This I Believe

Julia - Salem, Oregon
Entered on June 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

I believe in getting all the extra credit.

All of my life I have gone to a Catholic school. Well, until last year. That was my first year completed at a public school, and at first I thought it was going to be easy. It’s no surprise that I thought so because, you see, everyone in a private school thinks that public schools are full of stupid people. I thought no differently from anyone else in private schools, so when I went to a public school, I aimed for no less than an A. I was as happy as a clam, I could finally wear denim, the teachers graded based on effort and not entirely on quality, and I could finally get those A’s. After all, to me, my old school was much harder than any public school, and at my old school I had gotten good grades. I got all kinds of A’s and B’s… and C’s…and D’s…but public schools were easy.

That is, I thought that public schools were easy, until I was two weeks into geometry. Geometry was my worst class by far. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing, but I wasn’t getting the A I was aiming for. So I studied harder than ever before, tried my hardest, did my best, but I still ended up with a C on every test. I didn’t know what to do!

So one frosty morning, just two weeks away from finals, my teacher announced an “extra credit event”. I wiped the sleep from out of my eyes and began listening for once. She went on about the event known as Math Pack, and in it, you get extra credit for every geometry question you get right. My heart sank. Back then I couldn’t answer math correctly if my life depended on it, much less my grade. Then suddenly she looked up from the paper, folded it, and looked straight at me. She smiled and announced that she would be giving out extra credit for attending. I decided to go, I wasn’t about to tempt fate any further.

The weeks went by, and so did my finals, so I began that arduous mental task of going to check my grade. As I approached the door I held my breath. My heart stopped. I put my finger against my student ID number…scanned over to the final grade. I gasped for breath! I checked my grade again…then again…then just one more final time. The grade stayed the same each time I looked at it, a satisfying 89.8…A; they round up the grade at public schools! It was at that moment I realized that I would have never have gotten an A without that small, .4 percentage of extra credit that I had gotten from math pack.

Now I am a sophomore in the very same high school. My goals from the first year remain the same. I’ve had some very close calls, some even closer than that, but my dreams haven’t been smashed yet! Even to this day I smile and think back to those days, and about how every little bit helped.

And that is why I believe in doing all of the extra credit.

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