December 1, 2018:

So that, with all the lack of power available to a fourth grader, he learns to lie. It's the only way to exercise some measure of control over his destiny.

He hasn't lied before. He doesn't like it. It's neither malicious nor pathological. It's a deliberate, calculated strategy to retain control by denying information to the enemy. Where "the enemy" are parents, teachers, school officials, neighbors, relatives: the entire panoply of incompetent adulthood who do not know what's best for him and who've proven that with their helpless decisions.

Mostly the lies are mundane. Malingering: he pretends to be sick to avoid going to school. That's the correct decision. He doesn't belong there, he's miserable, he and the teachers enjoy a mutual loathing that's inevitably passed-on to the students. It's simply better to be elsewhere, and that's a fact. Where the only way to achieve that is to lie. So he does, constantly, typically two weekdays in five.

In grammar school he stays home. Really won't do for a child that young to be out and about where he might be visible. In middle school he alternates between staying home and getting high in the canyons with the stoner kids. In high school he increasingly absents himself altogether, riding his bike to UC or to the beach, to hang with college girls and radicals and the stoned-out girlfriends of surfer dudes.

He's so alienated from school that for these years he largely turns his back on education altogether. He reads Tolkien and military history, plays wargames, gets high on speed, alcohol, acid and pot. That changes suddenly, on a dime, in his senior year, when a nice girl gives him Dostoyevsky to read, and his encounter with the Vietnam War gets him woke. Then he's off to the races, reading everything, literature, history, art, mythology, taking a gap year to read, now desperate to catch up to the years he feels were wasted.

That's another whole story.