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Monday, June 24, 2013

THE NEW KID a Cranky re-run


This re-run is from June 2012

When I was growing up my family moved a lot.  No, we were not staying ahead of the bill collectors, my dad’s job required relocation about every four years.  In school, four years is about the time it takes to go from the “New Kid” to one of the gang.  I was always “The New Kid.”

The first thing that happens to the new kid in school is that all the losers want to be your friend.  When I say losers I mean kids that are different.  As an old man I have learned to appreciate people that are different.  In many ways I prefer people that are different.  As an eight year old or even a high school kid, hanging with kids that are different is poison.  You, the new kid, are immediately branded as “different.”  Different in school is a hard row to hoe.

Shedding the "different" image is not easy.  You are forced to be mean to the only kids that befriended you in the first few weeks of school.  This was a source of bullying when I was a kid; it is a source of bullying today.  The different kids try to befriend others and to shake the image of you yourself also being different you have to make it clear you do not associate with the different kids. 

At least you thought you had to.

I am sorry different kids.  I did not mean to be mean.  I wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “The New Kid.”

To “Tubby” Thompson: You were not “Fat, fat the water rat.”

To “Four Eyes” Susan Smith: I wear glasses now and I know they suck.

To “Sparkles” O’Malley: I secretly thought your braces were really cute.

To Erick “The Spaz” Goldblatt: You threw like a girl, now you are a dentist.  I guess I was wrong.

To Jane “Bazooka Jane” Jablonski:  What the hell was I thinking?

To all the kids I was mean to:  I’m Sorry; being “The New Kid” sucked, but eventually I would fit in.  You were different all through school.


  1. cliques are so dang hard! and peer pressure to be popular by eschewing the unpopular is so cruel. *sigh*

  2. A fun post. When I was in high school I realized there were more "different kids" than anyone else and I mobilized them and became senior class president. But I was never cool!

  3. That was YOU! Yes, as one of the oddballs I was hurt, but it's OK...we're good now. :)

    Actually I was always at the "B" table...not a dork, but not cool either.


  4. When I taught the at-risk kids, I noticed it was always them who sought out the new students and offered them a seat at their lunch table. Some accepted, and some haughtily declined.

    I don't so much think they were trying to gain a new member, as they knew what it was like to be shunned and didn't want anyone new to go through it.

  5. We adults look back at childhood with selective memory. We try to believe that it was all so easy and that children have no problems. In reality an awful lot of it sucked. And if we're honest, some of that baggage is still with us.

  6. We moved a bit when I was a kid too, and I was the New Kid a few times. I was shy and nerdy and was happy to gravitate to the different kids. Except one time in New Zealand when we went to a very small school and purely through small numbers I was part of the cool crowd for one weird year. I didn't like it. So much pressure, so scary!

  7. I think back to different periods of my life, not-so-nice or embarassing incidents and I want to say sorry, too, or to explain.

    Then I think, let bygones be bygones. The people involved probably don't even remember me.

    Do you know correspond with any of these people?

  8. you were a kid, forgive yourself... and anyway, how nice of you to publicly apologize..... you good kid, you.....