P told her that I wouldn’t start to have a record until 9th grade and that next time I was bullied to let him personally know and he would deal with it because as of now I was considered the troublemaker. Mom was a lot more hurt than I was. I still find the incident comical except that I found out Traci was nice and she was constantly reminded “that I beat her up” although neither one of us had a bruise. (People did mention to me that I started to have a temper that year).

Seventh grade

Seventh grade was the hardest year of my life. I don’t hold anything against my former schoolmates for what happened b/c I understand them better now although this took years.

My brother Johnnie had a drinking problem….my mother felt guilty for this…she had divorced his father when he was a baby and he got beat up a lot by the kids in the neighborhood for being raised in a single family. Back then, there was a stigma to having only one parent and people looked down at him like he was a second class citizen. I am not saying my brother had the right to drink & drive but this contributed to his low self esteem to the point he had to buy his friendships and go along with the crowd at all times. He even got convicted of “accidental manslaughter”.
I know I was too young to examine his case thoroughly but my father says that he would lend his car to his coworkers who also drank whenever he was drunk and that he had bruises on the right arm and a bruise that went from his right shoulder across his chest to his left side of his waist. Johnnie can’t remember anything from that night or any other night he drank so he hired a lawyer who got a plea bargain for him. Of course, it was in the paper so everyone at my school asked me every day what happened and those who didn’t read the paper thought my brother committed FIRST DEGREE MURDER.

Seventh grade was also the year that all the girls got to shave their legs while my mother thought that I should wait until I was older. Now I have thick hair……it grows on my legs, arms, armpits and it started to show in other areas. My mom thought I should leave it alone because it was natural ….even going as far as showing me an article of Madonna w/ hair. (Madonna was one of my childhood idols) ! I also wanted to know what was going on with my height and chest. I was the tallest girl in 5th grade and I had dreams of being 5’7 and a 34C/D not 5’2 &1/2 and a 32A. Boy was I pissed off at the world. To top it all off, I got braces. That gave me the nickname “metalmouth” — Remember “The Last Boyscout”? My hair was just like that…in fact, I looked just like that girl and I had her attitude.

My mom also picked out my clothes for this year (it was her last year). She would make me wear penny loafers and cordurouys in a time period when leg warmers, spandex and acid wash denim was the style. (remember 80’s Madonna and Duran Duran) I almost got into a fight with Tonia D**n when she poked fun of me wearing a kilt and plaid pants (not on the same day) She said that plaid wasn’t stylish and all the cheerleaders agreed with her and they reminded me that everytime they saw me wear my kilt. I also wore those black patent leather shoes w/ straps that are called Mary Janes now. Back then, my foot was a size 3 in middle school while all the other girls were wearing a size 7 so they towered over me, had bigger chests and wore grownup shoes & dressed themselves. I didn’t enjoy 7th grade at all.

Oh yeah, since I had told everyone that I wanted to find another religion aside from Christianity and Juduism, I got a reputation of sacrificing animals, participating in bonfire skyclad (pagan word for nude) rituals and brainwashing other kids into thinking of Star Wars as a religion. (I am not a Scientologist either — no disrespect to them but I do wish George Lucus could get the FORCE recognized as a religion.) I wouldn’t have to spend some much defending my reasons for rejecting Christianity.
8th grade

Thank God Will Smith (the Fresh Prince) existed…I nominate him for U.S. President

Eight grade was the year I got to chose my own outfits for school. I always lost out on the arguement until D Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince made that video “Parents don’t understand” I taped that video and after my parents laughed at it, my mother (she protested saying she was nothing like that woman — I must be confusing her with Grandma Barns) said I could dress just like everyone else. She was upset a bit though. She said that you should always be an original not a copycat. I told her that theory was just fine once you graduated from school but I was getting into far too many fights to believe in that now. I also got to shave my legs and armpits that year although Mom came into the bathroom the first couple of times to make sure I did’t cut any major veins.

I went to school that year and aside of the friends who stood by me: Amy, Michelle, Linda, I started getting compliments on my wardrobe and I noticed that the kids that teased me about braces were wearing them too so I started teasing them back (we both wore them when I teased)

I even went to the Symphony Orchestra dance in which a couple of guys wanted to dance with me. It was this year that I started to get compared to Winona Ryder. One of the guys I dance with thought I resembled her (Beetlejuice just came out– I think that was also the movie that made her a national star.) I started to get stopped in the mall several times because people started to think it was her walking through the mall…..sorry but I don’t think Winona wears blue hair gel ( Pizazz’s blueberry) on the weekends. I thought it was cool at first being confused with a national star but at times I started to get panic attacks (from being stared at and from the fact that guys went from calling me ugly to calling my phone number ). I figured that it was just me and that no one else got anxiety attacks and started smoking to calm down. I made sure to smoke in the showers only so that nobody would smell it on me. My grades were the highest they ever were this year though. I asked my parents if they could put me in private schools though. The high school that I was about to go to had a shooting and I also was concerned about college. The public school system is horrible for those who want to go to college.

Oh yeah….the bomb scares….. we had a bomb scare on almost evey test day so most of our time at school was watching the Fire Department come to our school. That is probably why it took me so long to learn Algebra <grin>. and we also had a shop teacher fired for dropping coins and peeking up girls skirts. (kinda reminds you of the movie Splash — I wonder if he ever say that movie. And about the Winona Ryder resemblance, I honestly don’t see the resemblance but she seems like a kind/charity kind of person so I tried my best to put up with the mistaken identity and unwanted stares. No reason to get upset unless people start to think I look like Saddam Hussein or Pamela Lee Anderson.

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