Sunday, June 21, 2015

99%
Emma Akins, Washington State Student




Each morning we wake up; eat a sugary cereal that's supposed to pass as nutrition,
Then go to the home of a harsh reality.
We study and study until we forget how to remember.

Whether it’s an 1800 on the SAT or a 7 in IB, you'll never feel good enough.
3 or 300 more than you needed but people still doubt your intelligence, your kindness, your beauty.
Then you start to doubt it yourself.
A warped sense of reality sends your mind to the depths of dark and d minuses.

We compare ourselves from the beginning.
First we learn the alphabet, then we learn why some kids who try their best still can’t pay for college.
We learn how to write then find about the rights that only some kids get in their classrooms.

We also compare the similarities that should bring us together. We start as kings of the class that grades everyone equally and when they really start measuring we finally realize that our parents lied to us about always being the best.

My life has become a vicious cycle of not enough sleep
Never enough sleep
Maybe everything would be ok if I could just get a little more sleep.

But I can't
A chemical imbalance in my head leaves me in a trance every night half past ten
But they still tell us that we aren't really that tired. We're just lazy teenagers who can't put down the phones that connect us to the only reality that we know. We're too lazy to function but they put us in charge of our future.

Take your choice:
PSSC-pick a career, any career
Take that one class that you can only hope leads to a passion because you won’t get a second chance.

Or Running start-throw yourself into the ocean called college that this school never really prepared you for.

Or maybe IB-give away two years of your life for a 1/20 chance of getting that diploma that will show colleges that you kinda tried hard in high school, but where were all of your extracurriculars? Oh yeah, you didn't have time for them.

I’m looking at this as an insider, though
The teacher’s pet
The try hard
The goody goody that always does her homework
But still never feels entitled to that A

A label on my paper is a label on my soul, above or below average
Should never be our goal.

You teach integrity, but we learn that cheating feels easier than failing.
You show us individuality; we learn how to blend in.
You taught us that education is necessary, but our health is not a necessity.

You teach math.
You teach equality.
You teach conformity.

So school district
Test me
Test me
Test me
Maybe one day you'll get the score that you want from me
Maybe one day my diploma will hold up my family like a rock under a table that’s wobbly.

Yeah ill raise the average score with my fast heart rate pushing me to study more and sleep less.
My twitching nerves telling me that after the test I can finally rest.

I'll keep coming to school rockin' my business casual because I've heard it makes you test better.

And I’ll try to ignore my friend struggling in the corner
Because English isn't her first language yet she’s tested on it like the rhythm of her Tagalog grammar was never the beat they wanted to hear.

She used a comma instead of a period and misspelled the word stupid even though the word is constantly running through her head in the classroom.
So let’s review, there won’t be a study guide and the test covers every word I've said throughout the course. I hope you took notes.

No, we aren't perfect
Our tongues may slip and drop a swear on the teacher that took our phone.
Our immaturity makes itself known when we have to eat vegetables that weren't really grown.
Procrastination runs through our bodies like blood.
But some of us are struggling inside our minds as well as inside our homes.

Don’t test our memory and quiz our conformity. I don't want my future to stem from the panic flowing through my mind and I don’t want to be a part of a system that tells us to win, but teaches us how to lose.

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