I spent the first seven years of my educational life in catholic schools, k-6. It was a well know fact that I was retarded and couldn't be expected to perform at the same level as the other children, so whatever I did, the nuns just accepted and for the most part left me alone. In the seventh grade I transferred to the public school system, and discovered the library. In the ninth grade they tested all the students as to level of proficiency. My parents were asked to come and meet with the guidance counselor. When the guidance counselor told my parents that I should probably skip high school, my parents asked: "is there no point? can't he at least learn some of the material?" She said, you don't understand, he's performing at a 16th grade level, he's too advanced for the material in high school.
I have always been confused by this, I didn't change, I didn't feel any different, but suddenly the things I talked about weren't the confused ramblings of a developmentally disabled (back then they just said retard) child, but I was some sort of genius. I am dyslexic, something I didn't learn until my early thirties, and maybe that explains some of it. But I think that the mindset of the nuns in a parochial school just made them assume that if they couldn't understand what I was talking about it must be gibberish and the fact that my handwriting is illegible (I still cant read it!) only added support for this opinion.
I have always heard how much superior a catholic school education is compared to the public school's, and maybe that's the answer: "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king" and I was just an ignoramus among all the towering intellects that I left behind but shone compared to the feeble minds in the general public. But I always felt that I learned in spite of catholic school.
Surely I'm not the only one to whom this happened, any similar experiences?