If I had to ever read a book, it usually was an assigned novel consisting of some historical figure or well known event just needed to be read, being enforced by school policies. I went to public school all my life, and it sucked–at the time.
I tell you, my fascination for reading was not the thing, nor was my interest in chunking the same material from a book and regurgitating it into a timed-essay, equivalent to some word-vomit.
But, shocker to you– maybe, I actually never read them. Unless it were a philosophy book, or a novel that my well respected educators deeply and passionately recommended for me, I would always have the interest in those or feel like it were necessary.
I was always the person who took the time out of my boring high school life to study people. Though, the people higher than me. I was fascinated in mainly how they became the people I look up to, though I never bothered discussing it with them. I was never really interested in what I really liked.
But, that is only because I had not a single clue.
In my sophomore year of high school, I was confronted for plagiarizing on a final. Being told when I was encountered by the most strictest teacher I could never fathom pursuing such a new and difficult course with for an entire year.
I really had no idea what the hell I was getting myself into.
Of course, at the time, I was going through my own issues. I felt like that teacher owed me a little spare of empathy or support; maybe even a pat on the back, or a star on my forehead, etc....
Feeling like a teacher owed me more respect and time only exposed my fears of actually succeeding in that class. I found myself doubting, shaking, breaking down, and some days, I even made my mother write me a "sayonara-note" when a timed essay was due.
Towards the end of that year, my stubbornness and anger only began to take play, not my developed sense of understanding or regard for rules, which came later on for me in college.
So, this is the worst I can get, even now, when someone doesn't have equal regard for my feelings.
And, I'm sure you can relate, too, hon.
When she came to me in front of my greatest friends at our lunch table, saying I was in deep trouble.
I don't even want to remember how I handled that unexpected visit from her. I found myself crying in the public bathroom, trying to escape that infamous feeling in my mind of being devalued. I left school again.
I only remember her showing me a few highlighted fragments of my final, as she was hiding it in our lovely family gathering held by the English department.
I could spell and write, just like I could only have wished to silence Mrs. So & So with my real speech. If maybe we communicated, she ought to have known.
Okay, I was always a word geek for as long as I can remember. I loved subscribing to Miriam Webster's word of the day. I loved expressing myself, even though being timed and eyeballed at had only pushed me to want to prove the teacher wrong, and then, I proved myself wrong, too.
I learned the hard way. I mean, I didn't have to even bother coming to that class at all. I didn't have to sit in front of my old, slow computer for nights just trying to make each word I had discovered convey the true message I was going for.
I could have went out with my friends and still focused on my perfection in the class. Instead, I would only overwhelm myself and the others because of my crazy perfectionism. My crazy perfectionism was the reason I felt insulted. It was the reason I kept trying to be perfect, that it actually was not my true voice.
I'm referring to style of writing when I say voice. And that, only developed through time as my drive for perfectionism began to educate me. It was not my stubbornness or anger.
After all those hours of reading the material, even those sites we all use today for samples. I was just so motivated to write like those people charging others on 123helpme to even read their full essays, or to even speak like those intellectuals doing TED talks.
That's what people just do, they judge a book by its cover and perceive you as weak when you only try to hand them the best damn trilogy you can offer.
The worst part was when that teacher had noticed I was running away from my fears each time I told myself I was not ready. It was no doubt I was thought as a weak-little nice girl and then a target to aim at day by day. And that, was not me.
After that long year of trying to teach myself more & more about writing properly- formulated essays with each new vocabulary word flowing meaningfully to the next, the notion of perfectionism only drove me to want to influence my future educators, friends, and colleagues even more.
Looking back now, my tenth grade teacher must have done something right. I regret being so stubborn, but there is nothing I could have done better– then.
Those days being in that class come so vividly to me, and whether I had plagiarized that sentence or not, it does not matter. l remember those days and nights of when I was 15 asking people to help write my essays.
But, guess what?
Nobody actually helped me as much as I could. For sure, I have met amazing people on the way. Though, really, I was helping myself the entire year, by just going through loads of literary coursework that a college student wouldn't even remember years after. I remember all of my writings, from ever since I can remember.
On the bright side of this dreadful spectrum we call reality, I now know how to handle a situation and prevent one like this only because I did things I am still not proud of. I can only admire how much I have improved during and after high school. I will never give up on any circumstance to improve even more.
And, as of today, I've learned a helluvalot.