Corps in Giselle, by Mark Olich
an oscar-worthy performance
I was never a fan of change. I like things the way they are. Routines and schedules, despite not admitting it often, keeps me sane. Though over the years I learned how to cope with the ever-changing world and how to keep tabs with it. I learned that things aren’t meant to last forever and that sometimes, all we can make them last long just enough.
Today marks the first day of the year. A fresh start. A new beginning. But for me this is only the continuation of what I’ve been doing over the past years. Resolutions were never my thing, though more than often I make mental maps of my plan for a particular thing. For 2014, I see myself finishing my seven school works left undone during the holidays, performing our Noli play and passing my junior year of high school. I see myself striving and surviving the rest of the months with pride over what I’ve done and been through. I see myself starting my last year in high school, and hopefully will still be with the people I truly care for.
Every year has been a ride, and last year has definitely lived up to the expectations of a “ride”. Last year is different. I can’t explain what kind of different or how kind of different, but nonetheless it was a good type of different.
I don’t think 2014 will be so much different from the past years, but I can assure that I will be different. I grow. And I choose to grow and mature. It won’t be much of a big difference, but I know I’ll be changing over again the year—shedding an old skin and growing the same skin, only tougher and stronger—hopefully for the better.
American school system
I saw your tags and I would really like to comment with personal story if you don’t mind.
The gifted area really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The children all look like they’re smiling, sure, but let’s be real— they go home and stress and cry.
I was a “gifted and talented” kid, and it was far from this. My whole life, things were harder because I was expected to be better. I was expected to be reading higher-level books, but the school didn’t allow me to read higher-level books because it was “unfair” to the other students. Teachers subconsciously graded me harder than other students, even on things I was not “gifted” in, like math (a subject in which I have always struggled). We had extra homework and extra tests. In my program, we were removed from regular classes once a week to learn bonus material. Not only were we expected to learn the bonus material, but we were expected to make up the missed material and pass the tests on it; only no one was there to teach us the material we missed, because we were expected to already know it. It was pounded into my brain every day of my life from the moment I started school that I had to be perfect, and if I wasn’t perfect it was the result of some character flaw. If an average student got a B, it was cause for celebration, but if I got an A I was simply meeting expectations. If an average student got a D, it was sad and they needed extra help and it was the teachers fault for not helping them; if I got a B or a C, it was the end of the world and clearly there was something wrong with me. I was slacking, or goofing off, or expecting the teachers to just “hand” the A to me because I was “special”.
I skipped a grade because I was “gifted.” When I tell people of this, they assume I must be a “genius.” You don’t know how many times I’ve heard people tell me, “Wow, you must be really smart or something. You’re a genius.”
Fast forward to college. I was told I should go to Yale or Harvard. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to go to college somewhere where I could learn but also enjoy myself. People make fun of me for my choice of school because someone as “gifted” as me could have “done so much better.”
This “genius” can’t pass Intro to Biology 1010, because no one ever taught her proper studying techniques—they just assumed she already knew. This “genius” cries herself to sleep over a B in an difficult science class. This genius faces crippling anxiety because she knows she’ll never measure up to people’s expectations of her. This “genius” sometimes cuts herself because the pressure to be perfect is too much for her. This “genius” feels like throwing herself off a building if she gets anything less than a B, because she’s been taught her whole life that if she doesn’t get perfect grades it is some sort of character flaw; she must be a worthless idiot.
I don’t know what it’s like to be in the “Nothing Special” area but being gifted is no walk in the park as the cartoon suggests. We both face challenges; they are different challenges, but they are both challenges.
This is so accurate.
"It was pounded into my brain every day of my life from the moment I started school that I had to be perfect, and if I wasn’t perfect it was the result of some character flaw." god thank you
it’s like people can’t get over the fact that “smartness” isn’t a preexisting condition