Looking Back at Middle School

Episode 3 of the Merit V. Bidwell saga. Sparky suggested the title “The Trials and Tribulations of Merit V. Bidwell” but I have rejected that one. I’m open to other suggestions.

I don’t much like to remember middle school. The high point was in 8th grade English class when I submitted a poem to the scholastic poetry competition and it was accepted for publication. It felt pretty good to have something recognized. Of course I hadn’t let my parents read it, nor the English teacher. I had submitted it on my own by forging a couple signatures and asking the library aide to give me a hand. I was riding pretty high until my parents read it in the copy of the journal that was sent to the house. It was a very angst-ridden adolescent poem about death and dying and exploring the possibility that there was no God. It makes me chuckle now but the fire storm that it precipitated was horrific. I think I spent every Thursday for a year in one or another psychologist’s office. By that time I’d decided that the only way to escape my life was to embrace the crazy. I cultivated an “up is down and down is up” approach. If my parents made any statement of opinion or fact I immediately took the opposite stance. It didn’t matter the topic, venue, or company, I was going to be contrary. At one point I was evaluated for Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Sadly I wasn’t able to convince the psychologist. Instead I had so many “time-outs” that I developed a rich fantasy life. That of course alienated me further from my peers. I just didn’t want to care but that is easier said than done. I did care and it ate at me. The end result of 8th grade should have been a moment of rejoicing instead I was in the hospital having my ulcer cauterized with a laser. Yeah, I was hoping that high school would be better.

18 thoughts on “Looking Back at Middle School

  1. Oh, this is a multi-parter! That makes sense. I liked this much, but thought we were talking autobiographically! I will have to catch up.


      1. It must have been convincing writing, if I thought you might have been. I didn’t see the first parts while looking back in my read before bed. I guess I need to look deeper!


  2. The middle class was a difficult time for you (and your parents) as for many teenagers but these whirlwinds came out an accomplished and brilliant woman. By the way, Val, I really wonder why you are not commenting on my weekly entries as opposed to the past. What is going on?
    Love ❤


    1. My dear Michel – I was crushed thinking that you weren’t getting my comments! I have discovered the problem – I thought I was commenting on your posts but WP was not recognizing them because they were coming from my phone! I have corrected the issue and just won’t comment on posts from my phone.
      This is a fiction! I had a good time in school and was surrounded by friends and was always an excellent student. I was never in trouble! I’m pleased that this story is written well enough to fool people into thinking it is an autobiographical narrative!!


  3. I LOVE, LOVE, and LOVE , this post. you remind me of another person and of course the little girl in the comic strip “Baby Blues”! She is so smart and so smug about herself and her surroundings—- knows that she is better than her brother Hammie! I love her. You remind me of her with her determined and feisty spirit.


  4. I wrote a few poems about the circle of dolphins, and I wrote one about how the ocean killed the weak and saved the strong who waited out her extremes. I won the competition, and my family went with me to a dinner where I got a free book and gave away the rights to my poem. I think they put it into a textbook.

    The LAD fair?

    I was doomed after that, however. They encouraged me to pursue writing, and I forgot about science, which is my proclivity. I have taken a lot of science classes in college, but I didn’t receive a good foundation and was neglected in math. I’m not competitive in those fields. I’ve done work most had in HS. I pulled off an “A” in college algebra but haven’t gone further.

    Now I’m forced to major in Creative Writing because it’s the only skill I have. It’s not my passion, however.

    What else have you written?


    1. Yes the LAD – or in my experience there are independent scholarship competitions with the winners being published and eligible for a monetary scholarship – doesn’t mean you get a scholarship but you are in the running… There is a need for scientific writing. You might explore that if you have an interest in the sciences.
      I’ve been writing for a long time but like so many, I am unpublished (sort of) and am loathe to self publish. Mostly because I am unwilling to front the money required. Most of my stories are on xanga http://murisopsis.xanga.com/ My site is still accessible if you are interested in perusing some of my previous stories…


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