Thursday, July 8, 2010


Today many of my friends and I received the scores from our AP biology exams in the mail. Some of my extremely smart and brilliant friends got rather high scores. And then there's people like me that didn't do well at all. And then there's people whose parents are unhappy with their scores. I have a message to all of those kind of parents out there:

I don't understand what's wrong with failure. If your kid isn't trying, that's a problem. But when your son or daughter is taking a hard course, or a course that's challenging to them personally, what's wrong with doing their absolute best? Even if it isn't up to par to your standards. Some people just don't have an aptitude for science or English, or what ever subject it is. As long as your kid is trying their best, they should get praise, not punishment because they didn't get an 105% on what ever it is.

Students today are under more pressure then ever to be the best. Not everyone is going to get into Harvard or Stanford. Some kids are just happy getting their GED. So here is my mission for all you parents out there.

Embrace failure. It's just a part of learning isn't it? What I learned from taking honors biology is that I'm never going to be a doctor or a scientist and that I need a break from science to focus on aspects of my life that I can actually make a living out of. And I bet every other student in that course learned something about themselves, whether they got an A+ or an F- (if that grade even exists). I just want parents to realize that everything is a learning experience, and the grade is simply not an appropriate measure of intelligence.

This is going to sound cliche, but what if Thomas Edison's parents had told him he was a failure after his first light bulb design didn't work? Maybe they did, but clearly he didn't listen. Because if Thomas Edison, or Alexander Graham Bell, or anyone else that did something important had considered their first screw up a failure, where would we be? Because in truth, it wasn't a failure, it was just something they could improve. When Walt Disney was kicked out of art school, he didn't say, "Well, I guess I'm never going to be an artist now." He just realized that that institution wasn't the place for him, and he could go and be important somewhere else.

So biology was just my first screw up. Scratch that, Algebra I was my first screw up. But that doesn't mean I listen to the people pulling the disappointed card on me. Because I'm not disappointed in myself. That class was the hardest class I've ever taken and I know it was for many of my friends. I know I didn't do as well as I could have. I'm just happy I didn't go crazy and shoot someone. And everybody else should just be proud of themselves too. And so should their parents. Because I know how upset my friends are, when they have no reason to be!

In the scope of it all, 9th grade bio is just a minuscule part of my life. And in twenty years when I'm hopefully settled in doing what ever I've decided to do with my life, I'm not going to think to myself, "I wish I had done better on my AP bio exam." Because essentially, it doesn't matter. There are some tests that do matter, for certain things. And I have the potential of putting a really bad metaphor about how high school is just a drop of water in the ocean that is life, but I think it would be better if I didn't at this moment.

So, I hope this has put somethings into perspective for you. And I apologize if it's jumbled and ramble-y, but I really had to speak my mind. Thanks for reading.

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