Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Child Left Behind

This is a humor blog so this post is actually meant to be a little funny. It may, however, come across as sad and pathetic and a terrible tribute to my high school English teachers. I do apologize in advance for that. Or maybe I don't!

Anyway, my first year in college, I took an English class. I can't remember which one it was - I am thinking it was simply a general English course. We didn't get to the good stuff as English majors until later.

I had passed in a writing assignment and was really nervous about the grade I was going to receive. I remember my friend turned to me and said he thought he had failed. (I can't remember how you would fail a writing assignment, but this one apparently you could). I told him, "No way, I am sure I did way worse than you," and a bet was made. I totally wish we had bet on something really good, but I fear it was just bragging rights on who did the worse. It's the simple things that matter, no? So, he goes up to the teacher, gets his paper and sure enough he walks back to his seat, waving the F as if it was the Nobel Prize. I figured we'd tie. He figured he'd won. My name was called and I went up to her desk confident in my failing ability on this assignment. Confusion and a little shock was the only thing I could feel. I walked  back to my seat waving MY paper in HIS face. I had won. I didn't think it was possible. Neither did he. The bragging rights were mine.

Oh, the grade? The ever popular NG, of course. The teacher said my writing was so bad that she could not give it a grade, hence, No Grade.

Here comes that uplifting music when the main character changes her life around.

I was so saddened by this grade that I felt I needed to "teach" myself how to write. No thanks to my high school English teachers. The question remains: How was I able to pass English or even high school? I was a B student. Um, a B student that apparently didn't know how to write. One child left behind.

Learning to write well became a passion of mine. It was only one year later that a teacher gave me not just an A+ but an A++ for my work on "The Yellow Wallpaper" (an interesting read, by the way) and an A+++ on something else I wrote.

Did I ever take those papers back to the first English teacher? You know I didn't, that would have just been too awesome.

That would have been the perfect ending to this little Lifetime Original Movie.  I would waved those papers in her face, flashed that grade, maybe even kissed the paper...SMACK, the school would be lined with other kids left behind clapping and cheering me on as I jumped down the stairs holding my A+++ and kicking my heels.

In your face high school English teachers!!!!

Oh, and if you find a typo, keep it to yourself, I'm still a work-in-progress!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I was a very good writer in high school, and even in college I always got fantastic grades on papers. Blogging has kind of ruined me...

  2. I had a similar issue with math in college, only I really sucked at math in high school. Diagnosis was 'not trying hard enough' and 'lazy slacker'. I really sucked at a basic math class in college but this time they tested me and the diagnosis was 'learning disability'. Yeah I did have to share that with the nun who failed me in geometry twice in high school.

  3. You've obviously come a long way, baby! But truly, how did you teach yourself? Impressive, your determination. I remember a psych of learning class in grad. school - one lecture centered around the learning potential failure provides. I'd say yours would be a good example of this.

  4. I think that grade really shook me up. I remember thinking "it's really that bad?" I hadn't declared a major at the time but was heading towards English. So mostly it was inspiration and like you said Yogurt - the learning potential failure provides. I knew I could write well (I had a lot to say) but it was the editing that was horrible. I had no idea what a run-sentence was or comma I read a lot and tried to figured it out. I would write and then go back a million times to see where my mistakes were. I had friends edit my papers. When I wanted to go in to PR, I had to learn another style of writing (news writing) but I figured that out, as well. I ended up working in both a private and corporate PR firms. Now I freelance!

    I appreciate your interest in this. I can't explain my high school experience other than to say maybe editing wasn't important as long as I got my point across. I was probably not very motivated either. Although I would come home and write on my own, that was just for fun.

    I'm glad you went back Stacey:) In the long run, that teacher did me a favor and maybe, somewhere, she knew that!