School recently ended for lots of kids. It ended for me years ago…and some of my former teachers might tell you it ended for me while I was in school.
I wasn’t a terrible student: In high school I was an average student, while in college I moved up into the “B” neighborhood…a less dangerous one with my parents, who were my college cops, investigating to see where their money was going.
Still, when I announced that I had made the Dean’s List a few times and even Honors List for one amazing semester, instead of congratulations, friends and family greeted me with, “How’d you do that??”
There were some classes that just didn’t cut it with me…which is why I ended up cutting the classes. Whenever I could get away with it, that is.
Spanish? Science? Algebra? Geometry? To me, those were my own nightmarish, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Spanish was “muy mal” for me. Actually, any language other than English I just couldn’t wrap my head around. If anything, my head was spinning in circles if El Profesor asked me anything east of, “Qué pasa, Señor Kramer?”
“Nada” was my usual reply. When asked if I had anything to add, I would respond with, “No mas,” in essence using up all of my available Español.
Of course, now that I live in Los Angeles where English is practically the second language behind Spanish, I am, “muy no satisfecha” about my inability back then to have processed the Spanish. So yes, Señor Mirsky and Profesor Soletsky: My not paying attention in your Spanish classes has come back to bite me in el asno.
Biology? Biology was one of my worst classes. Period. Or, it was a period I wished never existed. I didn’t care about bio until I developed an interest in girls, which was well after tenth grade. But by then, they were far too developed to tolerate the likes of me, a limited Lothario who couldn’t get past cellular connectivity, let alone how to connect with girls.
That lack of bio knowledge certainly didn’t help matters later on when I came upon chemistry. Though I did come up with my own chemistry equation:
-Biology Knowledge (+) -Chemistry Knowledge = Very Lonely Nights
Another class where I was clueless was algebra. It was like the Day of the Doomed for us numerically challenged captives as we shuffled slowly to class, not sure what kind of torture the teacher was going to test us with. The only math I did was to look up at the clock and count how many minutes were left before the bell rang, thereby ending class, with us exiting the classroom eight times over three the speed in which we solemnly entered.
Geometry was worse, far worse – an added year of worse. With a humorless, robotic teacher pulling the strings on us, his mathematically challenged marionettes, it…was…torture. And torture for the teacher too, as he knew he was doomed in trying to explain the basics of geometry to a class of clueless captives for the twentieth time.
We finally did get it on the 21st time when in despair he threw his hands up in the air and gave us the answers. That, so he could graduate our sorry asses outta there and never see us again.
I did learn one thing in geometry: that I liked biology better. The pretty brunette sitting next to me was a biological subject I only wished I could have studied.
As mentioned, it was in college where things began to fall into place. A little late to the party perhaps, but now, as then…I put two and two together, felt the chemistry in the classes, and began to learn those all important life lessons.
In retrospect, I’m thankful for the education I had – particularly the times I did pay attention to the teachers. However, a good portion of my growth and knowledge has occurred outside the walls of the classrooms.
Living life has been my laboratory, where things have added up and made sense to me. Sadly, I still can’t figure out the water to oatmeal ratio for breakfast.