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