How to Jink High School GPA (old school)

After a singularly disappointing student/parent/teacher conference with my assigned freshman adviser, Mrs. "Sarge" Tregillis (she of the incarcerated husband; she who broke up a food fight in the cafeteria once by wielding a 2 x 4, and, yes, taught MARTIAN CHRONICLES in Honors Freshman English (what are we, 11?)), my Dad and I made a lunch date at Wendy's with some legal pads, black Pilot fine line felt tip pens, and the curriculum.

There was a scholarship for the incoming Freshman with the highest test scores.  Three students tied in the 99th percentile; only one of these was male, so he got the scholarship.

There were three tracks, and the Honors track was weighted, which meant that Bs counted as As in other courses, such as those required by the State, like "Health" and "Consumer Science."

I had been taking private French lessons since 3rd grade.  During 8th grade, we'd covered the French I textbook.  I was elevated to French II.  French II was opposite the Freshman Science course, so I took Sophomore Science (Biology).  French would be my first key.

There was a minor furor about this, even though in the public schools Bio was a Freshman course.  The school Principal, then a nun, told the parents at some meeting that "he" (meaning me), was an exceptional student.  Parents calmed down.

During the summer, I would take a History class.  This meant that Sophomore year, I would take weighted Science (Anatomy/Physiology), weighted French III, and no History, so that I could double-up on Math, and take both Geometry and weighted Algebra II.  Junior year, I would take Math IV (basically trig/pre-calc), French IV, and the normal etc.  By the end of Senior year, then, I would have taken every single weighted class available, and even if I got some Bs, would have a greater than 4.0 average.  I got to take Pottery as my first? only? elective. No wait, I took some social work-during-study-hall course that had me going to what passes as a sidewalk cafe in my hometown for lunch before being a TA at a grade school.

Thanks, Dad.  Even in a terrible school with no AP, no CLEP advisement, nada, we did it.


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