Flamish jay sitting on the edge of a pool, carrying a nut in his mouth, with a blurry forest in the boukground and his reflection in the water

Blame it on the edit – Bird

In group six of primary school (Dutch system) we got a new teacher out of nowhere: Mr. Rex. A charming, somewhat clumsy man. During his lessons I slowly started to become quieter. I stopped playing with the other children. I was sad all the time. 

It wouldn’t be long before I brought those feelings home with me. I spent many of my days at home feeling moody. My mother thought something had to be done and decided to talk to the school. The school thought it would be a good idea to test me first to rule out a range of psychological disorders.

That test indeed ruled out that I had functional disorders. It also turned out that I was above average intelligent and social. Whatever was going on, it wasn’t my fault. However, the cause of the problem was still not clear. Until my mom started talking to some other moms. And it turned out I wasn’t the only one. Irene, a girl in my class, showed the same symptoms as me. And what turned out to be the real problem? The teacher, Rex. Stories from other children began reaching their parents about how Mr. Rex was having uncontrollable tantrums in class. Out of nowhere, he would get angry and started shouting at the children. 

I still remember drawing a picture of my favorite bird at the time, the Jay. When I finished, I was so proud that I wanted to show it to my teacher. When I got to his desk he said, ‘That’s not what the assignment was for. Erase it.” I was suprised. “Take a piece of gum and erase it!” When I did nothing, he grabbed a piece of gum from his desk and sent me back to my seat. Once I got there, I started crying. “Go ahead,” he said, handing me an eraser. As he looked over my shoulder, I erased the colorful bird, stroke by stroke. With tears rolling down my face.


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