The day the underachiever in me achieved more that I expected

I don’t remember ever being an ‘A’ student but the closest I ever came to getting 100% on an assignment was in my high school Geography class. It wasn’t my favourite subject but the assignment must have really inspired me to want to do well. We had to report our findings in a speech about a specific topic and create a three sided display board with specific headings related to our topic. My topic was farming in Canada.

I didn’t think I would find this topic to be so interesting but the more research I did, the more fascinated I became. I must have been so enthusiastic and passionate about the topic because I took so much time to make an attractive display board as well as taking the time to make cue cards and memorize everything I was going to say.

I still don’t understand how I was able to stand up in front of the class and deliver my speech when I think about how shy I used to be. I remember every single other person in my class had to read directly from their notes which made their speeches kind of boring to sit through. It was part of the grading criteria to present our topic without reading from our notes.

I presented my speech with such passion that it flowed out effortlessly. When I was done presenting, the teacher asked the class if they had any questions. This one guy, who always came off as a know-it-all smart ass just had to ask me an obnoxious question that I wasn’t even sure how to answer. In that moment, I felt humiliated because I thought I wasn’t smart enough to answer his question but the whole class seemed just as confused and I remember my teacher telling him that his question was irrelevant.

When we finally got our marks back for that assignment, I was shocked to discover that I got 99%. Everyone was asking each other about their marks and I remember a bunch of my classmates congratulated me on my success (more so for getting a better mark on my assignment than the obnoxious, know-it-all, smart ass in the class) but it was the first time I achieved more than I ever thought I was capable of.

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