Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion

The Daily Prompt asks: “Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!”.

This is an interesting question. Even as a German, I´d say that German was at times complicated but not that I had problems to write or speak in German but I always had the feeling that you would need a master degree in Latin first to understand the latin terms which describes German grammar rules. They did attack us with so much Latin terms that I sometimes started to wonder if they want to teach us our native language German or more about Latin. I always have been a practical learner and I hated theory pretty much. The results were clear when they asked us in a test about German grammar rules as I failed usually hard to describe or understand all that Latin terms. The results were even more clear when we had to write a German essay as I got best grades when I wrote one. At times it was confusing and boring at the same time and sometimes it was quite interesting. I think that describes very well why I just got an average rating. Here in Germany we are graded from 1 to 6 and 1 is the best grade while 6 is the worst grade. I have a 3 in German on my leaving certificate.

I am not sure why but I enjoyed English pretty much. I remember that I was the only one who had most of the vocabulary memorized before anyone else. I even remember that I participated pretty much in English oral exercises and I also answered many questions in English even in some hilarious situations. Some day I was a little bit distracted and talked with a friend and the English teacher came to us and pointed with her fingers at me and said “Dennis, shut up!”. I remember that I thought it would be great to show my teacher how well and impulsively I can already respond in English. I answered “Self!” and she was not impressed. The situation ended with a discussion and I told her that I just wanted to answer on the same level and in the same language. Well, she demanded that I leave the room which means I was sitting for an hour in the school floor. Even months after this incident she was still unforgiving and ignored me all the time. It might be that this is the reason why I just got an average 3 in English on my leaving certificate but I guess I was better than on the paper. The teacher just hated me, I guess.

In Math it was the other way around. I hated Math and there was nothing that I hated more. I completely failed in every test and got the worst grade unless we had geometry as a topic, which was one of my favorite subjects in Math. But again, it shows that I am a practical and visual learner and that you can annoy me with theory. All in all I would say that I was the worst student in the Math class and it is astonishing that I got a 3 on the leaving certificate. I expected the worst case but it seems that the teacher was so friendly that he didn´t want me to leave the school with a very bad Math grade.

I also got a 3 in Religion and philosophy. There is not much to say about it. I can´t even remember a single moment as Religion has always bored me to hell. I think the overall grade was a gift by God (laughing) as I can´t remember that I was willing to learn anything about religion. Maybe I compensate the grade with philosophy. I think that was a little bit more interesting to me.

Now talking about Biology. I got a 3 here too and I don´t even know why. I would have expected a better grade as I remember that Biology classes were quite interesting. Maybe I didn´t get a better grade as I was the class clown. Who knows.

But I didn´t talk about my best and worst grades yet. I just talked about the subjects where I got average grades. Let´s talk about better ones…

There was a subject that was called translated like World-knowledge and I guess you would call it maybe History in english? It was basically about any political and country specific subjects and happenings on our earth. I graded with a 2 and to be honest, I would have expected a 1 as this subject did fascinate me pretty much. I was already reading about politics when I was young and this is maybe why I loved this subject in school too.

Chemistry was a great subject in school too. I loved all the experiments and the fact that this was a subject that was practical. I was able to shine here. I got 2 in my leaving certificate. I would have expected a 1 here too but I guess it is also a little bit my fault that I didn´t get the best grade. I remember that a friend and me did behave mischievously sometimes. We did our own experiments sometimes (never give two class clowns tools and chemical substances) and the teacher didn´t like it.

Then we had Physics and that was a subject where I could shine too. It was mainly a practical subject and I love practical learning. And the fact that I was interested in electronics and so on, did make my life easier. I got a 2 here too which was ok.

In Sports I got a 2 as well. I am not sure what kind of super hero you had to be to get a 1 but I had the feeling that I was pretty athletic in any case and nevermind what kind of exercises we did. I bet a 1 was not possible and the reason was probably again that I loved pranks.

