The Day I Became A Girl
Hello, and welcome to all. It's good to get back together after an unplanned hiatus.
In the last edition of Flashback Friday (#53) I told of the new school that I would be attending. Having spent my entire elementary education experience in the same school, everyone there knew my name (kind of like a non-alcoholic version of Cheers). Moving up to the junior high, none of the faculty knew me. All the information that they had about me was contained on a piece of paper. Somebody had to type that piece of paper, and there was a typo on it.
Now we all know that there are several unisex names, and if you don't have a picture to go with the name you don't know if the person is male or female. When you call a Chris, Pat, Robin, or even Kim, you don't know which gender will answer until you hear the voice, and then sometimes you're still not sure.
There are other names that are close, but are spelled different. Tony and Toni. Bill and Jill. Jerry and Jerri. Andy and Andi. Don and Dawn. Joe and Jo. Ross and Rose. I was a victim of mistaken identity. If you look at your keyboard, you will notice the close proximity of the "S" key and the "E" key. The last "S" in my first name became an "E" and a Rose was in bloom (kerbloom to be exact)
The first day in my new home room, my homeroom teacher was an older lady who probably taught English when English was a new language. As she was going down the roll calling off names, everyone would call out "Here". When she got to my name, and called out "Rose", I corrected her. She asked me if I was sure. Um, yeah, I was sure. She made a notation on the roll. I thought everything was fine now, but it wasn't.
As 7th graders we all had to share lockers with someone else. Our locker number and combination was written on a paper that we all received. When I left homeroom, I was one of the last out, and I saw "Jessica" putting her things in my locker. "OK, there has been a real mess up" I thought. I didn't put my books in the locker, I carried them all. During every class, I had to correct that teacher that there was no "Rose" in the class. During lunch, I went down to the office and had a word with the secretary.
I explained to her that there has been a mistake, and it was assumed that I was a girl. She pulled out my transcript, and indeed it said "Rose". Address correct. Birth date correct. Social Security number correct. There was one problem. During this time, there were no computers. If you were typing a form, you had to make sure the form was properly aligned in the typewriter. Mine wasn't, it was slightly off. Since the form was slightly off the "X" that went in the box for male or female was between the two boxes. Since the name was "Rose", they assumed that I was a girl.
It wouldn't have made any difference in my schedule in Elementary School, but we're not in Elementary School anymore Toto. A few classes after lunch was gym class. In Junior High the gym classes were segregated and you changed for them. A boy in the girls gym class just didn't work out. Besides, I would have looked ridiculous in the red & white striped, one-piece gym suit the girls had to wear (the boys wore shorts and white T-shirts). It didn't take long after that to make sure that all my records were changed, and let it be known to the world that I was indeed "Male".