Primal Scream

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  PTSD.

I have it.  Yup, it’s true.  And these days I can hear Lost In Space’s Robot saying “Warning!  Danger!”  And he’s talking to me.

What is it that sends me back, brings on the flashbacks, makes me scream “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”?  The Olympics.

I blame Mitt Romney.  I blame the Olympic Committee.  I blame the Raisin.

Yes.  The Raisin.  That is the name John and I gave Jacob’s teacher for 6th class (which is Swiss/British for 5th grade.  Go figure.)  It was a slight bastardization of her real name.  We gave it to her because we hated her and also because she was the cause of the “Trauma” in my PTSD.  And in our family, it was contagious.  All three of us had it.

It started on Back to School Night in September, 2001, when she told us her plan for the entire school year.  John and I exchanged skeptical glances when she told us that they would focus on the Olympics. She was a big sports fan and what do you know, that very winter, the Winter Olympics would be held!

It wasn’t my cuppa, but I figured that a few exercises around the Olympics might be interesting for the kids.  And after all, world HQ for the Olympics was just down the road in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lausanne, Switzerland, Lake Geneva (Google Image)

But instead of a few things, though, everything the class did involved the Olympics.  Everything.  For the entire year.

Google Image

Learning about the human body?  Let’s learn that the leg bone is connected to the hip bone by looking at skiers’ physiques.

Learning about numbers?  Calculate and compare the speed of each winning downhill skier and divide it by some ratio or other.

Learning geography?  Make a diorama of the flags of the gold medal countries from the previous Olympics and your hopes for this one.

As the parent of a reluctant student, I had to try to convince my son, who had no real interest in things Olympian, to do one more assignment/task/project on The F’ing Olympics.  He hated it.  I hated it.  John hated it.  None of us thought it was interesting; none of the other kids in the class or their parents did either.  It made homework painful.  Boring.  Something to be avoided at all costs.  It made learning misery.

And after beating that dead horse for the entire school year 2001-2002, just realizing that the Olympics are coming makes me break out in a cold sweat.  I hope for a weeks-long power failure.  I stick my fingers in my ears and hum loudly whenever a commercial comes out about TV coverage.  I cry a lot.

There was more.  Much more, but I have, happily suppressed those memories.  The idea of trying to retrieve them makes me believe that there may be something to Primal Scream Therapy.

So if you’re posting on the Olympics over the next couple of weeks, that scream you’ll be hearing is mine.

Nooooooooooooooooooooo! (Google Image)

71 Comments

Filed under Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Family, Geneva Stories, Humor, Stupidity

71 responses to “Primal Scream

    • That’s brilliant. Worth its weight in gold. I haven’t tried it either, and probably won’t but knowing it is there is wonderful! And knowing that I am not alone in my hatred of the Olympics, well, that is worth its weight in gold!

      Thanks, Laura!

      Like

  1. I am also not a big Olympic fan. So I just want to thank you for this post. And I have never ever hear of a teacher taking her madness about these games to such a level. It was really too much boring for both students and parents. 🙂

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  2. Maybe a new Olympic event will be started because of you… the Olympic scream, measured in decibels. Winner will receive, in lieu of a gold medal, protection from Olympic coverage forever more.

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  3. I join you fan club of not being a sports nut . . . much rather read a book. But I do like the opening ceremonies because I love theater. Unfortunately, NBC decided to pick and choose what portions of the opening they thought we should see which made it choppy and a bit incoherent. I’m not pleased that NBC tried to dictate what I should like or not like of the ceremonies. That said, I’m done with my Olympic participation.

    As to the teacher who did an entire year’s lesson plans around the Olympics–shame on her. She needs another profession–one that doesn’t require creativity and imagination. Fun post!

    Like

    • I’ve heard from others about the lame-o coverage NBC gave the opening ceremonies. But somehow I missed it ;). Zero and done is my Olympics motto.

      As for that teacher, yes, I think she needs some career counseling. Badly. Hopefully she has retired by now!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  4. I wanted to read your post…i really did…but MY post traumatic stress kicked in when I got to “It started on Back to School Night in September” OMG!! I see the phrase “back to school night” and i break a sweat and the room spins because I was always that behind-the-eight-ball parent at those things!!. one year a teacher even mocked me (seriously) and said in a very disparaging tone to the class full of parents, “this explains ALOT about your son”
    UGH! I feel your suffering!
    ps. i DID see the opening ceremonies. it was very uneven/disjointed/not sports related…you didn’t miss much by looking the other way!

    Like

    • There are some incredibly wonderful teachers in the world. Sadly the teacher you described would not know what to say should she meet up with one. What an ass. Imagine what she must/must have done to students. I shudder!

