Amazing Kids! Magazine

Proving Them Wrong

By Caroline Lopez, age 13, Cincinnati, OH

 

I hate these moments. These moments when you walk into your parents’ room to see them both sitting on the bed waiting to talk. When your eyes meet theirs, you know you’re stuck and there is no escaping. You don’t know what to expect; their expressionless faces stare you down. I pondered on what could be going through their minds. Are they mad? Are they confused? Or did something terrible just happen? I had just come from endless hours of studying in my room, and I was planning tell them good night.  My mistake!

“Hi Caroline,” Mom said in a sweet voice.

“Come sit.” Dad gestured to the bed. They talked in synchronization as though they were counterparts. I slowly walked over to the left side of the bed; my mom’s side, because she is always more comforting in these situations. Dad continued, “We know you are struggling in Honors Algebra 1 this year.”

“Oh, no,” I thought, “here it comes.” I prepared myself for the worst. My parents and I always expect A’s in my classes, with the acceptance of very occasional B’s. But in this class I had a C.

“We have been talking to Mr. Willis, and he suggests that we move you down to Pre-Algebra. We think that it might be a good idea. How do you feel?”

In any other circumstance I would have reluctantly agreed. To have the option to move to a less complex class is what most kids wish they could do. I knew that high schools look at grades in junior high, and a C was not what I was going for. But this year was different. I had recently been diagnosed with ADD, and I was devastated. I never thought of myself as “learning disabled.” And though my case was mild, it was still there. I was determined to not let it take me down.

“I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all! I am staying in this class!” I stated firmly. I felt the frustration seep through my veins. I simply stood up, turned around, and walked out of the room.

That was a couple months ago. My parents allowed me to stay in the class. I told Mr. Willis that I would remain, and I moved to the front of the room to improve my focus. I even picked up copies of Mr. Willis’s smartboard notes at the end of each class. I did improve, and both second and third quarter I received a B. But a B was not in my plans, so I dug in harder. I took better notes, worked with a tutor and spent more hours on homework.

I stood up cautiously, walking slowly to the teacher’s desk. Knowing this effort was the best I could do, I set my packet of papers on the desk. These papers and I were great enemies. They were urging me to fail while I was strong-willed to succeed. I stared down at the streaked, white floor as I walked back to my seat. I sat down and started to relax but then jumped to the sound of the school bell roaring through the building, pronouncing the conclusion of class. All thirty students stood up to leave. The sound of clanging chairs and desks filled the room, along with the murmur of students talking. Everybody was discussing the Algebra test, but I was too nerve-wracked to speak. The teacher, Mr. Willis, suddenly stood up from his desk and said, “Test grades and final grades for fourth quarter will be on the online blackboard this afternoon.”

Afternoon. The word echoed through my brain. I had worked so hard and had brought my grade up to ninety percent. I had to get an A on the test to receive an A for the end of the year. The stress I was feeling was almost incomprehensible to imagine. I had six hours to wait.

At the end of the day I ran to the monstrous yellow bus. It towered over me with its huge, black letters, “S-C-H-O-O-L B-U-S,” painted on the side. I immediately marched towards the middle of the bus. Passing rows of chocolate brown seats, I found my assigned seat, and with a line of at least twenty students behind me, I sat down.

After twenty minutes dragged by, my bus finally arrived at my stop, the corner of Elm and Stanton Avenue. I stood up and walked through the aisle, hitting at least ten kids with my bright green and blue tie-dye backpack. When I walked off the bus and across the street I picked up my pace into a run. Passing the giant green trees with the wind rushing past my face, I slowly came to a walk as I approached my house. Out of breath, I walked down my driveway and stepped onto my porch. Opening the door to see my black and white puppy, I didn’t greet her as I sprinted up the stairs and down the long hallway to my room. I opened the door, ran across carpet, and leaped onto my clean, made bed. I pulled my computer out of my backpack and opened it up. I eagerly searched “bb.mariemontschools.org.” I clicked on “Honors Algebra 1” and scrolled through the list of all of my grades. It was hard looking at the early grades: the failures I had to work so hard to overcome. This final test grade was going to make or break me. It would either prove my teacher and my parents wrong, or prove my foolishness. I saw my test grade and I froze. I couldn’t comprehend what my eyes were witnessing. I had to read it again and again in my head. I finally said it aloud, “Ninety-eight percent.”

At that moment I realized, I got an A. I proved my parents and teacher wrong! I can do anything I set my mind to. My determination can take me anywhere I desire. My ADD can’t stop me!

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