T.A. for Kids

taforkids.jpgWhen I was in the 4th-6th grade, I belonged to a group of eight kids. We were called the T.A. Kids, which stood for Transactional analysis. I think back on things that made a real impact on me or changed my life forever. A wonderful man named Dr. James (Jim) Cleary headed it up, from what I remember they tested our entire class in the fourth grade and me and 7 others scored the highest on the test. We were then brought into a classroom, and for three years. I felt special, and appreciated like I can’t explain. He brought out in each one of us our talents, the things that made us US. We the eight of us, along with Dr. Cleary went on wonderful trips of imgaination and real learning. My specialties were Art, and History. With Drama and Creative Writing thrown in. I grew up in a very small farm town in South Georgia, so imagine my eyes when we would go to Atlanta in the camper to the High Musuem, or to a Shakespere play. We took many trips. I remember going to “Andersonville”, one of my favorite trips. He had us each with special people when we would go. I got to read from an old journal of prisoner of war at Andersonville. I remember a rocket scientist even coming to speak with us. But I remember he was way over my head. Those three years were magical to me. I wish it had lasted. The eight of us were very tight. Best of friends from 4-6th grade. Then the 7th grade came, and Dr. Cleary stayed at our old school. And we were left to ourselves to start the 7th grade. Many changes that year. I didn’t feel as special. The eight of us were still close but not like we had been. We were all growing apart in different ways. Not sure why I’m thinking about this today. But guess it’s on my mind. The T.A. Kids also had a newspaper we would publish for the entire school each week. I was in charge of the art, and music sections. Usually I would make some cartoon illustration. I wish I had a copy of just one of our old papers. We would each also have to write an article about something going on in the world. One of my favorite comics back then was Charles Schulz, “Peanuts”. Marcie was always my favorite, I think I identified with her the most. I remember the old cartoon where Marcie gives her teacher some flowers. Not to be outdone, Peppermint Patty says to the teacher. “I thought about doing the same thing Ma’am but I never got around to it. Could you use a vase of good intentions?” Maybe this is one thing I’m thinking of, Dr. Cleary is gone now, he got cancer and died when we were all in high school. I never really got a chance to tell him how much he changed my life or thank him. We’ve all had intentions of doing something good but then failed to follow through. We may want to make a phone call to check up on a friend, or visit a sick neighbor, or write a note of encouragement to a loved one. But we don’t take the time. I used to visit Dr. Cleary every once and a while. He was still my confidant, and I could tell him anything. But I never said thanks, not that I can remember. But anyway thanks Dr. Cleary, thanks for changing my life and opening my world up to a new way of thinking, one that told me I’m ok and you are too! One where warm fuzzies were welcome and cold pricklies were sent packing.“Good intentions are no good until they are put into action.”


~ by deveil on JanuaryUTCb000000pmWed, 16 Jan 2008 21:33:16 +000008 19, 2007.

6 Responses to “T.A. for Kids”

  1. TA!!!
    i have not thought of that in decades;
    it is a warm nostaglia – or should i say warm fuzzy nostalgia.

  2. A touching and warm recollection of your youth. Thank you 🙂

  3. Hi there …. My name is Herman and I an working on a community developent project (fronted by a drive to solve the problem of drug and alcahol abuse amoungst our youth) and we are using TA, NLP and Spiral Dynamics as the backbone of reaching parents and the youth and trust me … is STILL WORKS! The results we are seeing is really encouraging and I am on the lookout for anyone / resources that can add value / assist / guide etc in the process.

    So thanks for the article and confirming for me (in my own mind at least) that the model has long legs and can still add value.

    Warm regards – Herman

  4. We have something in common. I too was selected for a similar 9 person group. We were called “Group Four”. We were the high IQ kids who were also highly creative and yet we all coloured outside every line we could find. I was the last one selected by the school shrink (Marilyn Hinkle Myers) when she came into my 8th grade English class to observe and noticed that the teacher had a bizarre fixation on me. Every time I even moved a finger she would drop everything and say something like “Don’t you say anything” thus she would disrupt the class. I of course would then tit for tat and say “I wasn’t doing anything – what do you think I was planning on saying???”.

    This sort of exchange (she was paranoid I think)would go back and forth. The shrink looked at my chart and discovered I was one of the highest in the school and selected me as the last one.

    We would meet once a week and talk, about anything and everything and she would observe and take notes. We later learned we were the subject of her doctorate thesis.

    In the ninth grade over the transom the little Barbie airhead Home Ec. Teacher heard one of us shat “shit”, or “damn” or some four letter word. She ran to the Principal and said that the shrink was teaching us “Communism”. Yes, can you fucking believe it? So the group was banned though we continued to meet at the hour Friday nights. Much of who I became had my roots in this. Before this, I was the totally repressed boy.

    I was editor of the school paper and wrote a scathing editorial pummeling the administration for their stupidity in banning the group and called into question the level of intelligence if both the Principal and the Home Ec. Teacher. It went all the way to the school board and I was ordered to write a retraction. I refused.

    The paper was shut down. The journalism teacher gave me an automatic A+ for the rest of the year in journalism. His name was Kirby Offet.

  5. Great Stories!
    I introduced T.A.to a couple of middle school classes this week (Years 9+10). They connected with the pattern quite quickly.
    I told them that instead of “telling them off” I will be addressing their adult ego-state and will hope for an “adult” response.
    I think some in particular really enjoyed their new way of understanding “conversation” and its discontents!

  6. how old do you have to be to join

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