Curing Simple Injustices

February 24, 2009
We've all been guilty of something. I'm not going to lie and say I'm a wonderful person, either. Being that kind of person requires having done something important. I have nothing of such significance on my figurative resume. As of right now, I can only testify to doing what is accepted of me. It's never enough.

One memory I have of a day at school goes like this:

It was last year around October, only weeks since my birthday. At my school, this marks the end of the first quarter, and the beginning of the second one. Today was the day we got our first quarter report cards.

I had been having trouble the last couple of months, not with the schoolwork, but with my life. Due to dentists needing to prepare my teeth for my second phase of braces, I had missed some class periods. My dad also had problems getting me to school since he was so busy at work, which made me miss a couple more. No problem. The real issue was my lack of friends.

Recently, I had stopped hanging out with my old set of friends because I felt as thought we did not have much in common, nor did they particularly enjoy my company very much. Since moving to this area, which I had not been a resident of for even a year, I had felt out of place. My grades had suffered a bit, but I was doing fine. That was until now.

I ate lunch by myself, hid in the bathroom, and barely said a word all day. This was by choice, but regardless, school was much more miserable than it had been in the past.

Then, I was handed my first quarter report car, during Math of all subjects. A 3.1 G.P.A, I nearly panicked. Why? Because, I was used to doing better; I had not realized I wasn't as focused as I used to be. When I finally got myself convinced that the score was fine, completely normal, my teacher comes up to me and says: 'Are these the grades you usually get?' sounding concerned.

I could tell by the way she said it, how she accented her words, that she though badly of my report card. This time I nearly cried. My eyes got watery, and I clamped down on my tongue. Only later does it occur to me to be angry.

With that all done and over with now, by the third quarter of that school year I had a 3.7 G.P.A, which I have kept up ever since. But, that's beside the point.

To my 7th grade math teacher, with the daughter who won the Math achievement award, and whose name sits mounted in a frame, as an honorary student, my grades simply weren't good enough.

If you think about it, anything above a 2.0 is great. It means that while you are not necessarily putting all your effort in, you are not flunking. That's a good thing. A straight B average is better than what most students at my school achieve. So I have to ask, what gave her the right to say that? To make me feel bad about something that I did that wasn't even wrong? Nothing.

One teacher I had in the past had it right. Grades are not a true measurement of ability, neither are tests. The person sitting next to you could be incredibly smart, but they might not give a fig about school. Really, it is only in high school that any grading marks a person receives actually counts.

I don't want to hear about a teacher's personal opinion of how I'm doing in school unless I ask. Not only that, but when that teacher gave her opinion like she did, she was out of line. And sadly, there are plenty more teachers that have also over stepped their boundaries.

For example, the time honored teacher tradition of picking favorites. My science teacher is infamous for this.

Getting an A is not enough in his class. He has seemed to single out students who fit his standards, and goes to them for the answers to questions, talks about them in class, and asks them to participate in out of school science projects. What makes them so special? I have the benefit of knowing, and speaking to some of these individuals. Some of them continually make fun of their peers, and cause class disruption, yet they are praised?

Where is the justice in that?

I am not saying that these students are not good people, or do not deserve the attention, nor am I saying that my science teacher is a horrible guy. But, what about the rest of us, the kids that are a bit shy, or that do not particularly stand out to teachers. Don't we deserve what the others are receiving as well? Even if it just is acknowledgement? I believe so.
I'm not blind to the fact that there is much worse going on in the world. That to most people, this over-complained about topic does not matter. Still, I'm sick of it.

Teachers and school officials miss so much. What goes on behind their backs, how the kinds they think are 'role models,' are really just the average bully, or how their actions aren't helping as much as they thought they were. This is why I have come to despise my school. Even if the adults did care, they are not helping the situation.

If I should cure on simple Injustice, I would make sure that all students got the credit they rightfully earned, good or bad, and that teachers did not make people feel undervalued. I don't think its to much to ask.





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