Friday, November 14, 2008

Three Grudges: A Rant 

I saw my middle school principal on the street the other day, which made me take stock of my educational history and realize that I hold exactly three grudges against educators.

I wasn't the worst student. I did my share of good work. But my academic path was littered with plenty of sub-par performances and general slackitude. I generally got the grades and treatment I deserved -- both good and bad. But three times during my years of schooling, I feel I was wronged.

1. 7th grade: A few of us "gifted" kids got a little rowdy in art class. A couple of art supplies were thrown. All in good fun. But the principal must have decided to make an example of the smart kids. We got two days of in-house suspension. Future criminals who were beating people to a pulp and stealing their lunch money received less harsh rebukes. It was ridiculous, and basically the only time I ever got in trouble like that. But this is by far the least serious grudge -- in fact, it's barely a grudge. And I'll actually always be grateful to that principal, because those two days in in-house had a very silver lining, which I'll blog about later.

2. 12th grade: Two instances here. The first is the most well-known among my friends -- but not the most infuriating. A scourge of an English teacher gave me and Jason a "D" on a semester-long project. You were supposed to put in 25 hours of work on this project. We did. Granted, it was the 25 hours leading up to the due date, and it was slightly short on content. Clearly B-/C+ work. But a D was just an insult to the family -- and generally unheard of in our academic track. But that wasn't nearly as bad as another incident. I walked up after class genuinely seeking help after getting a lower-than-expected grade on a paper. She literally said "Write more clearly next time," refused to even look at it, and then went back to being a generally miserable human being. Some commenters who know this teacher may disagree with my assessment of her. These people are wrong.

3. Senior year in college: A pompous ass of an English professor gives me a "C" on a paper. Fair enough, given that I don't think I read the book that it was about. In red ink, he writes that the paper was fine "so far as it goes," (I never forgot the words, for some reason). But then he rambles on about how parts of it didn't make sense --- and he finished by half-heartedly implying that I plagiarized it. (Hey DUMBFUCK: It didn't make sense because I didn't read the book! You don't think that if I plagiarized it, it might've been a little better?) I believe he had some sort of vendetta against me because I spent most of my time running the school paper, and missed a lot of his classes after staying up all night meeting our deadline. Either way, I was furious, and I still regret to this day not hauling his ass into some sort of hearing with the adminstration at which he would have had to back up his half-cocked, bitter accusation. It's the kind of thing you can only get away with doing to a college student, who's either too busy or too intimidated to stand up for himself. If he tried that shit on the 2008 version of me, I'd tear him to shreds.

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