This past week, my daughter, who is in the eighth grade carried an ‘A’ into her final exam. She studied hard the night before. I saw index cards all over her bed, her textbook was open and her notes were spread out. On the day of the exam, she didn’t do too well. Her overall grade dropped. When she received her results, she was visibly upset. But she’s a strong kid so she quickly recovered.
I will never understand the obsession with “test results” and examinations for young children in this country. Sorry, it’s how I feel.
The poor kid does well in all her classes and works hard the entire semester but her final grade boils down to one test? Or a chunk of her grade for that matter. Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense to me.
Enough of the rant on the educational system, that’s not what this entry is about.
I don’t know about you, but I used to get “test anxiety” leading up to exams. The worst was during the test, as soon as the other students finished and would get up to hand in their paper, I always felt like the pressure was on and that I had to hurry up before the class was over. Stupid, I know.
Anyway, back in the day when I was a student at Holy Name of Jesus there was a kid that got straight A’s on his report card. It must have been the fifth grade, maybe sixth. One day after they handed out the report cards I looked across the classroom and this straight ‘A’ student was crying. I walked over to him and asked him why he was so upset?
“My mother is going to kill me?”
I looked at him, trying not to laugh and noticed the tears coming down his face and dripping onto the desk in front of him.
“Why, did you get left back or something?”
The kid looked up sobbing.
“No, I got a ‘B’ in Math.”
I shook my head and raised my eyebrows.
“You got a ‘B’ in Math and your mother is going to kill you?”
The frustration on the kids face was showing as he shook his head, got up and walked away.
Can you imagine that? The kid was crying because he got a ‘B’ in Math and his mom was going to kill him!
I used to get C’s, D’s and a few F’s during my eight years at Holy Name. I wasn’t a very good student. I forgot to do homework, missed school often and was tardy at least once a week. If they kept track, I probably spent more time than any other student on the bench outside the principal’s office.
The one time I did get an ‘A’ was in Miss Hertel’s eighth grade English class. I was so happy the entire day. After playing basketball in the yard after school I went home and had dinner. It was a Friday night so Prospect Park was our hangout. I celebrated by getting drunk on a bottle of vodka…straight-up! No orange juice either.