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On a Writer's Mind

Friends and enemies

Reading the New York Times science section the other day, I was struck by an article about how having enemies at school can “enhance social and emotional development” for kids. Omg.

I was carried right back to seventh grade, when I started junior high school and suddenly felt like I was in a foreign country, one where I didn’t even know the language. I was uncomfortable every minute, never sure what clothes to wear or how to act. There was one girl in my homeroom, Sue Pollock, who had a good time making fun of me. I’d see her smirking and sniggering with her friends about, say, matching me up with the class nerd. Once she tricked me into thinking that my best friend had called me a dirty name.

Did going to school with Sue Pollock enhance my social and emotional development? Hard to say. I hated her. (She told racist jokes, too.) But she was definitely cooler than I was, at least in the seventh grade.
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