Want a Better America? Stop Requiring Algebra.
Anastasia Basil

Anastasia Basil!!! I can’t thank you enough for this massively insightful and hear-felt article. From the moment that you began talking about all of the years being told that you were daydreaming, not paying attention, talking in class, not listening, lazy, etc., tears were pouring from my eyes. When I was in school, I was told that I was a wonderful student, but that at some point I had to be daydreaming, not paying attention, talking, or doing something that I shouldn’t have been, because of my grades in math (and a couple of other subjects). It never mattered that I was known as one of the very best students throughout my education, if my grades didn’t reflect that notion, I was no longer that great kid. I have only had 1 teacher, my entire life, who took time to work with me in math. It was the first and last time that I ever got a B+ in Algebra. And the only reason that I got a “B+”, instead of an “A”, was because the first part of the semester, I was crashing and burning. I will always remember and love Mr. Spivey from Lone Hill Middle School — San Dimas, Ca. THANK YOU!!!!!

Unfortunately, our society is not one that has a culture of investing in its people on a large scale. Our society wants you to invest in it!!! America is a one-way street! What can you PRODUCE that it can sell…? All that means is that as we are being herded through the factory — that is the American educational system — kids like you and I get left behind with handfuls of reminders about our worthlessness, no matter how brilliant we ACTUALLY ARE!!! If our brains don’t create results that match the superficial educational standards — set by others who may have failed in school, but somehow got jobs in the school system — then we are unworthy, useless, and probably bad people in some way. We as a country are born into and held to such unnatural and superficial standards, that by the time we enter the real world, we express, in very childish ways, the frustration that was unintentionally imposed on us by the restriction of personal growth thus yielding instead to superficial, meaningless pseudo-achievements. As we go through life “achieving”, because it’s where we receive so much praise and acceptance, we get hooked on the need to “achieve”, without consideration for the greater laws which actually govern our lives… You know the ones that we were supposed to be developing when we were children; empathy, wisdom, logic, critical-thinking, compassion, etc. Maybe one day America will realize that empathy, reason, critical-thinking, achieving, and more, can all happen at the same time, when you choose to invest in time and attention in EVERYONE!!! Not just the ones that can count your money the quickest.


Although I have not been diagnosed with a learning disability, it was suggested by many of my school teachers. My parents refused to even entertain the idea. I’m in my 30’s now. Perhaps, I should have myself tested. I think it’s time to figure out how my machine works. You are an inspiration!

Keep writing! I hear you! And, yes, I do mean “hear”…

  • Kiyana M.W.
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