I Am Who I Say I Am
I was on a high, I was so happy that I could at least make my mum relax to know that I had made the right decision in leaving sixth form to go to college. A grade like ‘distinction’ and ‘good pass’ would definitely have her overlook the terrible letter of a ‘U’ on my CSE maths paper.
I turned up at my high school well dressed and my first year certificate in my hand. There were a few essential subject teachers I had to see… RE, Maths, History (as Miss Harper always was nice to me), Home Economics and Mr Pratt, more so to show him I DID do well and also to apologise and admit he was right, I did need maths.
I ended up giving the class a sort of lecture letting them know that by trying to fit in and hang with the cool crowd, was actually what caused me to fail maths. I explained what I thought about maths and the real world, that I thought being a chef was just about cooking and had no idea how much maths was a key part. They listened attentively as I continued and afterwards advised them that the only way forward was to just get on with it, learn well, listen and do their best in exams as its a rough world out there. I felt so good. Mr Pratt smiled and said “I new you were a good girl at heart, well done and keep up the good work.”
No longer did I hear their negative voices telling me what I would be, instead I felt rather important, grown up, I was asked to speak to a class, wow me, and I really think I made a difference, well I hope I did.
Seeing Mr Pratt made me feel even more confident to go see the other teachers. My R.E teacher had no hope for me, I just had to find her. There she was in the staff room, I called over to her and she was shocked to see me. Miss got up and came over with such a smug look on her face that I was about to wipe off. “Maria, what brings you here today? needing a reference for work?” This was It, the door way was open for me to score a knockout… ‘No actually, I go to fulltime college and got a distinction and ‘good pass’ in my first year. I came to let Miss Gardner know as I’m studying City & Guilds 706 1/2 Cooking for the Catering Industry.’ Oh the grin that automatically grew on my face was immeasurable, “Well imagine that, who would’ve thought ay, good for you, I secretly knew you had it in you, you just needed to dig deep and find it for yourself. I hope this means you have chosen your friends much more wisely than you did in school. I must say I am proud of your success, keep it up.” ‘Thank you Miss.’ and with that I said goodbye and walked away with my eyes popped open in disbelief… did I just hear right?
My goodness, the two teachers I was cheeky to the most, the two that told me if I’d continued in my path I would amount to nothing… their words back then stung and I guess its what pushed me not to be who they said I’d be, but be who I know I am. I am bright, creative, polite, kind and eager to learn and do well. They knew all along, wow, they really did believe in me, maybe it was I that needed to believe in me, that without trying to fit in with ‘the crowd’ I can be anything I wanted to be.