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You Don't Want to Read this
“Once Upon a Time” has no place in this story. The only way I can start this story would be to say, “You might not want to read this”. So here I go:
You might not want to read this. Not because it is sad, or gross, but because it is mortifying. If you read this, you might be so embarrassed that you drop dead in your seat. If you read this, the sheer horrific-ness of it all will turn your eyeballs to dust and you will live the rest of your life as a blind bum in the parking lot of Wal-mart asking for spare change and breadcrumbs to feed your 17 children who live in the sewers. So if you are already starting to practice your homeless guy speech, hold on to your book.
I got a ‘B’ on my last assignment.
I know! I know! I’m sorry! I didn’t want you to become a blind bum wandering the Wal-mart parking lot, but you kept reading! I tried my best to get an ‘A+’, my usual grade, but something just snapped up there, in my mind! I was about to answer this question when, completely out of nowhere, and pencil flew across the room and struck me on the side of the head. In that moment, the answer left my mind and, hence, I got a ‘B’, and you went blind.
A ‘B’ is actually a good mark. I mean, its average, but what makes me so mortified isn’t the actual grade so much as the result of that grade. I just keep thinking and thinking about this B and what it might do to me, and my heart just keeps skipping these beats, and the blood flow to my brain lessens and I fear that maybe, just maybe, I would be better off for the blood just to stop flowing and for me to die rather than to face the result of that B grade. I mean if the answer just flew out of my head like some sort of demented bird, what happens if it happens again- but during, like, a college entrance exam?
What if that average ‘B’ makes me… average?
I just couldn’t live with myself! I, Kate Cassidy, am NOT an average person- haven’t been my whole life. I was a “composing music at 4” type kid- correcting spelling errors at 2, starting school at 3, and entering high school at 7. If I keep it up, I will graduate from high school and enter college at 12. It has always been my dream to be a doctor…
When little girls were playing dolls, I was studying. When the kids were eating ice cream and making mud patties and being the filthy vermin that they are, I was studying! If this one ‘B’ becomes a pattern… all that studying will have gone down the toilet faster than a humming bird can flap its wings. And that’s fast for all you non-genius’ out there. Very, very fast.
I couldn’t forgive myself if I messed everything up. My life is and always has been schooling. I want my life to be on a higher level than an average person’s- as it always has been. An ‘A+’ is not average. A ‘B’ is….
Before I hyperventilate, maybe I should let you know a little about my life so that you understand why my schooling is so important to me. I know you’re probably thinking “well you’re only like 10, who cares if you got a ‘B’ on your science final? It’s one ‘B’, you will get better!” Well I have news for you. The reason studying is so important to me is because school is literally my life. I don’t have friends, or sports, or hobbies. I have… school. So imagine my life if I mess up my academics.
If I started getting average marks, than life would be different. The students in my class would butcher me- literally. They all hate me. They hate me because I am 10, and they are all 16, and I am better in school than all of them combined. I surpass their marks so much, the school is thinking of putting me straight into grade 12, since I am already apart of so many grade 12 classes already.
So needless to say, my pupils hate me. The smart ones hate me because I best their marks. The smart-alecks are constantly teasing me. The average Joe’s don’t like me because they don’t like that I correct their grammar and “can’t take a joke” or something. That’s fine- I don’t like to be around average people any way. But, by the looks of things, I could become one of them…
So I decided to get used to my on-coming average life. It was Christmas Break, and I had 2 weeks. We were starting a new semester, and instead of studying for the new work we were about to do, I decided to average-ize myself. I started by learning how to dress normally.
I looked up pictures on the internet of the most famous people that are influencing people my age and the people in my class, and came up with a perfect specimen- Miley Cyrus. I studied her apparel, and went out with my Christmas money. I had quite a hard time finding all the leather items and the leotards that she wears, but I eventually found them. Drained my bank account though, but I knew being normal needed my full attention now. So I put away all my new clothes- if you could call them that- and went on to phase 2 of “normalizing” myself.
That word is almost a bad taste in my mouth- friends. Yuck. Friends are merely small cliques of stuck up broads trying to flaunt everything they got to attract a small clique of male jocks. Disgusting. According to the puberty books I had analyzed at 7, I would get used to the idea of being closer than spitting distance to a male, but I hadn’t experienced that yet, thank God. If I could, I would remove all estrogen from my body and merely thrive as an “it” for the rest of my life.
Making friends, as it turns out, is hard. First, you have to know how to “approach” someone. I decided my approach would have to be perfect- so I would approach from an angle. What the Internet didn’t tell me, however, is that an “approach” is not the way you walk towards a potential friend, it is how you introduce one’s self.