      Welcome to my blog, Big, and you’re be excused from finishing this post. I do expect you to work all the harder on the next one!

      Like

  5. John Erickson

    Well, I am STILL not gonna watch the actual sports, but they just “welded” the 5 Olympic rings together, and all I can say is WOW! A great contrast – the Beijing Olympic opening was about people and fireworks, from the land that has plenty of the former and invented the latter. London has given us an outstanding piece of dramatic scenery work, the home of William Shakespeare providing one HECK of a piece of dramatic theatre!
    Bravo!

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    • John, I will have to take your word for it. The last opening ceremony I watched was the French one, with the robot bugs. Enough said!

      Like

      • John Erickson

        Well, stage one was great. The second part started with something about kids and nightmares, then crash-dived from there. The only good part was I got a great jibe for my British military-obsessed friends. The ceremony had 40 Mary Poppins drop in, so I asked one of my buddies if that was how they were gonna cut the defence budget – no more parachutes for the paratroopers, just hand them umbrellas and punt them out of the aircraft!
        I haven’t heard back yet. If you hear the Royal Navy had an “accidental” missile launch, well, it’s been good to know you! 😀

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        • Well, in that case I promise to do a eulogy for you here on FiftyFourAndAHalf, John. I promise!

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          • John Erickson

            That’s a great offer, but since England is five hours ahead of us, that would mean I’d be dead five hours before anybody here would know it. 😀
            That IS how time zones work, right? 😉

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            • Well you might be dead for a while, but eulogies come after the fact.

              As to time zones, I can only say that only 1 in 10 Americans know about them. I cannot tell you how many times we were awakened while living in Europe when someone thought the time difference went the other way. Oy.

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              • John Erickson

                I think the best statement on time zones is made by a sign I use as an avatar on some military boards. “Don’t worry about the world ending today, it’s already tomorrow in Australia.” Which makes me wonder about those Mayans – does the world end on 21 December in Mexico, which is 22 December in Australia, which means the world can’t end ’cause it’s already after the 21st?
                Ouch! I think I pulled something in my cerebrum! 😀

                Like

  6. cooper

    what is this now? some sort of sporting event?

    Like

  7. Pingback: Friday Foolishness – Podium Edition | Guapola

  8. lftsr1

    The Olympics aren’t that bad. At least there is lots to go on for ideas, and there has been numerous different games etc.
    Try spending 3 months doing project after project when your 8/9 years old on the wives of Henry VIII (“I am, I am”),
    I’m pretty certain even if I get Alzheimers I’ll still remember Divorced Beheaded, Died. Divorced, Beheaded Survived.
    Once you find out as a 8/9 year old that he chopped off two womens heads that everything else is a bit of a bore.

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    • You cracked me up, Ben. I love it. But I, a history buff, would have preferred Henry to the Olympics. But the real point is, of course, variety. Too much of anything sucks.

      Unless it involves a good execution, of course!

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      • lftsr1

        I love History too, but 3 months on as a 9 year old on 6 women and a syphilitic old man is a little too much. It really put me off history till the history teacher in Year 9 (14/15 years old) who really brought things in a whole new light.

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        • Then again, aren’t you Irish? Were you as an Irish kid forced to study the British Monarchy that wasn’t very nice to you guys (or to my ancestors)?

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          • lftsr1

            I was born in the UK and the majority of my education took place there….I moved to Ireland 3 years ago….as far as i can tell history in schools here is a mix of Irish, British and World History, but how it is taught is dependent on the school….

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  9. Obsessive behavior is common in many people, but obsessive teaching obsessed with the Olympics? That’s just very weird and unfortunate for all involved, and sorry that you and yours had to go through that.

    Your story is proof that some people really need a supervisor watching over them at work, along with some strong supervision to keep them from wandering off into the weeds.

    And this is… my last comment. (long painful pause) until I see you again in September. It’s now time to shut it all down until then.

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  10. Too much of a good thing can get old real fast! Many bad ideas start out as good ones but are taken to ridiculous extremes. I hope you don’t have nightmares, Elyse!

    Russ

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  11. Too funny, Elyse. I do love the Olympics, but you are too right about teachers and how far they can take it.

    I’ve purposely DVR’d a lot of tv shows – more so than normal, even – so I purposely don’t have to watch all the Olympics hype. And I do so dislike the way they have a teaser that lasts till the very end of the Olympic programming for that night. You know, the story about the kid who overcame homelessness – coming up. Four hours later, you get the story. 🙂

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    • Ah, I’ll buy the book for the heartwarming stories.

