Why School Didn't Work For Me.
The life of a lifelong autodidact.
My first memories of school were Ms. Newsome. I remember her (through adult processing) as a really sweet woman who just didn’t know how to connect with me.
I’ve blocked out much of my formative years, but what is left is that parents who told me they loved me and yet beat me regularly didn’t reconcile in my thought processes, so I was fated to never trust love, or authority figures.
Think: “You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson” from The Matrix.
Bored from not being truly engaged, I resorted to attempt to get attention.
I was at a Christian school, and from Kindergarten, I started getting sent to the principal’s office.
Looking back, I’d posit that MOST of my early educational teachers had no business working with kids. That started with Ms. Dotson. I never remember her smiling. Ever.
Dr. Stevens, who later got caught and exposed publicly for “indecent" acts would bend me over, and proceed to paddle the fuck out of me. It was not a deterrent.
The only real teacher that actually connected with me on an unconditional-love basis was Ms. Cockerham-Riley. First, she was my second grade teacher, and I remember her just being the coolest thing ever. Her new husband was a director of a camp in Littleton NC, and I went for a week, and felt so safe, even though it was probably my first extended stay away from home.
But then, I went to third grade, and Ms. Hines was dreaded by all. I just remember it being a rough year, and the same repeated the next two years with Ms. Hines and Ms. Madden.
Ms. Gilley in sixth grade was cool, and young (unlike my first and third through fifth grade teachers).
I had trouble, though, because I switched to another (Christian) school around this time.
Freedom Christian School was a joke. Mr. McCann, (also a neighbor) who was also a teacher at my former Woodland Baptist Christian School, was principal at Freedom. He seemed to enjoy spanking me, so I offered my ass up regularly, and he never caught on that I had learned to mitigate spankings with three layers of underwear, and a couple pairs of gym shorts. He never caught on that I was mocking him as I would scream and suck air through my teeth to audibly effect the pain he thought he was inflicting.
Mr. Marr, who seemed to think I needed special attention concerning my failure to meet the godly standards he held up, was constantly aggravated by my presence on the planet. By this time. I knew that school was little more than a rote exercise in performance, and I did my part to move forward without giving a shit about the details.
This school had these ACE pods (Accelerated Christian Education), which is totally bogus, BTW. The teachers had learned (Mr. Deane pops into my mind) that they could pass out the booklets, largely detach from the construct, even leaving the room, and we were left on our own to complete the tests at the end, which, if the teacher isn’t paying attention, or in the room, was a simple page turning operation.
Along this time is when one of the positives in my development happened. I was a student at Freedom, where Craig Edwards was the pastor/administrator of the school. One day, in boredom, I had blown all of the circuit breakers in the school wing. (Don’t ask how, it was probably a Darwinian experiment.)
I was suspended, and Craig offered to take me out for a day. Craig has a bit of rascal in his blood, and we connected on that level. He took me to his parent’s house, and I met them both, and they fed me breakfast. I’ve traveled much in my life, but NC has the best food ever, in my opinion… Then we went to a recording company in Mount Airy, and then rode around a bit, but we talked much during this time. I actually respected what he was doing, and connected with him. He subsequently brought me in as a baritone (I had a hell of a range) in his family band that sang and traveled. Good times, mostly.
The first time I got high on pot was when his son Brian and I went to one of Brian’s cousin’s house and we smoked a joint. It freaked me out so bad. I’ve since discovered that THC causes my involuntary system to relax so much, it induces a fight or flight response, because I have to think to breathe. Even though it’s legal in many places, and I had a pot card when I was in Oregon, I avoid the stuff like it’s an STI. I applaud those who can use it to relieve pain, relax, work through trauma, etc. but it’s not for me.
I digress. Brian and I cam back to the Edwards’ plantation, and we ate an entire box of ice cream cones. LMFAO. I don’t remember there being any Cheetos… I though I was dying…
Even though Brian and Craig remain staunchly Christian, and are both pastors in the NC/VA area, which is not my path, I still hold positive memories of their involvement and interactions in my life.
Then I went to Gospel Light Baptist Christian School…
Shout out to Tim Hicks, who really connected with me on a musical level. He was the first to train me to use my voice, and that year, three of us went to State competition and won first place trio. There are a few positive connections, and Tim Hicks was a rockstar in my life.
Ms. Hearn and I had an unusual relationship. I liked her, but I antagonized her as well. Understand that this was not malicious on my part, but out of boredom and being mentally removed from the situation.
Mr. Crews… Damn, he had a very high opinion of himself, as did many of these authoritarian bullwhips at Gospel Light Christian School. I can’t profess the same absence of maliciousness in antagonizing Mr. Crews, but it wasn’t intended to harm, just provoke the fuck out of him. He didn’t like me either. LOL.
Mr. Loomis…. I heard he got recently “resigned” for inappropriate activities. I didn’t like he or his wife, who was also a teacher of mine.
Ms. Pegram did reach me, and did cause me to have speech and language delivery that have served me well in life. I’m appreciative of this.
In high school, it was really just surviving the hormone rage. Looking back, this is one of the reasons that predators who are pumping gender-fluid ideas into children’s minds should be drawn and quartered in my opinion. It was difficult enough to traverse this on my own, with the strict christian coercion, but having teachers throwing the coercive bullshit gender-fluid constructs at me would have ended badly.
Who knows, I could have been (errantly) Jaya Michelle writing this article, if the TERFs and LGBTQIA (heterophobic) people had been teaching me. Thankfully, I moved forward without this additional trauma.
In the eleventh grade, I had another crisis, in that I switched schools and went to a public school. This was a culture shock I was unprepared for. I made it about 6 months, and then went back to Gospel Light, where my switching back and forth, and disinterest caused me to receive a non-passing overall grade.
I repeated the 11th grade. This was because the system was incompatible with my mental frame. The ONLY reason I stuck out repeating the eleventh grade was to prove I could do it.
Senior year started. Although I wasn’t nearly as pronounced with my lalochezia expressions, I was sitting in a chapel service at school, and I internally said something to the effect of “fuck it.” I got up, walked out, and I was done with that.
I took a GED, scored high, and went to college - Pensacola Christian College. One semester, Dean Jerry Goddard, and I was out.
One could argue that the private or christian aspects were as much to blame for my inability to equally access the system of academia, and that might play into it, but overall, the system of “learn this, there’s a test” is merely programming, and it’s very low-level programming, as is evidenced by it taking so many years to graduate.
Now, with the teachers being more focused on the gender of a child than the internal screams of children, the system is doomed.
All along this journey, and to this day, I have been a student. The early years would find me at the public library as my fortress of solitude.
The educational system is not only broken, it is nothing more than a consumer training center for continuation of a political system that is now circling the drain.
You can contact me through my contact form on
P.D., JAY V SHORE