This is my second Tumblr post! Yesterday I posted one thing; my goal was two, but that’s fine. Today’s topic seems pretty unoriginal, and, to be honest it is. Yesterday I really wanted to make a text post, and I probably should’ve. I just don’t want to push myself to do a blog every single day then get burnt out. That’s what happened when I tried to do a journal over the summer. I lasted a good month or so, but my entries were getting shorter (the first and second day I had a lot to cover, because I needed to explain everything), but then they gradually got shorter and shorter, until they were like 2 sentences long. I got discouraged, and I wanted to start again at the beginning of the year, but I never got to it.
So anyways. School. That’s today’s topic, after all. I lived in South America until I was about 5, but I can’t say exactly how I did in school off the top of my head. I don’t remember much, but from what I do remember, I was always marked late. Essentially, school started at 7:45 or something, but the students had to arrive there by 7:30 to be marked “early” (they stamped a little booklet- red if you were late and blue if you were early. I never arrived by 7:30 unless my dad took me, once in a blue moon. It ended up being a little bit of an embarrassment. I didn’t want my dad to see that I always arrived “late.”
One thing I was proud about, however, was my ability to speak English, when most of my classmates were just starting learning it. I probably couldn’t hold a conversation completely in English, but I could understand my dad (who is Canadian) and I had a pretty extensive vocabulary. Anyway, I moved here when I was 5 or 6, and I started school in January (I was put in kindergarten, even though I had already finished it). This was because the year in the school I went to in South America ended at Christmastime and began in March. So they thought I wouldn’t be advanced enough to be put in first grade, where I belonged. My parents talked to the school about moving me up, but the school kept insisting that I should just be placed in the gifted program. The principal intervened and I was eventually allowed to move up to first grade. I usually arrived “late.” The bell rang at 8:40 and we left at around 8:37. We would get there just as the bell was ringing and I had to sprint to try to catch a door so I could get in without being marked as late. The first day of first grade, however, I did arrive early, about 5 minutes before the class started. We stood out on the concrete near where the backpacks were, and waited until someone from the office came to greet us. She walked us over to the front office and seated us on a couch. And we waited. About 5 more minutes until the bell rang, when my teacher, Mrs. Teich, arrived. She was old, and in my mind, that meant she was mean. I gulped as my mom stood up to shake her hand. I was going to be put in the care of HER? She ended up being nice, and she asked me a few basic questions as we walked down the hallway into the classroom. What was my name? Where did I come from?
My English wasn’t that strong, and I was very stressed. I was starting to cry by the time we arrived. My teacher seated me next to a boy, who is now one of my best friends… still! I remember that we sat at the back of the classroom, and that he was reading a Jack and Annie book about Pompeii. The year wasn’t that eventful, although I had a little trouble with math, which ended up being pretty easy for me anyway. I like to tell people that I started reading Jack and Annie books in first grade (which would be considered advanced for a child that age), although I don’t think that’s true. One last thing happened at the end of the school year; Mrs. Teich had put together a little video with lots of pictures from throughout the school year. Of course, I wasn’t here for most of it (I started first grade in February), but people kept asking me if I remembered those events. I said yes and yes and yes, even though there were only two photos of events I was actually there for. Second grade was a little more stressful, with the introduction of AR. Accelerated Reader. It was a program where you would read a book irl, and then take a quiz on it! It was a straightforward concept, but my English wasn’t that good and I wasn’t very interested in reading books. But my dad REALLY wanted me to take a quiz. I don’t think it was grade, exactly, but at least I think you could get a few extra credit points. With one of my friends, Oliver Williams, I would read a book called “100 Hungry Ants.” It was a fun book and it made me laugh a ton. I decided to try my hand at taking a quiz. I went on the app from a school iPad, searched up a book and it appeared. It was a gray background, and the book showed up. It was the only book on there. I waited. What was it doing? For some reason, I expected AR to automatically choose the book. I ended up figuring out that I had to click it, and I took the test. I got a 100%. After this contratempts, I started taking more and more quizzes. The next quiz I did got a 60%, but then I started getting pretty good scores and getting better at comprehension.
In third grade, I was looking forward to spending another year with Oliver, but he sadly moved away. I made friends with another Oliver (our moms had met through the PTO), and that year wasn’t that memorable. That’s the year I began to hate math, but that’s also the year I started to form my love for literature and writing. Up until fourth grade, my success in school wasn’t…. Anything really remarkable. I think I probably didn’t get C’s, but I don’t think I was a straight-A student. Fourth grade changed that. My new friend, Oliver, was really good at school, getting straight-A’s every year and he even got a million words in AR in third grade alone. He would always say “I’ve never gotten below an A” or “Oh no! I’m getting so close to a B!” It made me want to push myself so I could join in and share these “struggles.” My success in school is, and I don’t mean to brag, undeniable, but I never think so. I think of myself as more of a pseudo-straight-A student. It’s not that I bribe the teachers or anything, but the success doesn’t really come from a genuine place, and it feels like more it’s me just… I don’t even know. One thing good about myself is that I retain information from school very well, and that I remember about schoolwork very well, even if I was just passively listening. It seems to have saved me quite a few times.
Fifth grade was one of my happiest years, the teacher that I had was just so passionate and loving it was great. I started noticing that I loved geography, and that my reading craze was not stopping. This was also the first year I was in honors. I didn’t really like the teachers, and I felt like I didn’t really deserve to be there. On the first day, the teacher said that I was “very bright” because I took a palindrome from Weird Al Yankovich’s video “Bob.” Everyone was just so smart.
Sixth grade was another… fine year. I got a new honors teacher which I like a lot better than the first, and I got to a million words for the third year in a row. I had also managed to get all A’s and B’s (but mostly A’s) for the last three years. I was faced by a choice at the end of 6th grade. Pretty much everyone from my school was going to Explorer Middle School, but there was another school called Sunrise that had a special program for “gifted” students. Explorer had much better electives, but Sunrise had a special program and 1 of my 2 best friends was already going there no matter what. I could tell my dad really wanted me to go to Explorer, but I really wanted to go to Sunrise. I pushed for Sunrise, even though it disappointed my dad. My seventh grade year was fine, I kept up the A’s and B’s and even made a few friends, which was starting to get rare. That’s where I am now, distance learning. I find it very hard to focus, whether it’s searching something up or looking out the window, but, on the bright side, I can wake up at 7 even and still make it on time, not even mentioning the 10 minute brakes we get in between classes.
My sister recently took the gifted quiz, and she actually did better than me. She had tried more times than me, and she had just, for the first time, been able to qualify for “gifted.” Although I congratulate her, I can’t help but discredit her a little. The difference between my passing of the test and hers was that she had access to tons of training books. Books made for parents that NEEDED their kids to pass the test, and I did not. Now my dad is pushing for my sister to go to Sunrise, whereas last year he was pushing me to go to Explorer. My sister wants to go the latter. I feel bad for her. Just this year she was taken from the normal class (where she wants to be) and was put in the “self-contained” program, where they don’t switch classes and my sister can’t be with her friends (which none of them have passed the test). My sister wanted to go into honors (where only math and reading are in a special class).
I’m sorry for the rant, and that this entry is so long (if anyone’s reading this). Yesterday my post was liked by Cheezbot, which I was excited about until I noticed it was a bot :/
See you next time!