I was sent to the principal’s office so many times between Kindergarten and 3rd grade that the punishment paddle had worn out, needed replacing and was retired with my name engraved on the handle.
I was quite different than the other kids. I was the second youngest and maturity a huge factor. In grades K, 1, and 2 the teachers recommended I be held back a year, but my father would not accept this because he did not want me in the same grade as my late brother Gary.
I was a handful, but I paid attention when the teacher helped me to learn. Mrs. Woodruff in 2nd grade helped me at writing. For some reason to this very day, I just refused to write in cursive, but was forced too. Mrs. Woodruff put an end to that, let me print and said nice things about my stories.
I wonder if Miss Bivens had read the scouting report of students of her new 3rd grade classroom. I don’t think she guessed I was not exactly the ideal student. She had some kind of discipline code or rules and I of course made sure I broke each. I was out of control, but the straw that broke the camel‘s back saved me.
In the 1950’s, a student had a metal frame desk with a slanting declining wood top that would open for storing books and supplies. I’m not sure what set me off, but right before lunch I jumped up on a desk and then jumped from desk to desk. Miss Bivens screamed at me, then ran out of the room and shortly returned with the principal.
When I started jumping from desk to desk it was because I wanted to see something outside, but couldn’t where I was seated. The principal did not consider this when he grabbed me and carried me to his office. He told the secretary to call my parents. My Mother came in and the next day was a meeting with my Dad. I was banned from class.
I have no idea what was said, but I was taken to the University of Michigan hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. A nice middle aged man spoke to me. He asked me if I was afraid of school, my teacher, my parents, or anything. I told him no. I told him the reason I walked on the desk. He smiled then left the room. I was confused.
The nurse came in and took lots of blood from my arm. I did not cry because I had told the doctor ‘I wasn’t afraid of nothin’. Hours later the doctor told my parents I was a normal rambunctious little boy, but had problems controlling urges because of being hyper-active. The doctor wanted me to take a drug, but my Dad would not accept this.
My Dad thought vitamins drugs and he was very much against drugs, be they legal or illegal and he was against alcohol too. My Dad was right about vitamins and drugs. Luckily this doctor had not sold his soul to Big Pharma and quietly told my Dad to give me a half cup of strong black coffee with my breakfast.
You might think this strange advice, but this remedy has worked wonders for me throughout my life. I’m not joking because it was like a miracle making me rather calm. Today, when I got out of bed, I washed dishes while the coffee brewed. I don’t need a 5 hour energy drink. I need coffee to stabilize me. I usually wake up roaring to go. I drink 2 cups black with a spoon of raw honey to start each day since the third grade. (Tea does not affect me like coffee).