By Malcolm Rivera for South Kern Sol
I’m what many students would consider to be a nerd, geek, dweeb, or whatever term you prefer. My credentials include: doing well in school, reading, following politics, enjoying comics, and being an overall quiet person. Combined with my not-so-intimidating build and my glasses, you get the description of a typical high school nerd. I am by no means a misanthrope, however, that’s how I was perceived by my schoolmates. And that, in turn, made me easy game for the predators of the high school jungle: bullies.
I was verbally made fun of and intimidated to the point of becoming a submissive loner. I remember there were two classmates of mine that tried to make my life a living hell by adopting an attitude right out of the movie “Mean Girls.” Every other day they felt the need to remind me how much of a loser I was. How my ears were too big, and my jokes were stupid. When the time came for me to switch from my private middle school to the public Arvin High, they told me how I would never fit in.
Eventually, the old bullies grew bored of me and others would take up the torch of being my personal bully. Sophomore year English was a class I enjoyed, with the exception of a student we’re going to call ‘Frank.’ After the class grades had been posted for the quarter, Frank had noticed that next to my name was the highest grade in the class. He, being a go-getter, thought that he should remind me that I was a loser, just in case I was starting to feel good about myself.
He put his hands on my desk and stared down at me. Considering he was (and still is) much larger than I am, I really couldn’t move him. He let out a condescending smile and said, “Hey Malcolm, good job with the grade. Too bad you don’t have any friends to share your accomplishment with.”
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