Sit Still

Sit still
It was a drill.
Pay Attention
Stop looking out the window
a frequent bone of contention.
She’s a daydreamer
not my star pupil.
Except in art and language
Where she excels.
An imaginative, creative schemer.
And Phys Ed
But she’s just a girl.
Don’t let that get to her head.
I was born smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation. The classrooms were overcrowded. We had fifty one children in our class, seated alphabetically in long rows. My last name beginning with W, I was in the last row, the last seat. It wasn’t particularly ideal seating for a kid who tended toward, shall we say, leaf peeping. There was, clearly, a definitive need for drills and endless sitting still. Yet, little was known about the serious health risks of the sedentary lifestyle that we’ve adopted in since the rise of the Industrial Revolution. Being a daydreamer was looked upon as nothing more than another thing that interfered with the flow of learning. Frequent movement, a distraction even in the last seat. In a classroom today, I might be identified as a different kind of learner. I may indeed be called gifted in one or another category and flourished in my talents. Miss Bennett had no way of knowing that while I gazed outwardly I listened intently to her. But not her every word. I perhaps was scheming up a drawing, painting or story. I’m certain that more times than not, I wished I could jump right out of that seat and run outdoors to the playground or better yet, the fields and meadows. Long hours of sitting still was akin to Chinese torture for me. It still is. I’m a bit hyperactive you see. In todays educational system, besides being labeled different or gifted, I may have also acquired an acronym or two. ADD comes to mind not to mention the H which I’m told has been dropped by the DSM. In fact, as an adult I recognized enough of these signs as to be tested officially for it. Trouble is, follow through is also a sign and true to form, I never returned for the results.
As an addendum I would like to add that I live alone and in doing so, I’ve discovered that I’m the perfect partner. I get to drink as many diet Cokes as I please. Who’s counting? Counting. Now that’s a habit. I get to eat at odd hours. Odd, never even. The toilet paper is always set just right on the roller, never backward or worse, upside down. And I get to skip stepping on the third tile in from the foyer door while touching the umbrella holder every damn time. My jaw clenching goes largely unnoticed by everyone save for me. I use to worry about everything. Now I only worry about worrying. It’s a near perfect world, my little bay view bubble.
This little essay is the second one of its nature that I’ve written in response to todays prompt regarding bad habits. I finished it just a few minutes ago as I prepared for class. Why do today what I can put off until tomorrow? The one I wrote yesterday wasn’t satisfactory and I’m not sure this one isn’t either but it’ll have to do. I never make up make up my mind until the last minute anyway.
In conclusion I will say that as far as bad habits are concerned, I haven’t a one. That is not to say however that someday there won’t be the word “Disorder” following my name.


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