The letter T.

There is only one class during my academic career where I had to pull myself out of an F.

It was a high school English class, of all classes. When I was in high school, each student had to bring a grade sheet to each teacher at midterm. Each teacher would write in the grade and make a few notes on the sheet. The students would take the sheet home to their parents. The parents had to initial each class and sign the grade sheet.

I was a B average student, meaning my grades would range from mostly As and Bs and maybe an occasional C. And one F. 

An F in English? It’s unlike me. It’s something I would expect in math but English? This particular English teacher wrote 58% in the grade box. And in the comment box, he wrote: F – FAILING.

Thank you, Mr. Dick. Thank you for explaining to my parents that a 58% is FAILING. My first response was to consult with my fellow classmates. A handful received Fs, most received Ds or Cs. One or two received Bs. Of course, the B students were upset they were not As. No one got an A.

I don’t remember if I got grounded or if my parents thought I was doing drugs after my first midterm F. But I do remember crying in front of my mom, trying to explain myself. They were upset. Their daughter F – FAILED.

I got a C by the end of the year.

The letter T.

Thank you.

Thank you to my teacher? No, that’s sarcasm.

Thank YOU.

You – you reading right now. Thank you for reading my words. I know your time can’t be wasted. And if I did waste your time, well, you’re not reading this. Thank you for listening to what’s on my mind, however meaningless it may be. 

I am a different person when I write. I am shy and introverted. I would proabably never tell you about my English midterm F in person. This is the real me and I don’t have to worry about if I have anything in my teeth.

If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t keep working at the craft of writing. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be an author in an anthology coming out this summer. Me – a real author, writing English, in a book that people will pay to read.

Thank you for supporting me. I mean that. You’ve changed my life. Thank you for reading a B average student’s work. And one F.

Thank for proving that English teacher wrong.

___________

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