(Middlest speaks for herself in answer to my previous post)
Hi, I am Middlest, as described in several of my mom’s posts. Yes, I did fail AP Lang. Yes, I refused to do my work. Yes, I drew instead of working with people who dislike me greatly (my teacher Constantly placed me in a group with these particular individuals who didn't even understand what we were working on). I don't like analyzing things, because, honestly, I highly doubt the writer intended that rock or hairbrush to have any real significant meaning. Also, as my mom said, I finished the reading assignments in days. The teacher didn't even give us the assignments to go along with it until she decided we were at that particular point. This bothers me greatly. I finish a book, I remember the main and even average details. Then two months later she tests me on "what shoes were Daisy wearing and why were they significant to the story". I find this utterly ridiculous. But, really, it isn’t even as simple as that. My frustration is deeply seeded.
I have always been a reader; I love books and words passionately. I can read up to three books (average sized, 200 page range) a day if I’m in the mood. I’ve probably spent more time reading than anything else. At some point I discovered writing. The first instance was in the third grade, when my teacher adored a story I wrote. I didn’t think much of it then, I just wrote like my then favorite author, Brian Jacques (side confession, I still read his books). Then in sixth grade, I wrote a poem in my Language Arts class. My teacher (a lovely woman who I still admire and look up to) had me read it in front of the class. When I finished, she said “It looks like we have a poet in the class”. Something clicked. I began to write and write and write. Nonstop. I loved it. I’d found a new way to use the words I loved so dearly. My teacher put me into her advanced writing class. (I attended a middle school designed for the arts, though I was there for orchestra, having been a cellist back then.) She became my idol and I went out of my way to impress her. I wanted her to praise my writing. It made me feel accomplished at something. She seemed to enjoy my work, which just fed my love for writing.
So, as most of the kids in my writing class did, I decided to go the arts high school for writing. I thought it would be the same and my teachers would be just as lovely as my wonderful mentor. But I quickly discovered how wrong I was. Where I had freedom in middle school, I was placed in a box here. My new writing teacher was a rather odd, scary man who preached contemporary writing. Everything was cliché, using big, beautiful words was a sin in his writing congregation. My writing freedom was yanked from beneath my feet. There I had to copy other writers who, in my opinion, were quite awful. The poetry I used to enjoy became torture, for I knew the next day it would be torn to shreds by competitive, arrogant freshmen who wanted to please the almighty King of Contemporary Literature. Here is where my hatred for every pin and thimble having sacred meaning became rooted. We were required to have“intent” with every piece. Slowly but surely, I began to cringe at the very thing I had loved.
I was also in an essay writing class, with a different teacher. The Grammar-Nazi Supreme. I’ve never been one for non-fiction, so I was already out of my comfort zone. She decided to “deprogram” us from standardized testing essay styles we’d been taught all our lives. So, were we to return to normal society where standardized testing ruled, we would be inevitably doomed. I didn’t do well in the class, and her constant criticism, telling me I didn’t want to be there, wilted and broke me down.
So, due to my stubborn nature and hatred for this confined box they kept me in, I ended up failing out of the school. I entered our local public school. (Having spent four years in the sheltered world of the magnet program, I was terrified.)
Now, two years later, I have failed AP Lang, much to the surprise of everyone. Simply, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I spent the first nine weeks kissing butt and showing off. For the first time, I received no acknowledgement for knowing my way around the English world. I could spend whole class periods being the only one to answer questions, but still there was not even a smile from the woman at the head of the class. So I shut down. I already knew most of what was being taught, so doing the work didn’t bring me any sense of accomplishment. I usually looked to praise in order to achieve that. In the absence of praise, I didn’t see the point in bothering anymore. I read the assigned books. I took the tests. That was the extent of it though. I could get much more satisfaction out of the two hours by drawing something beautiful, rather than reading and “analyzing” yet another essay on feminism or eating babies.
So, I admit to failing, and it being my fault. But I’m not ashamed of failing. It’s not because I’m stupid. Or I didn’t understand. The class just went too slowly for my taste. If I bothered to do the work it took me a matter of minutes. There is no achievement in it, so there was no point. I felt it was a waste of time, and yes, I did have to sacrifice three or four days of my summer for it. And a vacation. Which I’m sorry for. But what’s done is done, and I still would rather be drawing.
(As for my GPA and college, there is concern, but I, this may so like arrogant teenager speaking and it may be, usually figure something out in situations like these. I have another year. I’ll make good grades. And see where that gets me. Otherwise, it’s just a couple classes. If I have to do it again, I’ll do it again. If I can’t make it into college, I’ll figure something else out. Sure life will be a little harder, but really, it’d be hard either way.)
-Middlest, the Oblivious
And there you have it! Motpg.
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