Game Over

You know what really frustrates me? My family and friends (whatever little bit of them I have left) claim that I am book smart. To me, being “book smart” means that you are well educated academically; an intelligent intellectual; the opposite of “street smart”.

Actually, I am neither of those. Paying attention in class, following the rules, doing your work – it’s not too difficult to do what you can to make the grades you need to gain a new level of education in high school. And my years of school focused on Survival 101: Staying Alive. Because that was the point of it. I knew that if I could stay alive, then I would. It was like a game; I learned to lie and manipulate and how to use others. I remember doing that sometimes when I was younger, but I didn’t know any better. I really hated it, though, and in 2007 I grew so sick of it that I couldn’t do/handle it anymore – and I moved in with my dad.

You have to really know how to sneak around, though; you have to be good at this if you do it, and if you fail one time, you lose. You don’t have more than 1 life to try to play. It may be a “game”, but this game is the game of reality – the game of life – you can’t die and be reborn into the last check point you checked into. Life doesn’t work out that way. You can’t use what you learned in school in the game, either; it’s not going to be any bit of helpful. You’re on your own, and your scared and terrified and sneaking around. You’re not feeling an adrenaline rush; you’re simply feeling what it feels like to fear death, if that’s even possible anymore.

Your three siblings are younger than you; you’re the oldest of them all, and you’re in high school. However, what’s the point of going to school anymore? I mean, you’ve missed so many days, your grades are all 69 and below (lowest being a 43 or so; if your mother and lard find out, you lose), you have no idea of what is actually going on in class, you hate school because most teachers/students assume you dropped out the previous year (when your mom took you out to home school you and dropped you off at lame “play dates” with weird kids and some witch of a hypocritical Christian girl one year older than you who acted like she ran the place who went to concerts VIRTUALLY and read books from the Bible VIRTUALLY and VIRTUALLY ate this and met so and so VIRTUALLY and blah, blah, blah whose brother was SO much better and not weird/etc.) even though school is your only escape, the buses don’t give you enough time to get from the other side of the building to your actual bus (thus causing you to miss it; it’s like a mile walking-wise, and some teachers hold you after class), lard causes you to be late (because he claims it’s your fault he can’t find anything, talks on the phone, has to get himself something from Sonic, etc.; once on the way to school he mentioned he wanted to freaking ADOPT me) and if you don’t get your ‘parents’ to sign your stupid report card with all of the failing grades then you’re screwed – they call your parents. Game over.

But I did it: I sneaked around, and somehow I succeeded.

I’m NOT book smart, and it’s really annoying when people tell me, “Oh, but you’re a smart girl! You can get so far in your life!” I only liked school because it allowed me to get away from home. If you want to get real serious about this, the only actual one and one half years of school that I actually paid attention in was when I moved in with my dad 2 November 2007, and I didn’t start up school until the second or third week or so. Prior to that on 14 October 2007, I almost died because my mom and lard found out I’d been sneaking around when I arrived back from my dad’s house. That’s the night that haunts me; it has been haunting me ever since. My mother says it never happened like that. I still have the mark on my left hand from where her huge diamond ring cut through my skin. Over the years, it’s slowly gone away.1 Thankfully it’s not as visible now.

  1. Surprisingly certain lotions work.

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Liv’s gravatar

People. -/_-

I went to a really “good” high school. To everyone who doesn’t go there, I’m really book smart. To me, book smart means supernerd studying theoretical physics, which I obviously am not. Just because I went to that high school I’m supposed to live up to the street smart expectations, but I didn’t. I don’t even know how I got out of it with average grades. High school is completely overrated.

Book smart and street smart are just extreme terms. My dad says I’m very street stupid just because I don’t like to go out to boring parties. But I consider street smart to be those orphans in movies that are somehow surviving.

Stephanie’s gravatar

I actually think that “street smart” and “book smart” aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s possible, but perhaps rare, to be both street smart and book smart. I also don’t think that you need good grades to be book smart. “Book smart” just means that you learn quickly when there’s no missing background material and that you can tell when there’s some material that you’re missing. But a gaping hole in a person’s education and extra responsibilities at home will definitely stop someone who is book smart from performing well in school. So, I have no idea whether you are book smart or not. But, judging by what happened, it’s no surprise that you didn’t do well in high school. If the state authorities had found out, your mom and lard may have been put in jail for what they did. If they’re going to home-school you, then they better be the ones teaching you proper lessons every day!

However, I’m not entirely sure that you’re street smart either. For most people, life does not include very much sneaking around like that. Most people can just get their report cards signed without any issues and most people probably had supportive parents. You definitely learned some skills, but in a normal household, they wouldn’t have been very useful at all.

You’re staying with your dad now, right? Are there any plans for you to remain there long term, or are you scheduled to move back to where you were later?

Liza’s gravatar

I’m staying with my dad’s mom and dad (my Grandmama and Grandpapa). I think I’m staying here long term; at least until I can get my own apartment (which will be a while, or until I get into a college/university with a dorm, and again, which will be a while). Mimi’s moving so it’s technically impossible to go back there unless I put a trailer home on what little of property she has left (that’s not surrounded by trees every which way). I’m never going to be living with my mom again. That’s for sure.

Deanna’s gravatar

Wow. I’m so sorry that you had such a rough childhood. I personally loved school. I was pretty smart, at least in math class. But I wouldn’t call myself book smart either. I think I’m more street smart. I hope your life isn’t as stressful as it sounds like it used to be.