i was told my grades didn't really matter
that seventh and eighth grade
were more a test of your ability to survive highly unpleasant social conditions
than anything like academic prowess.
that was all right,
i didn't feel really compelled to fail--
school was easy, anyways.
i tried to fail one class and scraped by with a 90.
in high school
suddenly i feel as if
grades are everything.
not because anyone's told me specifically,
but because of the underlying sentiment.
think of your gpa!
colleges look at those.
it's meant to be motivating,
i'm supposed to be encouraged
that all of my work today is going to the purpose of sending me to college,
even the mandatory, somewhat pointless health and diversity.
it's just more pressure.
i am fourteen years old.
not even fifteen.