School’s out! As a child, those words heralded the true beginning of summer, and not two words printed on the 21st of June’s calendar spot. No school work, ice cream, swimming, and weeks without seeing kids I despised were so beneficial, that I focused on that to the exclusion of anything else for the entire year. Eventually, this bit me in the behind.
I disliked school for a number of reasons. It seemed pointless, I was bored from doing the same thing everyday, and I was one of those unfortunate kids who was bullied on a daily basis. Combine all this and no one should be surprised that a deep seated apathy built in. I hated school, hated what I was doing, and did everything in my power to avoid doing it. A prime example was my dreaded math class where I deliberately sat in a chair by the window, surreptitiously pushed up a blind flap, and spent the next hour daydreaming.
This all came to a head in the eighth grade. Up to that point I’d managed to squeak by and pass, primarily because the school I attended counted two failing grades as one and you needed four before serious trouble occurred. I got to that point and when my parents delivered the news, I was shocked. I had a choice; attend summer school, or repeat the eighth grade.
I think I can speak for most people–and kids–when I say that the idea of repeating the same grade while your contemporaries move on is a monumental embarrassment. More so than suffering through summer school. I didn’t find either option appealing, but I realized that I couldn’t allow my opinion of people–or a school system–influence how hard I worked. Because the only person that was going to be hurt was me. So, which did I chose? Summer school, or repeating the eighth grade? Neither, as it turned out.
Not long after this we got news that my dad was being transferred to England. I completed the year and when I enrolled in an English school I started their High School equivalent. Talk about dodging a bullet! I didn’t let my lesson go to waste. I didn’t let the bullies detract me and worked as hard as I could, something made easier by the wider variety of classes. Not to mention that when teachers appreciate your hard effort–especially when no one else does–it motivates you.
I never came close to repeating a grade again and went on to earn a college degree. That now means that summer’s here indefinitely. Looks like school’s out for good.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.