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My experiences at school

What were my experiences at school?

Before you start reading this I'd just like to say that this is going to be a slightly longer post, so kindly bear with me.

School has always been a blur. I have changed almost 5 -6 schools during the span of my school life and it's safe to say that I've tried almost every curriculum available in Chennai. My teachers speculated that it could have been a cause for my difficulty, but I know it would have been the same either way.

I don't remember a single day where I was able to pay attention to the teacher. Partly because either, she was too fast or I wouldn't be in a position to comprehend what she was saying. To the teacher it may seem as though I am paying attention in class, the thing is however, I wouldn't have understood anything she had just explained. Being called out in front of my class was something that always made me want to cower under the desk. Math especially was a tough feat. I'd always have to get back home and ask my mother to do it with me all over again. Somehow I managed the other subjects with rote to an extent.

Every day at school became a major cause of anxiety. I wouldn’t know what I was in for. I couldn’t afford to make mistakes or punishments and embarrassment in front of my classmates ensued.

But what surprised me the most was the attitude of the teachers. I remember a time when I used to be in the good books with the teachers because I performed decently in academics and helped around quite a bit in class. Somehow the way they saw me changed when they started realizing that I wasn't performing very well in academics. The most common perspective of almost every school teacher is probably a student who doesn't perform well in academics isn't suited for anything else. So often poor performers are isolated and not allowed to participate in other school activities and even if they do get to, there is always this question of why do they get to participate in extracurricular when you can't do well in exams. But the biggest question I had was; “do marks really mean that much?”

What were the actual issues I had? Understanding concepts and memorizing were some areas I struggled in; especially in math. It would take me hours to understand one simple problem in math. What would normally take 10 minutes would take me an hour to understand. There had never been a day where I've been able to catch up with the teacher in class. If I do finish my class work during the period that is an achievement on its own and having to understand what the teacher was teaching along with that was honestly a bit much to take in.

One thing that probably terrified me the most was the parent-teacher meets and receiving my exam papers. At the PTA meets, the teachers either did not know me at all or they had a lot of complaints. We had to wait long queues to meet the teacher only for them to accuse me of things I could have done better and how I'm not paying attention in class and my work is always incomplete. But in all honesty there just isn’t enough time. Tuitions homework and having to memorize the lessons was a lot to do in one evening. There were teachers I came across, who we downright insensitive and wouldn't care that there were other students along with their parents right behind me and would be able to hear what she had to say. It wasn’t enough that I was already embarrassed by it all but my mother had to experience the same at my expense.

As for results, I cannot tell you how nerve wrecking it was especially when it came down to not just your hard work as a student but also involves the person who had helped you through the learning process. And the disappointment you feel after not having met the expectation of your tutor or not passing the paper and the guilt that comes with it. But to make matters.