A Person’s Past Isn’t an Indication of their Future

Kathryn - Brockway, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 25, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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My heart aches. Yesterday one of my friends got into a confrontation with another person. My friend happens to come from a good family and she typically has everything just handed to her. The other student is on the totally opposite side of life than she is. He comes from a broken family and he has to work much harder just to receive passing grades. Did I mention he’s in special classes? He doesn’t have developmental problems; he just doesn’t comprehend all of his school work.

I don’t know how the quarrel got started but I do know how it ended. She had the nerve to tell him he was worthless and a waste of life and she didn’t stop there, she went on to say that she would have a better job than him and that he would never amount to anything. She even said that what he did have was only there because his grandfather gave it to him. You might wonder what he said back to her but he didn’t say anything. What would you say if someone yelled at you in front of a whole classroom filled with your friends and peers that you were worthless? The truth in the matter is I know exactly how he feels.

In fourth grade I transferred schools. The transfer was especially hard for me because I didn’t want anyone at my new school to know anything about how I was at my previous school. Everyday from first grade through third grade I attended special reading classes; math came so easy to me but I just couldn’t read. Some days I would miss recess and other days I’d miss a class. When I missed any class, I had to make up all the work I missed during recess. Then, on top of my special reading classes, in third grade I started having to go to speech classes. I was told that I couldn’t say “s” or “z” correctly. I picked up speaking incredibly fast as a way of hiding my speech impediment. I felt like I was inferior to the other students in my classes. Attending the classes was hard on my self-esteem, but what other kids said about me made it that much worse and that much harder to want to go to school. I only had a few good friends and I never went and talked to anyone I didn’t know super well.

My dad is actually considered a genius, and my older sister was always so smart it seemed that I was in the shadows because I couldn’t keep up with her good grades. Even though my parents never said that I wasn’t good enough, I felt like I wasn’t as smart as they expected me to be.

People thinking I wasn’t good enough and some telling me that I couldn’t succeed ignited a fire inside me. I wanted to become smart. I attended all of my special classes all the time and I worked harder than I had ever worked on anything ever before that. I started with simple books, compared to the books everyone else in my grade was reading, and I kept trying to increase my vocabulary. When I made the switch from one school to another, it was my decision to drop all of my special classes.

I struggled at first. Making friends was a weak subject of mine too but this nice girl named Shelby in my homeroom introduced me to everyone in our class and I felt very welcomed. I had always gotten help in reading and my first year at my new school was especially tough. During the first marking period, I got my first ever “c” in a class. I didn’t want to attend special reading classes again, so I made sure to bring up my reading grade. I also made sure to articulate carefully so I wouldn’t have to attend speech classes any more either. I didn’t want anyone at my new school to know how I used to be; I worked on my reading every night after school. The more I worked and the harder I tried, the more I improved.

I am now a senior and about to graduate as fifth in my graduating class. In seventh grade I was tested for the gifted program, AIMs which stands for Academically Inclined Minds, and I easily made it in and found out that my IQ was above the average student. In tenth grade I was inducted into National Honor Society. Would you have ever guessed that a student that was once in special reading classes would amount to so much?

Very few people know that I ever attended any kind of special classes or speech classes and no one would every guess that I did if they didn’t already know. I believe that saying a person who attends special classes won’t amount to anything is untrue and I am proof of that. I believe that you can’t judge a person’s intelligence by their past because everyone has the ability to succeed and better themselves. I believe that every person is worth life. I am living proof that just because a person needs help in some classes when they are younger doesn’t mean that they will always be that way. I believe everyone can amount to something and has the potential to succeed in life. This I believe.