Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Heads or Tails #3 - School

Today's Head or Tails theme is School. So without further a due: I can say that when I was young, I loved school. I went to public school in Kindergarten where we learned colors and our A, B, C's (although my mom had already done that at home) and numbers and played house. Life was great!

The next year I started at a Christian private school for 1st grade. I was immediately behind! Those kids learned to read in kindergarten and I didn't. So I struggled but quickly caught up. I went to private school from 1st through 5th grades and I wouldn't change it for the world. I received the best education during that time. I scored 9th grade 5th month + on my math sections of the standardized tests in the 5th grade. I was told they had to add the 'plus' because I scored above the scales they used.

For middle school, unfortunately I had to go back to public school. I did very well because I already knew the materials. I began to get bored of relearning things I already knew. So I would not do any homework and ace the tests and squeezed by with a 'C' average. This set the stage for my behavior going into high school. Where I was finally being introduced to new lessons. I mean, I was in a special group called 'The Young Readers & Writers' class where we did more difficult diagramming of sentences and compound sentences in the 7th and 8th grades. Hello, I'd been doing that since 3rd grade and I wasn't in a special class for it, we all learned it!

Something to keep in mind too is, I had an older brother who was 2 grade levels ahead and very protective of his little sister (before we couldn't stand each other!). Every classroom I came into, "Oh, you're Larry's little sister!"

In high school, I played tennis and had to have a 'C' average or 2.0 anyway. I scraped by. By this point, I had a hate of homework because I was not in the practice of doing it and so my grades began to suffer. School suddenly became hard and I lost interest. In the middle of my Sophomore year, my best friend got pregnant and dropped out. I felt alone. At the beginning of my Junior year, I learned quickly that my brother's protection was gone, since he had graduated that spring before. Also, our city was at a time when they were working to remodel some of the schools. I lived and went to school in the St. Louis City Public school district (which I believe has since lost it's accreditation) and things were a bit rough and tough enough. This particular year, a rival high school had been closed for remodeling and those students were distributed throughout the city school system. A lot of students came to my school and weren't happy about it. Everything was on edge...everything was crowded....I had no big brother there anymore, no best friend to sidle up with and my grades had seen better days. I wasn't even able to maintain a good enough grade point average to play tennis anymore. I slept through 1st hour everyday and was late everyday. Remember walking through the over crowded lunch room one day, and a guy turned around to walk and walked right into me. He threw up his arms and yelled in my face, "B*&%h, what's your problem?" Yeah, I was done. I quit. In my Junior year.

I set a goal for myself, to get my GED before I would have graduated and I did just that. I received my GED about 2 months before my class took the stage. I have not regretted it too much, I try not to think about it. I think my school life took a sad sad unnecessary turn of events and I am not the kind who should not have graduated high school! I used to love school....

Since then, I have taken a couple of college courses. I have a Certified Nurses Assistance license in the state of Missouri. I passed my Accounting 101 class with a 98%, top of my class. So that's what school meant to me, in a nut shell. A long nut shell, but a nut shell nonetheless! I didn't go into any details about specific teachers and such. I don't have time for all that...I mean school is something that is a huge part of a child's life. It would take a long time to really delve into it's impact and meaning to us! Thanks for reading!!!


tegdirb92 said...

Wow, thanks for sharing that!! You are right, school is such a huge part of a childs life. I am so glad to hear you went back for you GED and then your Nurse Assistant license. Great post, Becca.

Skittles said...

The situations you wrote about make a lot of sense to me. Although our problems were different, I took a nose dive starting in middle school. I also quit school in 11th grade.

I didn't go back to get my diploma until I was pregnant with my daughter, and I was 23 going on 24.

So, cheers to you for setting some new goals for yourself and sticking with them.

Tammy said...

You are an amazing person for getting your GED and nursing after quitting high school. :o)

Alison said...

Wow - great post! School is and should be a major part of a child's life. I think it's wonderful that you set those goals for yourself and finished BEFORE the rest of your class! Way to go!!

meeyauw said...

We need more insight, like your experiences, into what it is like for kids in school. But then we need to FIX it so they don't leave and so that they are more successful. And most importantly, we need to make them safe and secure and nurtured. It is so clear after reading a post such as yours. But we continue to make kids "tough it out." Why? We had better figure it out really quick.