Marijuana, Pepsi, Chicago discussed on Freakonomics Radio


Nothing when she was very young marijuana Pepsi lived with her dad in Chicago and it almost predominantly African American school everyone knew my name teachers called me by my name no issues I did not understand that my name was unusual until like entered into the fourth grade here in Beloit Wisconsin Beloit like much of Wisconsin is overwhelmingly white and it was very clear that marijuana Pepsi was not usual it was not quite accepted and it opened the doors for a lot of T. scene and bullying and issues and not just from the students themselves I didn't have teachers who believe me but I guess the name was just so interesting they just couldn't help themselves with the questions and the opinions and the statements and dragging me to different classrooms to introduce me to other people to show who this little girl was who had this name I didn't see that as they were trying to bully me or put me down some of the questions were difficult however because they question my family the type of family that I had and what type of mother would name a child this summer teachers started calling Mary and I don't think they did it from a place of again being hurtful towards me I think they were trying to help me they saw the way that I was getting on with the students of things they were doing and they wanted to make my life a little bit easier and that worked right until I placed in the school spelling bee and they wrote Mary Jackson my certificate and I went home and my mother someone in hit the roof and came back to the school and first everybody out and do not ever call her Mary her name is marijuana do not ever write her name differently and she told me you had better never answer to anything else other than marijuana or I'm going to get you and from that day on you know I was a lot more scared of her then I wasn't them when she was younger back in Chicago school had been a joy for marijuana I was a very smart student I learned to read very early I was picked to do everything I have great relationships with the teachers and the students over night here I am at a school here and not only are the teachers looking at me funny the students are looking at me crazy they're surrounding me in the playground asking me questions why are your pants so high you know Michael Jackson in high waters and everything under the sun I felt like I didn't belong there I didn't want to be there because clearly they did want me there something must be wrong with me I you know I I've never sat on an interview or I never even shared it ever but sitting here I remember thinking about committing suicide I was night and I remember that like yesterday and I was just hoping that everything would just go away and then I sat there and said you're right for you do that they were gonna talk about you even more she says now there are a lot of reasons she was having such a hard time environmental factors family issues the relationship between the students at school relationship with teachers it was very difficult to wonder what was going to happen the next day and it was just it was a lot I won't go into too much detail you know the last thing I want to do is make it sound like I didn't have people who Love Me and who didn't take care of me I did but sometimes that's just not enough in my case he was just a little bit different between my I have a very close knit family very loving family I've got my my mom and we have we've been raised in with our grandmothers and act teas and so there's different types of things that happen in families and so you have that going on and I go for a few more years I leave home when I'm fifteen and before I left home I was a feeling student had all else maybe a D. in GM and I had never ever given any thought to what my life is going to be like after anything I was literally living day to day and I happened to be walking down the street to the store with my cousin McHale cooks and she was four years younger than me and she was bragging about how she was going to be the first person in my family to go to college and I remember stopping in my tracks because I said so what is she saying about me and the next day I went to the consul's office at the high school and I ended up going into a credit recovery program and from then on I believe I may have gotten me over three point and then from there and the other three point something a lot higher I ended up getting the most improved student award after graduation and I was awarded an academic scholarship and I like to to go to university of Wisconsin whitewater in retrospect the treatment you got over your name was that do you think kind of just the straw that broke the camel's back that led you to becoming a straight a student as a smart kid or do you think that the the tree when you got of your name was a big contributing factor to that that was one of the straws that broke the camel's back again it's that sense of belonging and in my case the lack there us worry you I get angry at your mom either for giving you the name that caused the trouble or for insisting that you continue using the name even when other people were you know offering you a sort of easy way out by calling you merry I've never been angry about my name I have never felt that there was anything wrong with my name again I didn't even know that someone even believe that until I moved here I'm looking at them like what's wrong with you why are you messing with me all I wanted to do was read my books fly under the radar go to school and go home don't mean to put emotions into your mind but it's hard for me to imagine you wouldn't be resentful at your mom for insisting that you use the name that was causing you grief though I wasn't resentful of it again it's it's like the name Stephen if someone called you Steve and your mom says not I want you to be Stephen that your name my resentful of the people bringing me the grief about it because again that's my name when I ask you what your name is you tell me it's over.

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