The Importance of Education: I Was Left Behind

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By fourth grade I was already crashing and burning. Almost every student in my class was moving ahead in subjects that I seemed to be understanding less and less by the day. If education were a race where we all started at the same time; than I was quickly becoming the guy falling into last place. Truthfully, math was the beginning of the end for me. Even now, the feeling I get trying to solve simple math problems is one of frustration and embarrassment. I feel like I'm hitting a mental wall. Try to imagine your mind pushing past a barrier that you could not breakthrough regardless of how hard you tried. Sort of like trying to understand someone speaking to you in a foreign language with almost no previous experience. When someone asked me to solve a problem involving long division, a deep-rooted sense of insecurity would overwhelm me. I would desperately try to understand where to begin; It was the feeling of hopelessness and it only grew over time.
I slipped away from the rest of the herd around fractions and division. It's kind of funny actually; I literally began to fracture and divide from everyone else. Hephzibah Roskelly, a professor at the University of North Carolina¬-Greensboro explains the process of separation that mirrors my own: “By third or fourth grade […] you and your fellow students were “tracked” by this point, grouped into classes according to the results of standardized achievement tests.” (175) I was regurgitated into the lowest levels of math in the hopes that something would stick, but it never did. I might have had ADD or a learning disability. It's really all speculation at this point because it was never formally diagnosed. I wasn’t held back in school, but I never moved forward in math. Don't worry; t...

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