During my time in middle school, which I can safely say were the worst years of my life, I was lucky enough to have some pretty forgiving teachers. I was thinking about my teachers and I realized something pleasant.
One particular experience I had, at the end of 7th grade, in Mrs. Raymond’s Pre-Algebra class, when she told me that I technically didn’t have a high-enough grade to make it into Algebra I with Mr. Lieto. But she said that she thought I had the potential to apply myself better, so she recommended me for the class, which got me accepted into it. I was thankful to her at the time, but I didn’t take advantage of my opportunity the next year, and continued to dislike math, so I just retook it in freshman year.
But my point is, that was honestly so nice of her. I don’t even have the words to describe it. I feel so guilty now, for not applying myself and trying to understand things better, because she did not have to do that for me. She could’ve given up on me and said “Oh too bad for you, you didn’t make it, better luck next year,” which I honestly don’t know if it would’ve changed how eighth grade went for me, but I’m sure it would’ve broken my heart at the time.
Eighth grade was the worst school year of my life, for sure. I fucking hated the entire world, most of all myself, in eighth grade. Worst time of my life, I barely remember most of it because I hate even thinking about it. I mean I’m sure failing Algebra didn’t help, but would have taking Pre-Algebra again have helped? The feeling of knowing that I wasn’t good enough to even pass a regular class that so many others did perfectly fine in? The feeling of failure everyday as I learned the same stuff I did the year before? There is no way of knowing if the other option would’ve harmed my mental state any more than it already was.
But I do know, that I am grateful to Mrs. Raymond today for giving me that chance. I didn’t appreciate it or take advantage of that chance when I had it, but in retrospect, it lets me respect her more as a teacher and a person.
Middle school was my personal hell, but the fact that there were people and teachers that saw something in me, lets me think about it in a different way. Every time I think of middle school as this Bad Event in my life, I never remember the good times and things that happened during it. Life is never black and white, and as horrible as it was I can’t forget that I was a human being that felt the full range of emotions just like anyone else, and it wasn’t always as dark a place as I made it out to be in my mind.