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This is a question School Projects

MostlySunny wibbles, "When I was 11 I got an A for my study of shark nets - mostly because I handed it in cut out in the shape of a shark."

Do people do projects that don't involve google-cut-paste any more? What fine tat have you glued together for teacher?

(, Thu 13 Aug 2009, 13:36)
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Mom had a school project when I was in grade 12 (final year of high school)
entitled "Keep My Son From Failing English 12".

The background:

I had grown up and done all of my schooling in Vancouver (British Columbia), but late in grade eleven my stepdad had got work way up north in an isolated tiny town (population 3600) and when the summer came the rest of the family moved up there too. I went from a graduating class size of 900 to a school with less than 500 people comprising grades eight to twelve.

I was able (mostly) to continue along the paths my schooling had prevously taken, although the physics and algebra were like an easier version of the previous year. The computer science class was so far behind what I was used to that I got to challenge the final exam/project and ended up with a free period.

English. English 12 was the only provincially required grade twelve course you were required to take and pass. The teacher didn't care for me from the start - I was told later that he tended to sneer about "big city" attitudes, and since I came from the city...

Anyway, he tended to mark me hard. If there was an essay, or even a few paragraphs that had to be creative, he tended to fail me. One that stands out was when we were preparing for the provincial exams towards the end of the year: one of the exercises was to write a thesis paragraph on what makes the world go 'round, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. The point was to learn the style - the content was irrelevant. I wrote about greed.

We did these in class, then he handed out criteria and had our peers mark them first, then he marked them. I got two perfects from my peers, and a fail from him. Why? Because greed *doesn't* make the world go 'round, and he knew the provincial markers wouldn't like that I'd said.

The year was coming to a close and I had about 23% in his class. I had high marks, A's and B's in everything else, and a solid academic record, but I was going to fail the required class and not be able to get my diploma. There seemed to be very little I could do about, either. Guidance counselor would just talk about making it up next year, and the principal said it was up to the teacher to grade my work, and accusations against him would have to be backed by pretty strong proof. I resigned myself to being boned.

June arrives, and as I'm coming out of algebra I hear my name on the overhead speakers, and I'm told to come to the office. Also, it was the principal speaking which was odd, as typically the vice principal or office secretary would be the one making announcements.

When I got to the office, all of the staff were mysteriously absent except for the principal who had a bit of a wild look around his eyes. He ushered me into his office where another man was already sitting behind the desk. "Thank you, you can go now" he said, dismissing the principal from his own office.

"I'm Brian Greener, school superintendant for the Peace River district." Ah, the principal's boss's boss's boss. He was based about 500 km from the town I was living in.

"East and West Germany have just reunited (this was 1990), what do you think some of the effects of this will be?"

This caught me off guard. I was still trying to figure out what I was doing here with this man, and he throws this at me? Ah well, I'm good under pressure so I expound at some length, talking about cultural collisions and superinflation and such. It wasn't interactive - he just watched me and listened.

"Some car manufacturing companies in the States, like GM, Ford, Chevrolet and so on are unionized. Others in the States, like Toyota, Honda et cetera are not and, despite the non-unionized workers getting less pay, they have no interest in unionizing. Why do you think that is?"

Beat the he'll out of me - I was seventeen and didn't really know anything about unions or car companies. I gave it my best shot though.

I remember there was another question, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

When I was all done, Greener leaned back in his chair and said, "Well, you don't seem to be the fucking moron that [English teacher] would have me believe. "I don't believe I am, sir." I replied.

"You know you currently have a failing mark in English?" I nodded. "Do you want a chance to do something about it?" he asked. I did, what did he have in mind? "I'll give you the provincial exam from last semester (this school didn't have semestered English, so I hadn't taken this test). Whatever you get on the test will be your mark for English."

I agreed of course, and he administered the test on the spot. With no prep time, I was locked in a closet of a room with the test, and off I went. You were allowed two or two and a half hours to write the test, I did it in thirty five minutes. I remember the supplied topic for the essay at the end was "rings". When I was done, Greener marked it on the spot, and I got 98.5%. he went off to present it to my English teacher with a big shit-eating grin on his face. It occured to me then that possibly my teacher wasn't as universally liked as I'd thought.

When I went home, I told my mother about all of this. After listening, she told me that she'd made a few phone calls after seeing the continual anti-favouritism (not the right word, but I can't remember her exact term) that I'd had to endure all year from this teacher, and that she knew I didn't deserve a failing grade in something like English.

Thanks mom!

Apologies for choppy sentences - I'm typing this on my phone and it seems to be affecting my flow.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 3:25, 7 replies)
Excellent story
Glad he got given what-for.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 9:17, closed)
Lovely story!
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 10:36, closed)
Class size of 900?

My secondary school had 330 pupils across five years. The school before that had about 150 across six years.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 13:15, closed)
My primary school had
at its peak 72 children ranging across all seven years.
I am now informed it has 56.
(, Wed 19 Aug 2009, 22:36, closed)
Good Story
Way to stick it to the man!
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 15:11, closed)
Your mum is a star.
That is all.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 19:03, closed)
There is
nothing quite like that moment when a vindictive bastard's down-marking is found out - I should know, I've had a fair few such moments.

Have a click in memory of a whiny bitch of an English teacher who once, in a concerted effort to deny me the A* she knew I was heading for, marked my creative writing piece down because I hadn't underlined the fucking title.

Nearly ten years on, and that one still stings, especially as combined with her other efforts, it got me down to an A in English Language. Got my A* in English Lit. though - Lit. apparently wasn't subjective enough for her little games :)
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 19:39, closed)

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