While my sisters were the school toppers, I was always an average student, throughout our school time. Even though school created a barrier for me by reminding me that I should be ‘more like’ my sisters, our parents never did.
I remember how our mother used to take us to an ice cream parlor to celebrate our promotion to the next standard, no matter what our marks and divisions were because everyone deserves an ice cream cone, right? Unfortunately, not anymore.
Last month, I went to a renowned ice cream parlor, Giani’s, to treat my niece after she came back from her school. While I was ordering at the counter, she came to me and asked “Would I get a free ice cream scoop if I get 90% marks?” I was a little confused and I told her that I would treat her, no matter what her marks are. She shook her head and took me out of the shop.
When we stepped out, there was a roll-up standee that read, “Got good marks? Get a free ice cream scoop from Giani’s. Bring your report card with more than 90% marks.”
I was confused and pissed because how is this alright? What about the students who worked really hard and got passing marks? I mean, if someone with 90% marks comes and gets free ice cream and tells it to the student who passed with 89% marks, how crushed would the latter feel?
I always loathed how my teachers compared my average marks with my sister’s first division. However, my parents kept telling me that it doesn’t matter. But, all parents are not the same. With more and more pressure – from teachers, friends and parents – a student will unnecessarily burden themselves with competitiveness.
Dear Giani’s, as someone who has celebrated several birthdays, summer weekends and accomplishments at your outlet, don’t create this barrier and pressure on students. It’s just bizarre to think that a single ice cream scoop could make a young mind think that they are insufficient. It’s just not fair!
Each student has something unique to contribute to the world and that is beyond some numbers that are scribbled on their report cards.