I also had a 2 in music. I played already guitar at this time and the only reason why I didn´t get a 1, could be that I hate theory and that includes music theory.

I got my best grades in informatics. Here I finally got a 1, the best grade. I was grown up with computers and I didn´t only play games. I experimented with a lot of things. A friend and me, we started to learn coding (at this time QBasic and Visual Basic) which was a lot of fun. I also had other interests related to the computer subject and it was clear that I would get the best grade in this subject at school. I think this was the only class subject where I really kept my mouth shut unless the teacher asked me anything or if I had something to say related to the subject. No pranks here? No. The computer screen was maybe much more interesting than any friend or any shenanigans.

But I don´t want to withheld my worst grades. I shouldn´t miss them because they were questioned by the Daily Prompt…

As said, it definitely could have been Math. I hated Math but the teacher was friendly with me. It also could have been the Religion subject because it was so boring, but God maybe influenced my teacher (laughing), which is why I didn´t get what I deserved. But apart from these two subjects…

I was not good in Arts. I got a 4 in Arts and in Germany a 4 is not really good, even if a 6 would be worse. A 3 is still ok or the average but a 4 is already one step too far in the wrong direction. Today I would say that I am interested in Arts but rather in Digital Arts like Photography, Graphic Design and so on. But in the school, we learned how to knit, sewing, how to build things with paper and so on. The teacher was a granny. Nothing about grannies but why to hell did nobody tell this woman that there are not only girls in the class? Why did nobody stop her to teach boys sewing? And why did nobody tell her about the real definition of Arts? Anyway, I was so good in knitting, that I was able to prevent that I got a 6 grade in Arts.

The last one. French. I love languages and in one class slot, we could choose between French, Handcrafts, a Nature or Biology related class and some other things. I decided to learn a third language and selected French. Not only because I have been several times in France when I was young. I also thought that the French language did sound very interesting. Well, I noticed it was not as easy as I thought it would be. I had not much problems with the vocabulary but again with Grammar terms and this time not in my native language. It was still fun but pretty difficult in my opinion. I just got a 4 here too.

That means I got a lot of average grades, a few very good ones, some bad ones but if I count them all together to calculate the average grade, the result is 2.6. Well, average grade.

2 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion

  1. Nice post Dennis, I hadn’t pictured you as a class clown:). Home Science, which was what we called knitting, sewing, cooking etc was one of my worst subjects. I couldn’t learn them the way the teacher wanted although my mother was able to teach me enough to get by on. I think it is fine for boys to learn some sewing, you might have to sew a button on one day, I do agree you should also have had other subjects in that course. In my high school boys were offered metal work and woodwork. Some girls wanted to do that too but were told “No. You are doing Home Science” no choices for us.This was in the 1970s of course. These days boys do get taught to cook at school but not sure about the sewing.

    1. Hehe sadly I was a class clown. However, I still have the impression that I was not too bad in school. I just had problems with concentration over hours and sometimes I needed this brake and talked with friends or we made pranks. In some cases the teachers were fair and they gave me what I deserved but I was also able to put full energy into a subject and the grades for physics, english, sports and chemestry were really unfair. Even my mother expected I would get a 1 in these subjects 🙂 But well, a 2 is also not bad but I really don´t understand the 3 in english.

      I agree. I didn´t have problem with the fact that we got taught sewing and so. It´s good for motor skills, and it is practical knowledge for later as you said. It was fun the first weeks but it took too long and I expected to learn abour painting and drawing which would have fascinated me more as I love creative activities. It´s as you said.

      You are right with the wrong course plan. The plan of choice was a little bit unlucky. But well, if you say you didn´t have a choice, that is even worse. But as you said, you are talking about the 70´s and things have changed today, I guess too.

      You mentioned cooking… I think that would have been in my short list too. But I remember that it was an optional course in the same slot as french and I selected french. I think it was a little bit unlucky what kind of choice they did put in the optional course slot. It was a hard decision, I remember 😀

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