Books and Life over Ball

Being the oldest of requires a lot of responsibility for everyone one in my household along with myself. My mom always taught me to worry about myself first, then help others, then desires that I had along with being responsible for what matters that are important. But I never was the way she raised me. I always seemed to care about other things or people either the same amount I cared about myself or more. It was tough for me later in life because I would end up being at fault in the long run. Along with caring for others over myself, I wasn’t the smartest. I would always find an alternate way to succeed.

My grades would reflect me not worrying about myself and being responsible for my school work. My cousin, Reino, who lives in Haiti and was there during the earthquake in 2010. He moved in with my family after the earthquake for three years. He was a grade below me but he wanted to be in the same classes as me so entered my school as a 6th grader with me. Since he was younger and he didn’t learn some information. He didn’t know how to do his homework so I would do his homework or help him with his but it would take so long that I wouldn’t have a chance to finish my own so I would go to school without my homework done. But Reino’s was always done and he would get better grades because his homework was in and right. My mom saw this as an issue and told me I was not taking care of my work and told me I needed to stop and focus on my own work.

In 4th grade, I placed into a slower English class because I wasn’t as advanced as other kids. I didn’t see it as completely bad because my friends were with me and we struggled together. We had problems with writing and reading. But the class was just all words and pronunciation which didn’t seem hard at first but it was just that we were not fully developed. After 4th grade I remained in slower classes with my friends but didn’t learn as much information as the kids in the normal class.

Until 8th grade when I was placed in the normal class and I wasn’t good as everyone but I was good enough to stay and get decent grades. I was the president of the 7th and 8th grade class so I had a lot to fulfill as a leader to everyone, so there was a lot of change. In the english class, there was a lot of reading and I did not enjoy reading so it was hard for me to follow along with the class because I didn’t read carefully at home. I would just read to read and not read to understand. That was a big issue with me because when essays came around I wouldn’t go in much detail but I was good at “bullsh*tting” and picking out random parts of the story to help me get a good grade on my portfolio piece. These grades earned me honor roll for all four terms. I would “bullsh*t” because I did not know how to do better. If I had the opportunity to do better, I definitely would because i cared about my grades and I would love to do well.

Freshman year came around and I was placed in English honors class and that was good but I wasn’t ready for it at all. I remember talking to a sophomore who was about the same level as me going into freshman year and he told me that I had to pay a lot of attention, read a lot at home and take good notes. I was not good at any of those and this year just confirmed it. The only reason I excelled in the english class in 8th grade was because I was a good bullsh*itter. From the beginning I had problems because I didn’t do the summer reading and I got a zero on the test so that made me a poor start.. I slowly came back to a passing grade but I didn’t get anywhere satisfying. The workload was more than I’ve ever gotten or could handle. We got a book the first week of school and had to read about three chapters a night. That wasn’t good news because I didn’t like reading at all so I didn’t read. What I did was read chapter summaries off SparkNotes. There was a quiz every day in English on the reading from the night before and my grade every time was either a 20% or a 0%. I didn’t get a warning because I did the class work which was a big portion of my grade but I didn’t take responsibility for my homework or reading assignments. I didn’t fail any terms but I just didn’t do good on quizzes. Luckily there were only two tests the whole year which was Mid-term and Finals. When Mid-terms came around I studied hard but It didn’t work well for me.

I also played two sports at this time. I played soccer in the fall and then basketball in the winter. I quit soccer because it wasn’t as important to me as basketball and I didn’t have time to get my work done. But basketball season started and I was still floating to just get a passing grade. Practice was every day from 3:30–5:30. But I would usually get home around 6:45–7:00. So that gave me little time to do my work and sleep. I didn’t do much homework because I was so tired and would just fall asleep or give up on it. But I eventually got it done by doing it all last second. Basketball was a priority to me and there were multiple times my mom would tell me to skip basketball because she knew I was tired and that I had homework to do but I never listened to her because I loved the sport. Basketball became a priority in life for me and I cared about more than I did for myself.

I didn’t fail any terms but I just didn’t do well on quizzes. Luckily there were only two tests the whole year which was Mid-term and Finals. When Mid-terms came around I studied hard but that still wasn’t enough for me. I scored a 58 on the test and this is when everything went bad. My coach told me for a week that I had to do tutoring with my English teacher but my mom didn’t think it was enough and she eventually made me quit the team and go to tutoring every day after school. It was the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. Especially as a freshman where I have the rest of my high school years ahead of me. The method of “bullsh*tting did not help me in any way at all. It only made things harder in the end.

My mom did not care what anyone said, my coach tried talking to her, my English teacher even tried to convince her that she would help me out, but nothing would change my mom’s mind. Although I had to quit the one thing I love the most it really prepared me and made me get my priorities straight I just wished I could’ve went back and actually did what I needed to get a better grade so I could keep playing but it has an outcome.

During my junior year, I had a conversation with my mom that really clicked for me and made me think about being responsible for myself. It was the first year I’ve been captain, also the first year that only a junior had been captain. My mom said she wasn’t going to take me off the team again because she knows how much I love the sport but she wanted me to responsible for my own actions and my own work. She wanted to trust me as much as she could as long as I had good grades and took care of balancing my work and basketball. These words really hit me to think about what’s important in my life. Now I don’t wish that I could go back to change my grade because I would never understand what it means to balance out sports and school work.