So I don't know if you heard, but Calgary was flooded earlier this year in June. It just so happened that I attend school here in Calgary, and my school year was cut short.
I don't know if I liked it. Although some may consider the flood a calamity, I almost want to believe that it was a blessing. Why? First off, PATs were cancelled.
For those of you who haven't yet reached grade nine, or for those who live outside the area where PATs are distributed, I'll tell you what they are. It's an acronym for Provincial Achievement Tests, and it's basically a government test to moniter the education of the province.
It's... kind of a big deal. The main purpose of my grade nine year was to prepare for this test, but... Well, let's just say some of my teachers weren't very good at their job.
It's true that my class had inadequate teachers. I'm saying that in the sense that our teachers weren't trained to teach what their class was supposed to be taught. For example, my science teacher was an excellent social teacher, but she was teaching us science. Why? To this day, I still don't know.
My social teacher disappeared at the beginning of my grade nine year, and we got several substitutes before settling on one teacher. She was... alright, I suppose. As a person, she had very good morals and she had quite an energetic spirit.
How do I say this...? It's like she hated my class. We learned nothing, but I do remember we got scolded. A lot. Because my class had social last period of most days, we were often held back, too.
Social was a dreaded subject. As was science. ELA was pretty good, to be honest. I did well and learned a lot in that class. Same applies to math.
Although Math and Science are my favourite subjects, I excelled only in Math.
I was excited for the Math PAT because it was my chance to get 100%. Everyone in my family got 100% on at least one of their PATs. I was deprived of that opportunity.
Aside from missing the Math PAT, I think I'm glad I missed all the other PATs because, in all seriousness, I wasn't well prepared for them.
Anyhow, back to the flood.
I used to volunteer a lot. I was part of the unofficial student council. I did things from fundraising to organizing dances and all that stuff. At dances, in particular, I would help out with concession. Every. Single. Time.
For the end of the year dance, I decided not to volunteer. I wanted to enjoy myself without the trouble of helping others. Perhaps it was a selfish wish because, in the end, it wasn't granted. Why, you might ask? Because the flood cancelled the day that that dance was scheduled for.
I never got to enjoy the dance like the regular students. However, I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, I enjoyed it more fully than they did BECAUSE I volunteered so much.
If I rewind to the first days of grade nine and speed through the year, I can honestly say that I tried. Those late nights staying up doing homework just to hand it in the next day... well, it was worth it. I'll tell you why in a bit.
I remember stressing out because I didn't know how to do an assignment that everyone else seemed to do with ease. That was the worse; the feeling of inferiority.
I also remember the constant "Lucia, what did you get on your test?"
Ah, yes. "Secret," I'd say. And I'm glad I chose to make my marks confidential because sometimes, yes, they were to be proud of, but other times... I'd beg to differ.
Point is, I tried hard, and I didn't always succeed. There were lots of times where I felt hopeless, and plenty more times where I had fun doing the work.
And at the end of the year, I found out that there were no course awards. There was only Student of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Christian Leadership, and a scholarship called Irvin-something.
In the years of my siblings, they had all sorts of awards. I was jealous and kind of nervous. I thought, "there's no way I can live up to that." Try as I might, my siblings seemed to always degrade me.
Until a few days ago.
See, because my city flooded, my school year was cut short. Because my school year was cut short, my award ceremony was cancelled as well.
As it turns out, just because the ceremony is cancelled, the students are still given their awards. Just... individually, I suppose.
I visited my old school a few days ago, as requested of a few of the teachers. With me were my two sports buddies, one of which was my study buddy, too. We went in, the three of us, and we were taken to in the front office, and then further to the principal's office.
"I'm sure you know why we called you here," the principal said.
I was clueless.
He then took out three medals and he said, "I'm going to put these around your neck and don't take them off no matter what." He held the first medal to me and said, "You know what this is for, don't you?"
"No, I dont," I wanted to say. All I did was shake my head.
"Oh, come on. Of course you know!" and the medal in his hands turns to reveal the back side.
2012-2013 Student of the Year
I held my hand to my mouth to hide my surprise. Gosh, I was so happy! My two friends who accompanied me received the Female and Male Athlete of the Year medal. We were all wearing our medals when we went back to our current high school.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, this happened over a lunch period.
Anyhow, yeah. Earlier in the summer, I also got the scholarship, so yay me, right?
Student of the Year AND the scholarship? I think I just beat my siblings.
And you know what? I owe it to my hard work and dedication. I didn't know if it was going to pay off, but because of that medal, I know it was all worth it.
What I really liked if how the school couldn't have a ceremony. It sounds rather ironic from a standard point of view, but I'd prefer it this way. Why?
Ceremonies include pictures. I'm not one to like pictures. No ceremony = no pictures = happy me!
Grade nine definitely wasn't my best school year, but I'm proud of what I accomplished as a grade nine student.
Welp, I oughta do my homework. I've got big plans tomorrow. I'll leave that for another entry, though.
Today's lyrics are:
He said God only helps those
Who learn to help themselves
He was a million miles from a million dollars
But you can never spend his wealth
Comment the song's title and artist and a reward shall be granted. Until next time, dear readers~!
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