Sloppy fox

“When I was in preschool, enthusiastically coloring a drawing, the teacher approached me at the end of the lesson. Still fully immersed in my coloring, I looked up at her. She addressed me, stating that I had colored outside the lines and was a sloppy fox. I had to stand in the corner. I was startled and asked, ‘Am I a fox?”

I stood in the corner, unsure of what was wrong with me. Did she call me a sloppy fox? I wanted to go home but obediently waited until she said I could leave. That moment came, probably because my mother entered and had enough of waiting outside for me.

I told my mother that I had to stand in the corner because the teacher called me a sloppy fox, as she didn’t like my drawing. My mother listened to my story. She was sorry for me; she did not like the teacher, the sweetest mother I could wish for.

That was the beginning of lesson one in intimidation from the preschool teacher.

I learned that as a child, you learn not to be angry when belittled, hurt, or treated unfairly. Expressing anger about it is seen as impolite. What I learned at school is that if you march to your drum, teachers try to silence it. They can’t color outside the lines because they never learned. And that lack of zest for life, that sourness, they pass on. If only they had dared to taste life, they wouldn’t have been so bitter. That bitterness was what education brought me. I closed up.

It wasn’t until years later that I discovered learning could be enjoyable. I went to the art academy!

My broad interests led me to places where the horizon stretched further. I reclaimed my freedom!



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