WHY I FLUNKED FRESHMAN ALGEBRA

January 13th, 2006

Technically, I didn't just flunk freshman Algebra. I flunked it twice.

I then went on to withdraw from Advanced Algebra before I could actually flunk it. I got a D in Geometry. I barely squeaked by Chemistry with a C (which I only got because I blew off all of my extracurriculars—drama—and went to every single study session the poor, long-suffering teacher had).

The reason I flunked these subjects is because they were SO BORING to me that I would sit there doodling all through class. The doodles would start off innocently enough. Like maybe some fashion illustrations, like this:

–Medium: Pencil

Then, as the class became more boring, the doodles would become more elaborate, perhaps reflecting things that had actually happened to me that day:

Or sometimes I drew my friends, who hated school as much as I did, and were willing to pose, if the teacher didn't notice:

Well, maybe some of them hated school even more than I did.
–Medium: Pencil

Even later on, when I was admitted to college on the condition I took remedial math, I could not bring myself to pay attention. It's all Thad's fault:

Poor Thaddeus Tarpey, Math A.I.


Thad had long blond hair and was fond of ultimate frisbee.


God, we loved him.

And he never knew. Until now. Hi, Thad. Yes, that's why we came to all of your study sessions and never missed a class. Not because we cared about Intermediate Algebra (which, by the way, I took Pass/Fail and Passed). Oh, no. It was YOU, Thad. We ALL loved you (even some of the boys). I was the only one who drew you, though.

Sometimes, whole pictorial narratives would appear in my notebooks, instead of actual notes, like this one, of the myth of Persephone and Hades, which I found in the back of my Intermediate Algebra notebook:


Here is Persephone (right) with her mom, Demeter (left). You can tell Persephone thinks her mom is a big drag. Maybe it's because of that hat she's wearing.


One day, Persephone and her friends went swimming at some big waterfall. Persephone always carries her toga into the water with her. Who doesn't?


Persephone had no idea that hottie Hades was sitting around in the Underworld, all bummed out because he didn't have a girlfriend. No, it was just him and his extremely Freudian stalagmites (PS I never could draw men. My apologies to Thad and Hades).


The girls were having a nice picnic along the shore when from out of nowhere….


…Hades came thundering up on his chariot pulled by night-dark steeds from hell!


Persephone acted like she didn't want to go….


But she was just playing hard to get, because anything was better than hanging with Mom.


Later, when she woke up….


She realized that she was in the Underworld!


And she knew her mom was going to kill her when she found out.

This is when the teacher announced there was a test on Friday, so I had to start paying attention. So that is the end of the story. Sorry. Google Persephone if you want to know what happened next (Hint: never eat a pomegranate if a guy offers you one in the Underworld).

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that we are coming to the end of the First Official Meg Cabot Art Show. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my tortured teen existence. Perhaps now people will stop asking why I hated high school so much. Based on what was coming out of my head and hands at that time, I should think it would be perfectly obvious why I hated it so much–because it did not jibe AT ALL with the fantasy world I was living in.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

(Self-portrait–medium: Pencil, spit–that I did in Biology over the course of a week, which begs the question, In what universe did I ever hang laundry on a line? Because I have never done that in my life, in my house we had a dryer. It also shows why I have still no idea what chlorophyll is and how it works. Bye!)