This New System Is A New Grade Of Stupid

, , , , , | Related | March 1, 2018

(This story takes place when I am in grade five, and we are receiving our school reports. I am normally a straight-A student. My teacher sits the class down and explains to us that the school has changed their grading system this year. The teacher explains that in the new grading system, students cannot receive an A in their mid-year report. It is impossible to get anything higher than a C, because the new grade reflects what work has been achieved; as half of the assignments are due in the second half of the year, we can only get an A at the end-of-year report. I have no idea why they chose to tell us, the kids, rather than send out a letter or something to the parents. As I am only in grade five, I don’t fully understand the reasoning behind the new grading system — I still don’t, as an adult. Nevertheless, I trot home with my report. Later that evening, my mum sees my report and completely loses it.)

Mum: “What is this?!”

(I look over and see that I have mostly Cs, and some Ds.)

Me: “Oh, yeah. The teacher explained about this. She says we can’t get As because of the new report.”

Mum: “You’re lying. You haven’t been studying hard enough; that’s why you got all these Cs and Ds.”

Me: “It’s true! It’s because we haven’t done the second half of the year… or something… so we can only get As at the end of the year! That’s what she said!”

(This only angers my mum further, because she’s convinced I’m lying about it. I have always been an honest kid, but like I said, I don’t fully understand the teacher’s explanation, and I can’t explain it properly to my mum. She keeps yelling at me until I start crying. She then makes me get out my diary and write about what happened today. I’m still crying as I write, “Today, I got Cs and Ds in my report and I don’t know why.”)

Mum: *looking over my shoulder* “You liar. You know why you got Cs and Ds. You can’t even be honest to your diary.”

(Soon after, my dad came home and was greeted with this commotion: me sobbing, the report strewn all over the table, and my mum still furious with me. He listened to me as I tried to explain what the teacher said. He then said to my mum that we should probably ask the teacher to clarify, if only to double-check if what I was saying was true. My mum was sceptical, but finally agreed. I don’t know how they were able to see the teacher that late in the day — it may have been parent-teacher interviews that night; I can’t remember — but they left and came home a couple of hours later. My dad gently explained to still-miserable, nine-year-old me that I was right. The report system had changed, so according to the new system, I should be really proud of my grades. My mum was in a cheerful mood, because it turned out I did well, after all. She had the grace to look a bit sheepish, but I don’t remember ever getting an apology for her accusations.)

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