The Art of Faking Sick

Time Travel Tuesday

Growing up, I was not the greatest student. I know, hard to believe, right? I seem so fluid in my writing and I’m so articulate with expressing my thoughts. *cough,cough* You might never guess that I’m dyslexic but, surprise! I am.

I attended regular classes during middle school but was removed for a portion of the day, usually during English, so that I could learn with the other, “special needs” children, how to comprehend simple sentences. We literally read ‘Dick and Jane’ while our smarter, less challenged, classmates were reading, Moby Dick. (One Dick was a whale and the other an autistic boy.)

Obviously, Dick was not much smarter than me.

I’m slow to process. Sometimes I have to read paragraphs a few times to catch the full meaning. With math, I scramble the numbers up, so that even if I know how to calculate an equation, my answer will be wrong, simply because I wrote the numbers incorrectly. Finally, I couldn’t tell time until I was in High school. The shame of it all!!!

The whole ‘learning disability’ thing caused me a great deal of emotional trauma. I always worried that the teacher would call on me, that I’d say something stupid and get laughed at. All my papers were returned with the word, “frag” and “awk” on them. Those abbreviations stand for fragment and awkward, in case you were wondering? I don’t think that’s changed much…

Good memories…

Let’s see, where was I going with all this…? Oh, right. People with Learning disabilities quickly figure out ways to survive school. What I lacked in academic brilliance I made up for in other areas. One of those areas was knowing how to fake sick. Whenever I felt I was in over my head I would come up with some illness. Sometimes it had a very acute onset! haha! The next thing I knew, I’d be lying on a comfortable cot with a warm blanket and pillow beneath my over worked head. Now that I think about it, I was a little like Tom Sawyer?

Unlike Tom, I never got out of painting a fence.

My main objective was to get out of the immediate stressful situation and hopefully, the entire class hour. It was a real bonanza when the nurse actually determined that I needed to go home! (I loved the feeling of leaving school in the middle of the day, knowing my friends were slaving away!) Lucky for me, my mother was very casual about school. She never complained about picking me up. Clearly, my parents didn’t expect great things from me.

Today, I’m happy to report that the dyslexia is somewhat dormant as I have developed clever ways to manage academic obstacles. As it turns out, I have the same information stored in my brain as everyone else, I’ve just had to come up with inventive ways to retrieve it. So you see, I’m actually quite brilliant! : D

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