I remember the room: a small, cramped, unfurnished space. The room continues to be part of my life. When I was younger, my mind told me to escape from a stressful situation. School was a source of stress for me, and I never knew what was going to happen next; I had a very hard time learning. When I became overwhelmed, I tried to escape the classroom and was put in the room for long periods of time. This made me even more stressed because I could not leave. While I was in the room, I had a lot of time to think. I felt helpless and powerless. I decided that I needed to learn how to take control of my life and better my situation. This I believe: make your own destiny.
In the first grade, I remember feeling confused and scared when I was at school. I tried to run away a lot. Because of this, the teachers would separate me from the other kids and put me in the back of the room. I recall being on the floor, listening to music on a radio in the back of the classroom with the teacher’s aide. Everyone else sat at their desks and learned. This made me feel different from the other kids, and I felt like it was unfair because it took away from the learning experience. I didn’t get to participate in what the other kids were doing. I didn’t know why I was the only one being singled out.
In the third grade at a different school, I had an aide that helped make life easier. She was very flexible, patient and she listened to me. She knew how to help me learn and I was much happier at school because of her. The aide and the teacher had a lot of fights, so the aide was placed in another room. I was not allowed to see her anymore.
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