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mrs jenkins

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6.02E23, Avogadro’s number, and one I’ll never forget, along with its relevance to the dreaded chemistry concept of moles I learned my sophomore year in Ms. Jenkins class. By far, I would have to say it was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken but, also, one of my favorite. It wasn’t because of the work, because God knows I hated that part, but being in the class and being able to have Ms. Jenkins as a teacher made it one of my favorite. She has this sarcastic personality that never allows for a boring day, and I loved that about her. She always seemed to find something to make fun of me or someone else for, and it always made everyone laugh, even the poor, innocent victim. I always looked forward to going to her class and I’m even in her Forensics class, this year as a senior. I swear she’s gotten funnier and even better at her sarcastic “don’t be dumb” look she gives with her short hair perfectly in place and her eyes burning holes in you.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first test I took in that class. For one it was the hardest first test of any class I’d taken, and second of all I failed it with a 67 and thought the world was going to come to an end. I’m not used to making bad grades, much less failing a test. You should have seen my face. I know Ms. Jenkins did, and she just looked at me like I was crazy for being upset, and you know what she told me?
She said, “Well, life sucks then ya die! You’ll be fine!”
At that moment I thought I was going to punch her. She didn’t seem to think it was reasonable to get upset over a bad grade, and I completely disagreed, especially since I wanted to keep my GPA as high as possible. I immediately decided it was not going to happen again and that I was going to succeed on the rest of my work in the class. I studied hard for the next test and even thought I had done my best, but I still didn’t do so great on it. Needless to say, I was freaking out about my report card grade. I knew I’d done well on all of my labs and daily grades, but I assumed tests grades were going to drastically affect my overall grade. Upon receiving my report card, however, I saw that I had made a 95 in my chemistry class and was kind of shocked. I guess the labs we’d done had actually helped balance out the test grades like she’d said.
Oh goodness I thought, Ms. Jenkins is going to give me a hard time for freaking out so badly when I ended up making an A.
Sure enough, when I walked into her classroom that day, she just looked at me with her arms crossed sitting on her stool in the front of her class room with an “I told you so” smirk on her face.

“So, are you just devastated by your grade in my class?” was her smart-aleck question as I sat down. “I told you those little labs we did in here helped. I don’t know when you guys are ever going to learn that every little bad grade is not the end of the world no matter what your parents or your other silly teachers tell you.”

I just kind of laughed and took a deep breath of relief that Ms. Jenkins gave us ways to redeem ourselves. I realized there was some truth to her philosophy that year. Life really does suck. And then you die. In between life being horrible and dying, however, there are things that come along and help you get through so that the sucky parts turn into good parts and lessons are learned. Without all the parts in life that suck, we’d never know how truly good something could be and appreciation for it would be lost. By the end of my sophomore year I was acing tests after learning ways to study for them. I still have my last test with a huge 97 and a sticker on my refrigerator. Every time I look at it, I can hear Ms. Jenkins say, “Well, life sucks then ya die!” and it reminds me that bad things are going to happen and all I can do is ride it out and do my best to ultimately succeed in life.





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