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Dueble was out for the day so we had a substitute. It was a beautiful spring day and I was very excited because our class was scheduled to take the bicycle safety test that morning.
If I passed, I would be able to ride my bike to school every day. You could literally see the school out of our front window.
I grew up in Winnetka Illinois. Winnetka is a suburb on the north shore near Chicago. We had beaches nearby, a big park across the street, a downtown area I could walk to if I wanted to get a hot dog, or buy some baseball cards.
It was an idyllic place where we all felt sheltered from the crime and violence that is so rampant in Chicago. We knew our neighbors and I hung around the neighborhood with my friends.
The schools were good and opportunities for success were in abundance. At school I could hardly stay in my seat that morning because I was so excited about the bike test.
We had a brief morning meeting and then went outside to the playground for the road portion of the bike test.
We slowly rode our bikes through a course that had some modest obstacles. I navigated the stop sign and cones with expertise. When I learned that I had passed the road portion of the test, I was very happy, but was still nervous about the upcoming written portion.
I was insecure because I knew I was neither the most disciplined nor focused student. As a matter of fact, I was a bit wild. As the youngest of four siblings, I got away with things that my older siblings would not have.
When I was in kindergarten I had to go sit on "the chair" everyday as a consequence for my not staying on the rug during story time. I was high energy and liked to push limits and make jokes. My three older siblings taught me to question authority and to think independently. After we got back to the classroom I sat down at a table with some friends to begin the test.
We sat at small round tables, about five or six of us per table. It was quiet as we were all taking the bike safety test very seriously. I was sitting at a small table with some other classmates. Suddenly, I heard loud noises and a flurry of commotion.
I don't remember faces, just a feeling of disorganization, intensity and terror. I fell to the ground and blacked out.
The next thing I remember was crawling in the hallway by myself. The hallway felt so empty. It felt like the whole school had been abandoned. It was calm and quiet. My hand hurt really bad.
It was a stinging pain. I looked at it and saw that it was bleeding in a way I had never seen before.
There was a hole in it and blood was pouring out of the hole in rhythm with my pulse. I remember the color of the blood. It was dark, almost black. My hand was covered in blood and I was looking at it pulsing, trying to figure out what happened.
It was almost mesmerizing. All I knew was that I was in pain and I was scared. I tried to make sense of what was going on. I remember thinking that this must be some sort of safety drill. I thought that the school was preparing us for something. I went so far as to imagine that the person who came into the room was the school janitor who I liked and trusted.The colorful portraits that purport to reveal the energies of their subjects have migrated from hippie bookstores to your Explore tab.
Is the trend just another internet fad or does it have any basis in science?
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