I always wanted to be normal

i remember always being an outcast growing up. sometimes my memory is of feeling akward and unaccepted. at other times i would feel different, somehow separate from the other kids. sometimes it was blatant, at other times it was very subtle.

in grade school i was singled out as being one of those “gifted” kids. our school called it the zenith program. test scores had shown that i would be a good fit for the program. i was given a test to make sure that i had the intellectual ability for the program. i failed the first year because i did not know how many feet were in a mile. the next year, i had memorized that little trivial fact and was admitted. i still do not know how many feet that is to this day, stupid arbitrary shit.

i remember never wanting to be a part of the program, little benefit i could see to the whole thing. more work and less class time to do it in. fun. anyway, at the same time all this was going on, i was seeing a therapist after school. i do not recall why, but i am sure i exhibited some improper social behavior and was soon in need of counseling.

one day on the ride home from said therapy, mom and i were having a discussion about this zenith thing and about how i did not want to be a part of it. she, of course, wanted me to be in it and vehemently argued for it. she asked why i did not have the desire for it and i responded that i just wanted to be normal, not separated from the herd. she asked why i wanted to be normal, like everyone else.

how does one respond to such a question? it is hard to express what it feels like to be different and to be singled out for some reason. after feeling different and distant from all my fellow students and friends for my whole existence, now someone was actively labeling me as distinct from the crowd. how akward.

6 Responses to “I always wanted to be normal”

  1. Nix Says:

    Normal men are boring and as valueless as a grain of sand. The distance, the complications and the defense mechanisms all simply make the chase more challenging.

    And besides, I’m used to being called weird. I used to hate it, and wonder what it was about my behavior that was so unusual. But really, when I think about it, it becomes apparent to me that it is this very same bizarre personality of mine that makes men intrigued, that makes women laugh, and that makes me the ballsy, colorful character that I am.

    No one remembers that guy who had no quirks or differentiating marks. And really, no one needs him either

  2. Rob Says:

    C You need your own radio show or a tv program. You have the intelligence for this and if you style this show after a bit of the “Man Show” you can drink beer while you debate and address real world issues of the day while freaking people out like the south park duo.

    I think you are missing your calling if there is such a thing (a calling), you are an entertainer, enlightener, and motivator whether you like it or not. Normal sucks- don’t be normal. Call me if you need an agent.

  3. James Says:

    I was also put into a “gifted” program in 5th grade, separated from everyone else based on standardized test scores and started doing horribly in school. That’s wild that we both had a similar experience like that. It must have been some educational movement in the south that we both had to endure.

    I remember my best white trash friend, Jackie, saying something like, you guys down there in gifted think you’re better than everyone else, or something like that. And after that I grew apart from those peeps. Also, it was mostly the snobby and well to-do in gifted, a class I wasn’t a part of. I remember my teacher saying something about peers, and I responding that I had none.

  4. Administrator Says:

    rob, thanks for the encouragement. and, I LOVE that idea…

    james, “my best white trash friend,” LOL. stupid pop psychology/education.

  5. James Says:

    That kid had my back, lol

  6. Lendi Says:

    The first time I was tested for gifted I was not admitted to the program. Later testing labeled me as gifted and I was moved to different classes in the middle of the school year. I have always felt a little different and entering this program made me feel that even more.

    I think the students who are not in the gifted program may feel inferior. Perhaps this motivates them to work hard and show they are just as smart. On the other hand, my being “gifted” made me feel I was already smart and therefore did not need to work as hard as the “regular” kids (which didn’t help once I got to high school).

    I heard of a school system in Alabama that targets students’ weaknesses and strengths and places them in according classes. You may be a talented reader but not so much in math. I don’t think these students are labled the way they are here. I think this helps the students from seeing one big line between the gifted and non-gifted students. They see that some people are good at some things and other people are good at other things. I was told Germany has a school system sort of like this.

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