It Wasn't on a Test

It Wasn't On a Test

 

Dearest professor,

Ask me about math 

And I can recite 

Formulas

Solve equations

Even imaginary numbers

 

Ask me about history

I can say when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue

And other events from 1492

I can tell you the power struggle

Between the rich and the poor

And everything about our government 

Right down to the core

 

Ask me about science

I can discuss different theories

Study the elements

Learn the facts

Find the pH

 

But ask me how I'm doing

And you'll get a blank look

As I search through my mind

Trying to remember what test that was on

Ask me to describe myself 

And I'll stutter

Making stuff up

Trying to share something I know nothing about

 

Because 

I have to learn school

Before I learn about myself

I have to make the grade

Before I make myself calm 

I have to remember formulas

Before I can remember that this is the best four years of my life 

 

I know math

I know history

I know science

I know that during "the best four years of my life"

I won't learn anything about myself

Or how to have the best life  

 

But the grade is worth

The bags under my eyes

The grade is worth 

The exhaustion 

The grade is worth

The fights I have with myself 

The grade is worth

Everything 

 

Because I'm worth

What the grade is worth

And anything less than perfect 

Is worthless 

 

But a human 

Is more than a grade

A human 

Is more than school

Right?

 

We need a change

Because everything has become overwhelming

Hurting the young

Teaching them to hate learning

That's not what it should be

 

At least that's what I think

But I don't know 

Because it wasn't on a test

This poem is about: 
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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