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Life Before Ten

In This Issue

Weekly Column

    Come join the editor Jennifer Barnick as she searches for the Champagne Life....

click for daily column

Sparkling Wine

Feature Speaking with Fred Frank about his father Willy Frank

Sparkling Wine Review Real champagnes with real terroir by John Euclid

Arts & Sciences What's the deal with sulfites in wine and why the warning? byTimothy Smith, PhD

Industry News ...a brief survey of sparkling wine news

First Person

HelloGoodbye Cassandra H. Katsiaficas says hello and Wayne Scheer says goodbye

Passion ForumSuzie Sims-Fletcher shares the joy blue fake fur and PB&Js

Under the Goldlight—True Tales of Drinking ChampagneDave Brown sets out to see if lightning can strike twice

Life Before Ten The sneaky mean bully exposed by Rose Tolstoy

Art & Literature

The Marcia Reed Virtual Gallery The paintings of Marcia Reed

Drinker's Poetry Deborah M. Priestly and Robert Slattery

Fiction "The Woman" by La Vonne Schoneman

TRUE new non-fiction by J. Blake Gordon

Film in ReviewAnna Luciano reviews a current release; Fritz Voigt ponders a current DVD rental, and David Sirois gives us a great movie that won't be checked out

Other Goodies

Founder's Page Greeting from Dr. Timothy Smith

Letters to the Editor click for full list

Photo Gallery Click for Pics













The Sneaky and Mean Bully

By Rose Tolstoy


         On the second day of second grade…it happened…I met my bully. All of the other kids liked me even though I was new to many of the kids. We were all in our separate reading groups and were already in the middle of the sort of boring book “My Father’s Dragon” when Noah called me “weird”…but (I swear) I was doing absolutely nothing to deserve such a rude name. All I was doing was just reading a book; I was like, “What’s wrong with reading a book?” This time the other kids just sort of ignored Noah and continued to read.

         Noah was short, and although was as tall as a five year old he was eight…and he wore baby size 10 shoes. And while he was not the typical “biggest kid” bully he was the “little guy” bully and had a taunting laugh and glare that far and away made up for any lack of stature. Noah was also very vain and made sure his hair was stylish every day. This was unusual for the second grade. I remember wondering, “Was this a super model show or second grade?” Noah also made sure he had all the “right” clothes and shoes and everything else including music and dancing. Noah thought Noah was the king of cool.

         Days later Noah gossiped about me. Some kids actually fell for Noah’s tricks and one kid even called me a bad word. That word was, well actually it was really rude and I can’t actually say it, it was so bad, but I will tell you that the word began with the letter “B”. Noah had begun to tell the other kids that I picked my nose and that I picked my butt. Noah also continued to say and to encourage others to call me the word for “a girl dog”. It makes me cry still just having to remember what Noah said to all of my classmates.

         In almost no time at all the girls began to believe Noah over me and not soon into the school year all of the kids in class began to hate me. They would make fun of everything I did, everything I wore, my voice, how I walked, what was in my lunch and everything else you could possibly imagine. And all along Noah was the one behind it. True I liked different kinds of foods like fresh parsley and watercress and baby spinach and true I was interested in unusual things for girls like bats and bugs (including a pretty impressive working knowledge of every spider on earth like sea spiders), but still I had never been so badly made fun of until Noah came into my life and led all of the other kids against me…in which many of whom were my good friends and who seemed to like all of the things about me that were a little different.

         I began to want to run and hide. I couldn’t take it any more. The teachers ignored the situation, and I found many times that the kids would get me in trouble on purpose. Noah became so powerful in the second grade that he even adopted a corporate style organization with other kids playing the role of right hand men, regional managers, and even entry level stooges and I found myself suddenly becoming the sole reason for their existence. Making me miserable was their way of having fun. They chose me because that had decided that I was the “weird kid”.

         I had a hard time coping with what happened with Noah and the other kids in second grade and even now that I am out of second grade it still bugs me. My mom would tell me to try to say, “Noah, you are mean and rude and not worth my time!” But when I said it to him he just thought I was even weirder. Instead, he would just give me a look. Plus I was afraid to confront Noah because I feared any kind of revenge he might do. Noah was truly mean to the bone and showed no sign of compassion whatsoever. What still surprises me is that I still am upset about Noah and the other kids who followed him. I can’t believe how much the kids just followed Noah blindly and could hurt me not for any reason but that they were told to.

         Getting away from those kids who only focused on beating me up did bring much joy. Luckily my parents moved to another town right after second grade ended. But what is most lucky is that I still don’t want to be like everybody else. I just want to be myself. It doesn’t matter how different you are. The only thing Noah was doing was just being mean there was no truth behind what he said, however, I remain always (and remained always) true to myself.




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