School has taught me many things.
I know how to add logarithms and how to write a four page essay on Animal Farm. I could be the first to tell you which president was in the rough riders and the basic construction of DNA.
I am smart!
But five credits of math can't solve the y when x equals suicide. All of my knowledge from the classics that we read in English can't help me decipher the note my friend left me.
All of the Punnet squares we completed in science can't give me the genetics that caused depression. None of the history in the world could have prepared me for the future.
I know many things!
I can tell you the formulas to find the speed of the bullet and its circumference but I can't tell you why it didn't stay in the gun.
I have an A in math!
I can tell you the angle from where the gun was fired and I can give you an equation to calculate the number of pills but I can't tell you the variables to the rest of the equation for solving y.
I have an A in English!
I can tell you the three reasons for writing a nonfiction piece but I can't tell you the reasons for why they left.
I have an A in science!
I can identify the multiple phases of mitosis but I can't tell you the phases my friends went through for depression.
I'm good at school! I'm fast to learn!
I can calculate the amount of bleach that they found in his body from ounces to cups but I can't tell you the amount of pain he was in.
Equations and word problems are a breeze!
I can tell you the amount of force her body had when she kicked out the chair but I can't tell you that I saw it coming.
I'm one of the top students in my class!
I can tell you the number of bones in the human body but I can't tell you the number of scars that lined his arms. I can predict what happens next in the book but I never predicted this.
I learned about the Trail of Tears but never how to stop the Niagara Falls that somehow never stopped pouring from my friend's eyes.
I discovered who I am!
I learned that an A means you're smart and that nobody likes you if you're dumb. I learned that grades are all you are in a class.
It doesn't matter if you don't have time to study because you have two siblings to babysit and friends to talk away from the edge.
I learned responsibility!
It doesn't matter if you tried your best taking a test over material you never heard about. I learned that all I would amount to was the grades I was handed at the end of the year.
I learned about stress!
I was taught that stress was normal and it was a sign you were doing something right. I was taught that if you didn't get a good grade, you weren't trying hard enough.
I learned about my body!
A year later, I learned that you had to be smart and pretty. Instead of just good grades, it was a size six waist line and a near failing grade for your chest size.
I learned about character!
Your weight had to be an acute angle and you had try to practice incomplete dominance in your make up. I learned that everyone only cared about your surface area and not the minerals beneath it.
It stopped being about the chemical reactions and the calcium deposits inside and more about the numbers and calculations that created the shell.
I learned the water cycle and the different forms of precipitation but I can't explain why I felt like it was always raining.
I know the different blood types but I don't know why she shared hers with the linoleum.
I learned about society!
I know the physical differences between a man and a woman's body but I don't know why one is less than the other.
I learned about Sex Ed!
I know the different types of reproduction but I don't know why men are encouraged to have sex and women learn abstinence.
I learned about shame!
I learned the difference between female and male genitalia but I don't know why I should be ashamed of what I was born with.
I know the antonym of yes but I don't know why it means nothing when it comes to sex.
I know the chemical balances in the brain and how they work but I don't know why it's a victim's fault when the attacker can't control their dopamine cravings.
I know the reason for breasts but I don't know why they're frowned upon and I really don't know why they're associated with consent.
I can tell you the different pigments that make up the color of your shirt but I can't tell you what it has to do with rape.
I can tell you that each snowflake is different but I can't tell you why different is wrong.
I can tell you about the chemicals released in your brain when you're in love but I don't know why two men can't feel that for each other.
I can tell you about heterozygous and homozygous genes but I can't tell you why it's wrong in society for two people to be homozygous.
I can tell you your body's reaction to love but I can't tell you how a man and a woman's love is different from two men or two women loving each other.
I can tell you how babies are formed but I can't tell you the word for feeling like you were born in the wrong body.
I can tell you all of the derogatory words and racism we read about but I can't tell you why it's still okay to call someone a demeaning word because they're different from you.
I learned not to shout out in class.
I learned to be quiet.
I learned that I had to ask permission to have basic rights.
I learned that I wasn't allowed to speak unless it was spouting equations. I learned that I was to be seen and not heard. I learned to stand by quietly and to follow directions on a print out.
I learned that my opinions and feelings should not be expressed and that they were wrong. I learned to do whatever the teacher said.
that school was a safe environment, even when it was hell on earth. I learned that school was a place of oppression, bullying, self harm, and suicide but was never taught how to deal with it.
After all, everything I would ever amount to was the letters on the paper I received at the end of the year.
School taught me many things.