Home > Uncategorized > Entry for July 14, 2008

Entry for July 14, 2008

I was thinking about the New York State Regents Exams today. I was considering my math. My younger big brother had to be talking about me when he said dad was good at math. No, daddy wasn’t. He was uneducated. He hunted and fished.
I wasn’t bad, though. I did fairly well in 7th grade algebra and I understood the equations involved with all of the shapes except the trapezoid and parallogram in 8th grade geometry. But in 9th grad things started to get difficult.
We had a very good teacher, my first male math teacher, in a man named Mr. Baer. He could have done more I think I remember him saying, except for the demand of the Regents Exams. The entire year in N.Y. is centered around our passing, indeed, our doing well on those exams. Our college futures we were told depended on our performance on those tests. I never passed even one of them.
I see now it is mandatory that the English exam be passed before N.Y. state school children can graduate high school. Incredible.
I had my problems in school in Florida, too. Although the 11th grade was a bit different in Florida, the math appeared to be a lot like my 7th grade math and my English class was discussing a book I had had to study in 10th grade. They gym didn’t appear to be as brand spanking new as the one I had know in the north. I was able to skip a lot of gym classes. I only arrived in March. Anyway I did well and was much heralded for speaking out against the Vietnam War and school dress code.
The next year was a bit more difficult with a change in subjects and teachers. British Literature totally evaded me. There was no Lennon/McCartney music included in that class. The Rolling Stones didn’t relate in any way.
In Florida gym is not required all 4 years and the language they study is Spanish and is also only required for 3 years. I was offered some electives in creative writing instead of the gym and spanish courses. I might well have done better with a bit of spanish although I assume a spanish class at the senior level would have been quite difficult.
In my junior year there was a standardized test on which I did very well. It was called the Florida Senior Placement Test and it was all about going to college. If you didn’t get 300 on the placement test you couldn’t go to a 4 year university like UF, FSU or the University of Miami. I got a 431 out of a possible 498, I believe was the perfect score.
I did well on another test in community college. In an SO class I was offered a steak dinner if I could match the score of the teacher on the Watson-Glazier Test of Critical Thinking. I did it. I won. And I was the guest of the teacher and his wife at a nice little steak house outside of town called Art’s. It was one of the highlights of my scholastic career.

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