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Another typical day in my 9th grade life -Running the Gauntlet
Old 12-08-2018, 08:47 AM   #1
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Another typical day in my 9th grade life -Running the Gauntlet

As an adult I can tell you it was a disaster waiting to happen. In the morning the buses would drop us off at the monster high schools side entrance. You would then walk down a long hallway to the cafeterias where there were a couple of rooms with seats. It was there that we would wait for the first bell. There was no supervision - I mean none - insanity. The leather jacketed brain surgeons would line that long hallway. When you are 5’2” and 120 pounds on a good day you are he gazelle with a bad leg and they are the hyenas. Lots of needless stress. My initiation would come from an unexpected source; a former friend from years earlier had grown significantly and now sported a leather jacket. Im not sure why, except maybe he felt I was a sure thing but, I was his target. A full head taller than me and 30lbs heavier I would be boxing out of my weight class. Not good. Trust me when I say I didn’t want trouble. He shoved me because he could. The two black eyes I had post fight validated he landed at least two good blows to my face. I never felt them. But God smiled at me that day, he got too close to the wall. I landed a solid blow to his head an it bounced off the wall. The redwood fell and the fight was over.

The harassment continued and I told my Brooklyn born father about it -his advise: “Pick one out and hurt him. Even if you lose they wont bother you.” Sure enough not too many days later the leathers had singled me out. I picked one, a lucky choice he was all leather and no skills. I cant remember if i hit him or just tossed him over the table - he flew, he crash landed, it was ugly. Dad was right, the hyenas were shocked, they left me alone.

Yet the fights were not the scariest things that went on. The school also had a program for developmentally challenged young adults. It was one of those gents who put a switchblade up to my throat while I was using a urinal.

My son was also a little guy in 9th grade (he’s grown since)and he was being harassed. I called the school, had a chat with the guidance counselor and they had a sit down with all parties and the harassment stoped. Somethings do change for the better.

I write these little ditty’s because I enjoy reading your responses. I think our experiences make us who we are.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:29 PM   #2
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Enjoyed reading that! I'm always amazed that the "tough" guys usually aren't so tough after all.

When I worked as a police officer, I always laughed when the tough guys would cry in front of the desk as they were being booked.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:01 PM   #3
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While it's always fun and satisfying to hear stories where the bully meets his/her comeuppance at the hands of the intended victim, DW (retired special ed middle school teacher) tells me that's the rare exception. More likely, the bully successfully harrasses the victim (physically, mentally or both) until the situation changes.

Don't ask me how I can confirm this....... (Hint: I attended the urban high school that the Jim Jacobs stage play "Grease" was patterned after.)
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:11 PM   #4
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In the ninth grade I tried out for the wrestling team. I was in the 90-pound weight class. I failed terribly.

When I graduated at 18 I only weighed 135. I was never a big kid.

At home my father was physically abusive. If he was not around my mother would do it.

My memories of childhood to this day, are all about beatings.

My earliest memory was being spanked with a shovel. I remember an electric cattle prod, once I was beaten at home with a block-n-tackle set [double pulleys] my father was in a rage and that was the first thing he could find. My father never hit me with his bare hands, he always used a weapon. Mostly his belt, once that shovel, a garden hoe, the block-n-tackle, horsewhip, etc.

It made me so that whenever someone threw a punch, my instinct was to block and go for the floor. I was nearly 30 before I was finally able to overcome that reflex.

One classroom I had classes in had a flight of stairs leading up to it, when leaving that class the stairs was always filled with students. They would punch me, and grab my feet, then pull me down the stairs by my feet. All the kids sitting on the stairs would pinch my ass as I was drug down the stairs. They broke my nose one day on those stairs. I was suspended for having my nose broke by those kids.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:31 PM   #5
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In the ninth grade I tried out for the wrestling team. I was in the 90-pound weight class. I failed terribly.

When I graduated at 18 I only weighed 135. I was never a big kid.

At home my father was physically abusive. If he was not around my mother would do it.

My memories of childhood to this day, are all about beatings.

My earliest memory was being spanked with a shovel. I remember an electric cattle prod, once I was beaten at home with a block-n-tackle set [double pulleys] my father was in a rage and that was the first thing he could find. My father never hit me with his bare hands, he always used a weapon. Mostly his belt, once that shovel, a garden hoe, the block-n-tackle, horsewhip, etc.

It made me so that whenever someone threw a punch, my instinct was to block and go for the floor. I was nearly 30 before I was finally able to overcome that reflex.

One classroom I had classes in had a flight of stairs leading up to it, when leaving that class the stairs was always filled with students. They would punch me, and grab my feet, then pull me down the stairs by my feet. All the kids sitting on the stairs would pinch my ass as I was drug down the stairs. They broke my nose one day on those stairs. I was suspended for having my nose broke by those kids.
Sorry to hear.
Those bullies probably didn't retire at 42 y.o.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:33 PM   #6
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My brother was small until a growth spurt at 18. In grade school 2 big girls liked to beat him up. Fortunately even though my sister was small she was tough and her and a friend beat the crap out of them. They left my brother alone after that.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:54 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear.
Those bullies probably didn't retire at 42 y.o.
In our society as a whole, very few people get pensions as young as I did.

