Toronto Mike

How I Passed Grade Ten French


I hated taking French in school.  My wife embraced our second language and is bilingual, but I had no interest.  Despite only requiring grade nine French to graduate high school, for some reason or another I ended up taking grade ten French.  This was a mistake.

I resented the class, didn't study and found myself in serious danger of flunking my first class ever.  As the semester progressed, things got dimmer and dimmer.  With the writing on the wall, I pulled a stunt I now regret.  I told the teacher I was suicidal.

I knew what I was doing.  I was daring the poor French teacher to fail a suicidal teenager.  It was a desperate manuever, and before I knew it she had contacted my parents and guidance counsellor.  My guidance counsellor called an emergency meeting to discuss my feelings.  I remember trying to convince her that I was actually pretty stable and not even contemplating anything drastic.

Entering the final exam for that class, I needed a 72% to pass.  I got a 34% on the exam and came to grips with the fact I wasn't going to get a credit for grade ten French.  When my mark was posted, I had to look twice to believe what I saw.  I had received a mark of 50% on the nose.  I had passed, I got the credit and I never took French again.

I have no doubt as to why I passed that course.  I challenged the teacher to flunk a suicidal teenager and she couldn't do it.  It was an awful thing to do, but it worked brilliantly.

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