Monday, August 12, 2013
I Was Cheated By The American Education System
When I was in high school there was a requirement that if you were in a college prep curriculum then you had to have 4 years of math. I was a solid A/B+ student in Social Studies/History and English. Math and Science not so much. I muddled through 9th grade Algebra I barely making C's. In the 10th grade we took Geometry and for some reason that made sense to me and I actually got good grades. I don't remember what math we took Junior year, but I'll never forget algebra my Senior year.
Our school had a rule at the time that Seniors who passed the year's final grading period in any subject didn't have to take a final exam. I wasn't worried; I had never gotten below a C in anything my whole life. Then came the word: I had gotten an F in Algebra in the 6th and final grading period. I knew I didn't understand algebra and that I was goofing off every day just like all the Seniors at that time of year. I thought I would somehow squeak by. I was wrong.
So on Senior Day, while I'm getting awards for 4 years of excellence in Social Studies and English, I have this algebra final hanging over my head. Fail the final and no diploma. Not only that, but a summer spent in algebra class to get that diploma, knowing full well that I could spend summers the rest of my life in algebra class and still not get it. This was looking dicey.
My recollection is that there were 10-12 of us taking that final together. It was sink or swim. We got the results the same day; we all passed. Looking back on it now it all seems rather suspicious. This group, all of whom were in this mess because we didn't know shit about algebra, passed the most important algebra test of our lives.
I'm pretty sure we were "passed along", that they probably never even graded the test. They weren't going to blow up the lives of Seniors at that point.
My whole life since that day has been a fraud.