Of those who do get 20-year pensions, an extremely small percentage are setup in a manner that allows them to actually retire on that pension.

I know a lot of fellow military retirees, none of those I know could support their families on their pension. Most of them out-rank me, so I know their pensions are larger than mine. But they still have mortgages, blah blah blah.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:24 PM   #8
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If you were a guy, these situations are not unusual. Not all end up in fights. It's all about intimidation. Middle school (7-9 for me) was something you just wanted to survive. I ended up having some pretty popular friends so it could have been worse.

I will say I moved from another state at the start of the 7th grade. In the first few months I got sucker punched in the locker room by a notorious bully. A new friend stepped in. This guy was in trouble his entire school life. So I see him at my 40th reunion. He did seven years in prison on drug charges and was a major player. Turned his life around while he was incarcerated. Invested some of his illegally stashed money to build legit businesses.

He's in great shape but so am I and he never grew and I'm about 6" taller now. Walked up to him and said "you sucker punched me in junior high". He had no recollection and was hugely embarrassed that it had happened. I had held a grudge for all that time. Nice to let it all go for good.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:42 PM   #9
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I attended my 25th highschool reunion. There was around 100 of us there, all of us were 43 years old. It was good for me to see what other 43 year old look like. Many of them had not aged well.

The jocks were still hanging out together to relive their moments in the spot light 25 years ago.

The cheerleaders were still a group, they organized the reunion.

There was a small group talking about investments, none of them could retire though.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:47 PM   #10
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At home my father was physically abusive. If he was not around my mother would do it.

Although Dad was tuff If you got a beating you did something stupid. I let my older brother do the stupid stuff avoiding all that unpleasantness.

All we can do is try to do better then them and enjoy the better life we’ve built. My late teenage years were extremely stressful I worked my way out of that mess. I do my best to enjoy each day. Hope you do too.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:22 PM   #11
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We actually had freshman initiation in our town and in the summer leading up to 9th grade if you were caught on the streets you were beat up. I was small and about 110lbs but I was lucky as my best friend who lived across the street from me was 6"4" and 250lbs.



He told me I didn't have to worry about anything as he put the word out that if anyone touched me then they'd have to deal with him. So I had zero problems and when seniors came up to harass me they stopped and asked if I was so & so's friend. I said yes and they said Welcome to High School!


To this day he's still my best friend and I'd do anything for him.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:34 PM   #12
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We actually had freshman initiation in our town and in the summer leading up to 9th grade if you were caught on the streets you were beat up. I was small and about 110lbs but I was lucky as my best friend who lived across the street from me was 6"4" and 250lbs.



He told me I didn't have to worry about anything as he put the word out that if anyone touched me then they'd have to deal with him. So I had zero problems and when seniors came up to harass me they stopped and asked if I was so & so's friend. I said yes and they said Welcome to High School!


To this day he's still my best friend and I'd do anything for him.
Nice story.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:35 PM   #13
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I never attained the lofty heights of high school academia.....expelled from two schools and out to work before I was 15, (with one earlier prolonged bout of truancy that culminated in 5 non-consecutive days of attendance in a school year)...but I recall being about 9 or 10 and confronted in the washroom, (why is it always the washroom?), by an older/bigger kid that I'd had problems with, and a friend of his.

Fighting would have been futile, and running was out of the question, so when the one kid punched me as hard as he could on the upper arm I just stood and stared at him.

"See", he said to his buddy, "He won't cry"......with that they departed and I was never bothered again.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:01 PM   #14
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In grade school the teachers were such violent psychopaths that we all stuck together. Even the tough kids left you alone and more or less were on your side.
High school was a breeze.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:23 PM   #15
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I ran with a rough crew from junior high through high school, we didn't bully others and the bullies stayed far, far away from us and woe to those that didn't. NYC schools during the heyday of the 70's street gangs was an interesting place to be.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:49 PM   #16
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If you have to be bullied, probably better on social media than in the hallway.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:12 PM   #17
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If you get the chance to see the film, "My Bodyguard," I think many of you would enjoy it. It's about a kid in high school (late 70s or early 80s) who is the victim of bullies at his new school. He hires another kid...a really big one, but with a heart of gold and kind of an introvert...as his personal bodyguard. A lot happens, as you might guess.

By the way, these stories remind me of the time as a 9th grade student when my lunch group was leaving the school cafeteria and the second group was arriving and trying to come in through the same doors we were exiting. A particularly gruesome senior class giant blocked my path and said, "What are you trying to do, kid, leave?" My reply: "No, I'm walking in backwards, a*sh*le." I just couldn't resist. You can imagine the rest...ouch.

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Old 12-10-2018, 09:16 AM   #18
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As a freshman n high school, I was 6' tall and 128 lbs. No meat, just skin and bones. A bunch of bullies wanted to pick a fight in the bathroom. One took a swing at me and cut his knuckles on my teeth. So in my only fight, he took the only swing and he was the one who got bloodied.

He broke his watch band in the process and wanted me to pay for it. I told my mother that evening and she just wrote a note to the guy that said, "The police chief is a friend of ours. We're going to ask him if we need to pay for your broken watchband." I never heard boo out of those guys again.
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