November 2012

Permission denied!

A school memoir

During my time spent in the pilot program named “Family Focus” based at Southwood Elementary in Bloomington, MN, back in the 1980s, they sometimes would make an announcement right in the middle of the school day that would spin things 180 degrees as to how the rest of the day would go before we would assemble in the gym prior to going home.

The forbidden hill at Excelsior Elementary

A school memoir.

When I went to Excelsior Elementary School, they did not see eye-to-eye with me nor I them. Heck, I was only, what, five or six years old when I got switched to there from Deephaven Elementary School as the Minnetonka School District sought to make something of me as a student.

During my stint at Excelsior, half of my day was spent in a regular class, half in a special education class, while lunch and recess still divided my mornings from my afternoons just like for the rest of the kids.

There is a hill with a modest-sized slope on the northeast side of the school closest to the playground. It is pictured above. Today it has a concrete retaining wall with a mural depicting happy or otherwise content students. The mural (which did not exist during my stint) is ironic in the extreme given that I once got caught up in something on that hill which did not leave me as happy a camper as those kids on the mural.