Blueface wrote this to me on another thread (forumosa.com/3/viewtopic.php?t=1 … &start=255)
No doubt school recess was hell for you…the big boys would pull down your pants and all the girls would laugh.[/quote]Although I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this I wanted to take it is an opportunity to briefly describe my experience of school bullying and a couple of other experiences which have shaped my opinions.
Like a lot of children I was bullied at school. I remember once being hung by my tie until my face went purple (so I am told). No big deal. Then, as now, I had a hot temper and would occasionally be stung into action. I remember one guy was winding me up with encouragement from others. I got mad and cracked him one on the jaw. He didn’t bother me again. Later, I found out that he had some problems at home.
These things go in cycles; the bullies become the bullied. One Monday morning a load of guys were laughing at that guy. It turned out that they’d all been to a party where they drank a lot. That guy had got so drunk that he decided to get his todger out and practise self-satisfaction right in the middle of the dance floor. He was shunned for the rest of the year. Kids are cruel.
A particularly good teacher was my English teacher. I fear that he may have died by now; he was past retiring age then and he smoked like a chimney. He showed me how to put together a coherent argument. He taught me that in academic writing, it didn’t matter what you wrote as long as it was internally coherent. Unfortunately, he carried this attitude through to real life. We were talking once about something far too deep and he looked at me and said; ‘You know, it’s all just a game’. I felt that that was a tragedy. Soft sod that I am, I think I cried myself to sleep once over that.
In another example that praise and criticism go in cycles, when we got to the 6th form (I think that’s the same as Senior High), one or two of my former tormentors began to hold the erroneous belief that I was in some way ‘cool’ because I wasn’t too bothered what other people thought, dressed a bit differently (embarrassing regalia of teenage years- burn those cowboy boots!) and liked The Doors.
The sixth form was my introduction to the world of formal debating. At first it seemed quite interesting - a chance to talk about the things you really thought and felt. I rapidly became disillusioned when it turned out that the main point was winning the debate and that it didn’t really matter whether you believed the words that were coming out of your mouth or not; indeed sometimes people deliberately adopted objectionable or unreasonable opinions in order to ‘practise their debating skills’ or maybe just to wind people up. I think the ideal might have floated around at that point that when one became good at debating, one could use one’s skills as a power for good in society. Unfortunately, it was the habit of bending the facts and changing one’s opinion to suit one’s argument that really stuck, and good seemed to go out the window.