      Don’t get me wrong. I admire the athletes. Some of the sports are cool (not synchronized swimming, of course). I used to watch a bit.

      But this teacher made haters of us all!

      Like

      • I totally understand what you mean. We helped our son on his “Mission Of California” 4th grade project back in the late 90’s. I still cringe when I hear Father Junipero Serra’s name – not quite as ubiquitous as Olympics, but you’d be surprised, how often, living here in California.

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  12. Do people still watch the olympics?
    Closest I’ll get to a blog topic about it is maybe a poll on a new sport.
    Hmm…that’s actually a good idea – you could exorcise some of your trauma as an other answer!

    Like

    • Some people apparently do watch, Guap. Or so I hear.

      If you do do a post on it, here are my other answers — just to save my voice box from incessant screaming:

      Olympic Showering
      Olympic Pizza making
      Olympic Dog Walking
      Olympic Balloon inflating

      Olympic not-watching the Olympics.

      Like

  13. Wow, you really got traumatized there! Maybe you need to watch the Olympics in order to confront this situation?

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  14. That teacher made the same mistake that the networks do: they overhype every thing…the Olympics take over the airwaves completely…that’s what turns me off the most. I don’t mind catching a few events here and there but they certainly do milk it for ratings, don’t they? My husband LOVES the Olympics. So I plan on doing a lot of sighing and grunting and groaning the next few weeks in his general direction.

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    • If she had done a few things and let it go, it would have been fine. But to see everything through that finite prism made 90% of the kids and parents crazy. PTSD, I’m tellin’ ya.

      You’re right about the networks overhyping them, too. But they do that with everything these days.

      Your husband is an Olympics lover? Two weeks. You can do it. Mine is a baseball lover. Baseball is on every blomin’ day for 6 months. I will be canonized for not killing my husband, some day, I’m sure.

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  15. Oh my. It’s cool to do some activities around the Olympics, but you’re right. You have to think about the fact that it may get boring, that not everyone may enjoy it, that it may make life a living hell for students. Variety is key. Too bad Raisin ruined the Olympics for you. Makes for a good story though!

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    • Thanks Karen.
      I wasn’t a huge fan before I got PTSD over it, but I would watch a few things.
      The real problem was that Jacob spent a whole year being miserable and it colored his view of school. And sadly, that color wasn’t rose.

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  16. After Penn State thing, the Lance Armstrong allegations, and mediocre pitchers signing $20 million dollar MLB contracts, I find myself giving up on sports at the pro and college level. It may be affecting my attitude towards the Olympics too. When I was a kid I loved them because they were amateurs, now I am not so sure. You mention Bud Selig the Commissioner of Baseball and I will join you in the scream.

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    • There is so much corruption, you’re right Randel. It’s disgraceful. These folks used to be role models. So sad.

      I will keep mum about that guy though. You’re welcome!

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  17. Gee wee, I like certain parts of the Olympics. Hadn’t thought about posting anything about it though. But I can hear you screaming from where I sit. I felt the same way about the last job I had. I’d roll my eyes just thinking about some of those folks, so I’ll try to be sensitive to your disorder. Heck, maybe you’ve just diagnosed me too.

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    • Ditto!

      (I would have just removed this duplicate, but last time I did the person ended up in my spam folder. So here it sits. Cause I don’t want to trash you Totsy!)

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  18. Gee wee, I like certain parts of the Olympics. Hadn’t thought about posting anything about it though. But I can hear you screaming from where I sit. I felt the same way about the last job I had. I’d roll my eyes just thinking about some of those folks, so I’ll try to be sensitive to your disorder. Heck, maybe you’ve just diagnosed me too

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    • Of course I diagnosed you, Totsy. Remember, I am a fake medical person, after all.

      And as I said to Val, you can enjoy the Olympics if you like. Just don’t make me join you. I will be doing some serious damage to my voice box if you do.

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  19. I would have been mightily tempted to beat the Raisin with my ski pole or perhaps lock her into ski boots a size to small (barefoot) for the entire year. That would have fixed the problem.

    Gad, what a lunatic.

    I admit to loving some of the Olympics though, Gymnastics for example and Ice Skating. Obviously that both have grace and thus I love to watch them.

    I do enjoy the finals of Soccer and Basketball, but then I enjoy those sports whether they are the Olympics of simply the sport.

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    • You’re allowed to like the Olympics — some or all of them.

      But if you write about them, I will not “LIKE,” I will not comment. I will scream instead!

      Like

  20. The worst thing about Olympics… the repetition by the networks of the same stories over and over. It’s not just the same stories for those few weeks. They are the SAME stories for the last century: “Athlete overcoming Adversity”. He ROWS a BOAT for god’s sake!

