A new school meant more testing. I hated testing. It's so boring. I had two tests that first week at AIS: Reading and Math. Math was easy. Your answer is either right or wrong. So simple. They put me in High Math. So far so good. Reading was easy too. I just wrote what they asked for. I guess it wasn't enough. Mom was mad.

"Why do you always do the bare minimum that you can get away with," she said to me when the letter came back putting me in low Reading. "You barely answered the question."

"But I answered it," I said. I wasn't really sure what the problem was.

"One sentence," Mom said, "You only wrote one sentence."

"But it answered the question."

Mom shook her head and walked away with the paper in her hand.

The next morning she had Bola drive her to school. 

"My daughter has been reading since she was three," she said to my teacher. "She needs to be in High Reading."

"But she writes like a third grader," my teacher replied.

"That was a mistake. She can write better than that."

"I'm sorry, but with writing like that she has to go into Low Reading."

"No. We're paying for this school, I will not accept that."

Back and forth they went. My teacher insisted that my writing wasn't good enough. My mom insisted that I was just tired when I'd taken the test. 

Finally my teacher said, "All right, we'll try her out in high reading. But if she struggles than she goes into Low."

"Fine. Thank you," my mom said to her. 

To me she said in a low voice, "Don't be so lazy. Live up to your abilities."

I nodded, but didn't really understand what she was talking about. What was the problem? I'd answered the questions, what more did they want?

Asha SundararamanComment