• Marías at Sampaguitas

Prose by April Frances Federico

I Don’t Need a Psych Degree to Know


Third grade was the first time that anyone has called me weird, even to my face. They always assumed the worst of me, and my teacher thought I’d never get anywhere because I had trouble “rounding” in math.


Why is it always the math teachers who thought I’d never amount to anything? Mrs. Kirby, in eighth grade basically said I had no potential on my progress report alongside a big fat “F.”

What teachers thought of me changed in high school. I became quite good at math and excelled in all my classes. But the bullying never ceased – even at another school. I guess in public school, you’re bullied for being dumb, yet in private school, you’re bullied for being smart. I don’t get it, either.


People have obviously graduated at this point in time and left the ostensible “importance” of bullying behind just to achieve a “status.” The trauma of being bullied, unfortunately, stuck with me, and left a permanent imprint on my brain: PTSD.


Albert Einstein once said, “If you judge a fish’s ability to climb a tree, it will spend it’s whole life believing that it is stupid.” I am the fish who let hazing, taunting, and even cat-calling make deep impressions on my brain. It’s not that I let it do so, it’s basic psychology that I learned without even having to take a psychology course. I don’t need a psychology degree to know.




April Frances Federico is an up-and-coming poet, journalist, activist, and visual artist. She has a specific ardor for women's rights and Title IX issues. She is a huge literature nerd studying Creative Writing with minors in Arts Management and Visual Arts at Roger Williams University. She is also the voice behind The April Diaries and her work has been published in Rose Quartz, Ayaskala, honey & lime lit, Kissing Dynamite, Satin Soulbits, and HEAL(er) Mag.

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