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An Astronomically Small Chance Of Budging

| Learning | March 15, 2017

(It’s the end of 11th grade, and we are picking classes for the next year. In our four core subjects, we have to get our teachers to sign off on our class choices. I’m scheduled to take multiple honors & Advanced Placement (AP) classes for everything else, so I decide to switch it up a bit for science. When I see that our school offers an astronomy class, I decide to sign up, as that’s a subject I’ve always been interested in. During class, my physics teacher calls me up to her desk to see what I’ve picked, and sign off on it. I’m usually the quiet kid who sits in the back of the classroom and doesn’t say anything.)

Teacher: “Ah, [My Name]. For you, I recommend AP Physics.”

(I HATE physics, and have struggled in it all year.)

Me: “Actually, I don’t want to take AP Physics.”

Teacher: “Oh! Well, that’s no problem. There’s also AP Biology or AP Chemistry. Which one would you like?”

Me: “I want to take Astronomy.”

Teacher: “…astronomy?!”

Me: “Yes.”

Teacher: “No.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Teacher: “No. That course is much too easy for you.”

Me: “But I like astronomy.”

Teacher: “You will be bored. I will not sign off on that.”

Me: “But—”

Teacher: “AP Physics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry. Those are your choices. Go back to your seat and think about which one you want. I’ll come back to you in five minutes.”

(I go back to my seat and fume. As I’m skimming the list of science classes, I spot Marine Biology on the list. This is something else that interests me, so I decide to use this as my backup. My teacher calls me back up…)

Teacher: *with a smug look on her face* “Okay, [My Name]. Have you come to your senses?”

Me: “Yes. I want to take astronomy.”

Teacher: “And I already told you no.”

Me: “Fine. I want to take marine biology instead.”

Teacher: “WHAT?!”

Me: “Yes.”

Teacher: “NO!”

Me: “It looks fun!”

Teacher: “It’s too easy! I’ve seen your records. You’re an excellent student, and you are too good for this!”


(The classroom goes silent. My teacher stares at me. I fold my arms and stare back.)

Teacher: “You’re really not going to budge, are you?”

Me: “Nope.”

Teacher: *heavy sigh* “Fine. Marine biology. You’re going to regret this.”

(I march back to my seat triumphantly. My lab partner has her head down on her desk, and is shaking with laughter.)

Me: “Did…did you hear that?”

Classmate: “The whole class heard that, and it was GREAT. I can’t believe you won…”

(I discovered a couple weeks later that I could dual enroll in college instead of going back to my high school for senior year. I elected to do this. The first science class I signed up for? Astronomy. I took the class with one of my best friends, and we loved it!)

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