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    • Snort!

      I do admire the dedication that the athletes have, and I wish them well. Goals are great. Go get em. Bring home the gold. But don’t make me watch. And DON’T make me force someone to construct a diorama about it!

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  21. Two thoughts here:
    1) I can’t stand the Olympics, either! Used to love them, but that’s another story.
    2) Your story of a teacher having to force kids to learn information that doesn’t interest them sure puts me in mind of the current rigid curriculum that we have in the US now. As a teacher, I would love nothing more than to teach what the kids want to know! Can’t do it or I’m breaking the law.
    That teacher, the Raisin (love it!) should have been sent to detention for sure!

    Like

    • This was a very odd school. And yes, the Raisin deserved detention for the entire year!

      I think there are a lot of us haters out there — Olympics haters, that is!

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  22. bigsheepcommunications

    Scream all you want – maybe it’ll drown out the incessant sound of politics.

    Like

  23. Even a semester of the Olympics would be a lot, but a full year is awful. All those poor kids who had no interest in sports. It must have been difficult.

    I think it will be difficult to avoid the Olympics; they’ll be on the TV, the internet, and in the newspapers. You might want to get a few extra pillows to scream into, just to avoid alarming the neighbors.

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  24. An Olympic theme for the entire year in all classes? Wow … although I applaud the thought, there is also a rule that says “Know your audience.” … In this case, the obvious is that the theme was more about her teaching than student learning.

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    • I think, actually, it was all about how she could avoid teaching and watch the trials on TV with the kids and then watch the Olympics.

      It was a private school in Switzerland. There was no set curriculum, believe it or not. (One year they didn’t do math — third grade. Multiplication tables?) You know all the great things they say about posh Swiss private schools? I don’t say any of those things! In fact, the terrible schools were one of the reasons we came back home. (Of course, I’m glad we did, but I sure miss those Alps!)

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  25. Whew talk about issues…that teacher was a control freak! Imagine forcing something YOU like or a group of people for an entire year…that is insane. My daughter had a sports crazy teacher in 3rd grade. She made them pick a famous athlete out of a hat and do an assignment. My husband wouldn’t know a sport if it came crashing down, I know more. My kid gets a Golfer..a golfer…really? Try getting a 9 year old to read a book about golf. Oh, I feel your pain…I could never have done a year of that crap.

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    • A nine year old doing a book report on a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yup. Great idea. What one wouldn’t want to do that?

      Jacob was criticized for his book report in this class. He read a book about Abraham Lincoln and was criticized for mentioning Abraham Lincoln in his report. Ummm. John wondered whether it was supposed to be a book cover report, describing the cover, bindings, etc, rather than one that shows what the students read.

      Golf. Oy.

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  26. Michelle Gillies

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is so nice to know I am not alone. I will have to lock myself in the bedroom with a ton of books to get through this set of Olympics. The last set of winter ones were here in Canada and I think it was against the law or something to not have them tuned in 24/7. I patriotic, I love my country, I’m just not into sports. Good for those who are into sports, just leave me alone.

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    • There must be millions of us, don’t you think Michelle? Folks who just don’t care about the Olympics? It’s just because we’re not into sports, though. I don’t think it has any link to patriotism. I love my country. I don’t love curling of synchronized swimming!

      In fact, I think that the games often do some good in promoting World Peace and competition in a good way. And that is terrific. I am all for that. But weeks of non-stop coverage? Nah!

      Thanks for the reinforcement!

      Like

  27. John Erickson

    Ya know, I can kinda groove to the concept of using the Olympics as a learning exercise. But the whole dang year? Ain’t enough No-Doze in the UNIVERSE to get me through that! 😀
    Fortunately, my teachers were never that organised. Or able to control me that well. (More the later than the former!)
    Do yourself a favour, if you have a DVR or Satellite TV. Ue the V-chip or parental controls to outlaw ALL programming on NBC or MSNBC. That way, you won’t stumble across any Olympic stuff by mistake. Alternately, carefully paint 5 overlapping rings on your TV screen with white paint. That way, you’ll never see the rings! (Hey, don’t you remember those slides for B&W TVs that were blue on the top third, clear in the middle, and green on the bottom third? I’m 5 years younger than you, and I do. Or maybe my dad was just that cheap! [That’s a big “Hell yeah!”] 😉 )

    Like

    • This teacher certainly did turn Jacob off to a whole bunch of stuff.

      I think that keeping my head under a pillow — or better still, in everyone’s blogs — will be more effective!

      Like

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