Once again, I find myself sitting at a large wooden table in the public library. All of my school supplies is out, my tasks are neatly organized and I should be getting to work, but I can’t help but feel the lack of motivation, or maybe the lack of purpose.
Two weeks ago I was sitting at a similar table in my fourth period chemistry class waiting anxiously for my teacher to hand me my back my test that I took the previous week. My palms were sweating and I was chatting nervously to my friend next to me, but the minute I glanced at the test that had my name on it I froze. The simple 1/10 grading system never fails to make me feel like I am back to my second grade class, spelling out ten words and hoping you got at least five or six correct.
My paper had a large 3.14 at the top of it. Once again I am below the passing grade. Once again, I failed.
Failing this year has been very common, mostly in the more difficult classes like chemistry, and biology and math, but I never felt like I didn’t study try to understand the concepts we’ve been learning. In fact, most of my time after school was and is still, studying. Prior to that chemistry test, my school was on winter break and I spent a great deal of time preparing for the exam. Granted I didn’t know what was going to be on it, I still did my best to go through pages of 4 ESO curriculum and try to remember the most important concepts. I spent hours writing down elements of the periodic table and their interesting facts, I was interested and I enjoyed learning and reflecting on the old and new material.
I made flash cards, I created rhymes. I repeated and practiced different examples of combining different elements and drawing out diagrams. By the end of the break, I was very confident I would at least pass.
The day that the one paged exam was put in front of me I was very frustrated. There were so many things that I didn’t know I had to study, and I even was confirmed later that most of my friends didn’t know they had to study them either. My heart sank because I knew that all my persistence and motivation wouldn’t even give me a drop of credit.
I always have felt an uncomfortable with the testing system, not only in spain but in the US too. Although, I never got less than a B in the US and that was even when I didn’t quite remember everything. Testing means memorizing. Memorizing should be very students priority, it should be their second way of thinking, but it’s not even close to mine. I can’t really memorize things that well, and maybe that’s not a bad thing, but it really hasn’t helped me in testing situations where teachers expect you to spit out textbook phrases like they were the first words that you ever learned.
Even still, I am trying to get used to it.