Its funny how things stick with you for your entire life, especially the bad things. What someone thinks is humerous can be particularily damaging for a child, I should know.
Rick was my Physical Education teacher in high school. He was one of those Alpha Males I always hated. He was loved by everyone else, so it seemed at the time.
I always hated Gym, and basically any sort of sport. Now I enjoy watching the odd hockey game, but as for actually playing the game, I will pass.
Back in high school, I was particularily awkward. Since my mom was a teacher, she home schooled me prior to me entering school. Because of this, I did not do Kindergarten or grade one. That meant I catapaulted right into the second grade, at 7 years of age.
Through all my years in school, I was 2 years younger than everyone else. When my classmates were gaining interest in girls, I was still too young to even want a girlfriend. I was shy and bashful, especially around the ladies.
Each week, we had a two hour gym class on Friday afternoon. I remember this week Rick announced we would be playing softball. The whole class was excited, and I could have vomited.
Without confidence or any kind of hand eye coordination, I was the last thing anyone wanted on their team, so I was never picked on a team, and teams ended up flipping a coin to see whose team I played on. If that wasn’t embarassing enough, wait until you hear what the teacher did.
I was happy to sit on the bleachers and watch my classmates enjoy themselves, but the gym teacher, in all his psychotic glory, forced me out on the field. When I was at bat, he got everyone to come infield. He got my friend, who was pitching, to come within two feet of me. Just when he was going to toss the ball, Rick stopped him, and asked another student to run to the gym and get something…a Volleyball!
Rick got my friend to pitch a volleyball at me rather than the softball. Everyone, including a few girls I had secret crushes on, laughed. I dropped the bat, and walked back to the bleachers with my head down.
Thanks to that moment, I never gained much confidence. This little stunt, which Rick actually brought up at our first class reunion, ruined me in school. It was bad enough getting bullied by my classmates, but when the teacher does it, it is even worst,
It took me 30 years to regain my confidence. Now, because of people like Rick (there were others), I am finally a strong person. I have risen above the childishness of those people.
I have always advocated against bullying. This is Why