Sunday, June 21, 2009

Year 7: Hi Kids, Today the World is Going to End!

It was in my first year of Junior High school and I was having a bad year. My parents had bulldozed my bedroom so I was sleeping in a fold-out bed in the resulting enlarged living room. My clothes were in my brother's room and I had to do my homework in the dining room. I was woken up every morning at six by my father's cigarette smoke. I had no room, no privacy, and I was bullied at school because my parents wouldn't let me wear jeans and that's what everyone else was wearing. It was pretty bad. But the worst day of Year Seven was when I walked into French class. I sat down, expecting to do declensions, when the teacher told us that when we hear sirens, we were to hide under our desks because bombs would be dropping on us. He said it was the end of the world and we were all going to die! Not sure why he thought this- maybe he was a Jehovah's Witness? These WAS huge trouble in the Middle East at the time......

Anyway, we were terrified. We would have cried, but that wasn't cool. Anyway, once he'd finished scaring the hell out of us it was time to go to English. Within minutes the teacher put down her chalk and asked sharply “"What's Wrong?"

A boy in the middle row haltingly told her. Man, was she ever FURIOUS! She said that was utterly ridiculous, and of COURSE the world wasn't going to end. She spent the whole hour and a half class calming us down and undoing the damage that man had done. Pretty admirable of her, considering she didn't even like us.

Of course nothing happened that day, so we all gave that French teacher a terrible time after that. In the end he had a nervous breakdown. We were not sorry.

He wasn't the only one who was telling us the world would end. My parents told me repeatedly I wouldn't live to the age of 20. (They were big Garner Ted Armstrong fans. ) As a result I feel really hostile to anyone who says we're living in the end times, or that world oil reserves will run out, or that global warming is the end of civilization, etc etc etc. I heard it all before, 30 odd years ago, and I have faith that whatever problems people create, they can solve. And as for those who can't wait for Armageddon, those sadists WILL go to hell!

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