It was probably seventh or eighth grade. The school was huge. Salem Junior High in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There were lots and lots of children at that school. I was one in a huge bunch. I was fine with that.
Except when it came time to depart. Finding the bus was, sometimes, a challenge to say the least. It could also be pretty scarry.
I think this particular incident happened on one of the first few days of school... when it's difficult to know where, exactly, the bus I'm supposed to ride is going to be in the lineup. There were, at least, twenty buses in two rows, lined up in the bus lane.
I thought I'd been through the lane once, but didn't find my bus. I was beginning to feel anxious. If I missed the bus, who knows how long it would take my Mom to come get me. It's not like I'm the only child she was awaiting to return from school. She'd have to wait for the others before she could come to pick me up.
As I worried, I sped up a little.
But then the announcement came that all children must board their buses because they would begin departure within 60 seconds. I started to run.
Running did not come easily to me. I was ungangly. I felt fat as all heck and definitely did not have good cardiovascular fitness.
Then it came. The cowardly bully's anonymous call: "Watch out! She's going to cause an earthquake!"
One might suggest that there's no way I could know that the statement had to do with me. However, I do know it did. How? Well, it was made into the middle of the row of buses and I was THE ONLY child in that area as far as I could see in front of and behind me. Believe me, I checked.
My head and heart hurt. Was I really THAT fat? I mean, nobody running could cause and earthquake!
And then someone else: Yeah! An elephant's trying to run! (or something similar)
Children are often cruel. When grouped together in the way that they are in public school, children are often even more cruel than they would attempt to be otherwise.
This is one of the reasons homeschooling, when I realized I could consider it as an option for my own children, was/is so very attractive to me. Find out more in the story about why I chose homeschooling.