Disabled Kids Cause Intentional Problems Too!

Tomorrow's Fracture Free Friday post is about my transition to middle school. This got me started on reminiscing on my time during that amazing three years from 6th to 8th grade. Although I may have fractured my femur four times, my arm a dozen more times and had many other injuries - I have nothing but fond memories of middle school. Below are just a few mini-stories I'd like to share:

  • Mr. G was our 7th grade Life Sciences teacher and everyone loved him. It wasn't necessarily because we cared about mitochondria and photosynthesis but because he was just a kind old man. He really wanted every student to strive to do their best (to the point where we could re-do lab reports until we got an A..) and I remember he would frequently meet with students one-on-one to go over material. Being the softy that he was we always preferred it when he was the one put in charge of the kids who got lunch detention. Well, one time I found myself in lunch detention. Although I don't remember what got me IN there to begin with, I do remember with great hilarity how me and my friend got out of it. It was the old "I need to go to the bathroom..." trick. So I was excused and all of my teachers knew that I didn't use the regular student bathroom, but would have to go quite a ways down the hall and around the corner to use the nurse's bathroom. As I was heading out the door I gestured to my friend A to get on the floor and start crawling beside my wheelchair as I rolled out. My bulky power wheelchair was large enough to hide him and we spent the remainder of that 45 minute period goofing around in the halls and visiting the 6th grade wing! (Did I mention? Mr. G was not just a kind old man but somewhat blind and kind of deaf too... needless to say my friend and I got away with it!) 
  • In the 8th grade I had a social studies teacher named Ms. L and whether we purposely did it or not, we were really studious about our social studies in that class. In other words, my class - due to the mixture of kids - was incredibly rowdy, talkative, and just generally a disruptive group. We frequently would have the Principal or VP come to the class and stand at the door way or our entire class would be threatened with lunch detention. This one class was no different than any of our other social studies class periods, we were being disruptive, wads of paper were being thrown around, dumb jokes were being shouted across the classroom, and kids were out of their seats and would just not shut up. Although I was usually one of the better behaved students in this class, at that moment my middle school 8th grade logic decided it would be a good idea to go throw a piece of paper away right at that second. So I casually drove my wheelchair to the recycling bin when an exasperated Ms. L screamed at me "Sandy! GET BACK IN YOUR SEAT!" Stunned and shocked my classmates immediately hushed (oooh the girl in the wheelchair just got yelled at...) I immediately turned around and in my most earnest pleading voice I responded "But Ms. L I already am in my seat!" The class erupted into laughter and became even more chaotic than we already were...
  • In an attempt to instill responsibility, accountability and ownership into us - every student in each grade had to wash the tables in the cafeteria at some point during the school year. Our names would be called at the end of each lunch period and we would grab sponges from buckets of soapy water to wipe down pizza Fridays, and ketchup wars. I wasn't a fan of "clean-up duty" and my short arms would only be able to reach about 5 inches from the edge of each table. A few times in the 7th and 8th grade my friends and I figured out how to escape from the teacher-monitored cafeteria and I would cram us all into the elevator. When we didn't show up after lunch periods after our names were called the staff person on duty always just assumed that a teacher was meeting with us, or that we had gotten a lunch detention.
  •  As a student who was hard-of-hearing I had an FM system with me in classes and it was always my "big responsibility" to hand the microphone piece to the teacher. Of course any student at that age found their friends to be far more engrossing to listen to than learning about The Order of Operations in 7th grade math. I was just able to put that wishful thinking into action. As the school year wore on I grew tired of listening to my teachers and preferred to share chuckles with my friends, so instead I would give the microphone to a friend who would hide it in their clothing and whisper jokes or the latest gossip into it. We would have this contest to see how long I could go without giggling or bursting out into laughter, of course eventually the teacher found out and the microphone was always had to be handed over... and I was always lectured on "appropriate use of this very expensive equipment.." 
Those are a few amusing stories I wanted to share but as you'll find out in tomorrow's Fracture Free Friday post it took some time and steps for me to become THAT comfortable in middle school. 

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