I attempted to approach a potential friend from an angle, and it totally freaked her out. She looked at me, walking sideways towards her, and just sort of stared. I could see her expression in my peripheral vision, and it made me nervous, so I attempted to speed up my approach. I only ended up bumping into her. She dropped her cell phone, it shattered, and so did our possible friendship.
Back to the drawing board.
After I realized the flaw on the internet sight and sent Wikipedia a nasty yet tastefully gramically correct letter of reprimand, I attempted to brainstorm conversation starters. The only problem I had with this is that I rarely talk to anyone asides from teachers and my parents and I didn’t think “I would like to point out an error in your grading process” was a very good conversation starter. So I cheated.
I wrote down some conversation starters that I found online and brought them with me on my next attempt at friendship. I thought my plan was flawless- I couldn’t go wrong! But alas, God has a sense of humor, and my potential friend spilled a glass of water on my notes, and unfortunately the chemical formula that mixes to create ink is not waterproof. I simply walked away at that point- there was no need to attempt making contact without my notes. I am a pretty lame conversationalist.
I talked to my mother that night- I hadn’t yet let her know about my quest for friendship, nor my lousy test scores. She laughed at me in that loving-mom-way and told me not to worry about it. “It’s one ‘B’, Katey! It happens to everyone!” But everyone is not me, so I disregarded her advice.
It was back to the old drawing board for me. I couldn’t maintain my perfect grade scores, couldn’t make friends, and couldn’t be normal. I was starting to get a little depressed about the situation, when the idea came to me.
I would start a band.
It seemed to me that in all the movies when people were upset and their lives in the slumps, they started a band. So I would start a band too.
I had to first seek talent within myself. I could play pretty much every instrument out there- it was like playing math. I could not sing, however. I settled with the guitar and sought out a pianist, a vocalist, and a drummer.
I posted flyers around town advertising my search for a band. It read something like this:
“Seeking band members that are skilled in their trade
Attempting to start band due to failure at other aspects my above-average life, now seeking normalcy
If interested please dial the number provided
Have ready a resume and 3 contact numbers upon request”
For some reason the day of my tryouts, no one showed up. Fail- again.
Phase three of being normal: a hobby.
I actually hate hobbies. They are useless. They hardly improve your life, they just give one an excuse for sitting around and wasting time rather than working toward your future. Useless. But to be normal, I would have to find one.
Bug collecting, coin collecting, and sports were common hobbies, according to my research. Well, I was not a sports person, and collecting things seemed like a waste of time to me. I guess studying could be a hobby, but I had already burned that bridge.
So I decided to try collecting coins. Believe it or not, people do not give out their money so easily. I thought all I would have to do is explain my predicament and ask for aid, but no. People are not as merciful as the movies make them out to be.
Then I tried bug collecting, but those little buggers bite, and I was not willing to risk my health to be normal.
Sports- again, not willing to risk my health.
I had run out of Christmas break, and I had found myself lacking what I had hoped to accomplish-normalness. The only normal thing I had to offer the world was the load of new clothes I had broken my bank account for. So the first day I strapped myself into an outfit and attempted to leave the house, but my mother was not impressed.
“What in the world are you wearing, Kate?” She exclaimed, a horrific look coming over her face.
“What other kids my age wear!” I said, looking down upon my apparel.
“Katey, kids don’t wear those things… what made you think that they do?”
“Well that’s what Miley Cyrus wears, and she is a role model for kids ages 5-18.” I said
My mom smiled a little, “Well if she wears things like that she isn’t. Come, take those things off- we are returning them.”
My mother actually kept me home from school that day- so much for perfect attendance. She told me that I was learning a lesson. I was learning that there is more to life than school, and I can’t just master life the way I would a test. She told me that to be “normal” was to be myself, and accepting others for who they are.
“You can’t avoid people the way you have been, Kate. You have to interact. And just because you are around people, doesn’t mean you can’t be good at school.”
School the next day was weird. My teacher offered me a rewrite on the exam that I had gotten a ‘B’ on. I heard the rest of my class start to make a fuss, every last one of them angry that I had the chance to change my “lousy” scores, and they weren’t. I told Mr. Scott that I didn’t need a rewrite- I had gotten a ‘B’, and I would accept that mark.
The kids behind me actually gasped.
I also made a friend that day. After class, one of my peers walked up to me and she said, “I didn’t expect you to turn down that offer. That was sweet!”
“Yah, I guess it was. “ I smiled.
“You’re pretty cool, Katey. See you around- I like your shirt by the way.”
I smiled and thanked her, pleased because I was wearing a shirt from MY closet, not one from my bizarre “Miley Cyrus” shopping spree.