I didn’t know how rotten my middle school years were until my school life started improving. In the 7th grade we had PE. The athletic boys were treated well by the teacher while the handful of unathletic boys were sent to play ball with the girls. The only instruction I ever got was when we had a substitute teacher who had us all play together. He told me how to hold a baseball bat and I hit the ball for the first time.
English was one of my worst subjects because I couldn’t spell and never got the hand of writing cursive which was mandatory. I was never good at math. The subject I did like was science.
Lahaina Intermediate School had a soda machine in the office that kids could use. For 30 cents you could buy a 12 ounce Coke or Dr. Pepper or other sugary drink in a tin can. I think by my 8th grade year the bottling companies all over switched to aluminum. We sipped our drinks during recess and looked down on the town of Lahaina from a thousand feet up. Once we saw a whale out in the ocean. Some days I would walk home from school. I arrived home almost the same time as the bus.
I managed to get through those tough years with the few close friends I had. I would be friends with the new kid until they left after a short time or they move up to more popular friends. My friend, Alan was one exception. I also survived by convincing myself that I really didn’t belong there because I was an alien and my people would be around to fetch me home at any time. It never happened and here I still am. I made it through government school in the 7th and 8th grades. I have no qualms about saving my kids from that.