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Hello, Rola, Bonjour, Gu ten Tag, or however one may say "hello". My name is ***** . At some point in my teenage years, I dreaded 11th Grade Mathematics. The way it was portrayed by everything and everyone made it seem like a nightmare. I was light to be so nervous. And at the same time, I was wrong.

Why? I'll tell you why.

It all began with my Junior year at Jane Addams Business Career Center(JABCC). I was assigned to Algebra 2, the teacher of said class being a Ms. Radovic. She was and is a friendly teacher, with a mighty Russian accent. After an exercise we did on our first day which pertained to our goals, as well as an entire week of bonding exercises known as Boot Camp, my journey into Algebra 2 began.

I and my classmates were given a pretest, the purpose of which was to test our skills in the Mathematical field. I performed horrendously. It was painful. Duling my Freshman and Sophomore years, math was only a small hassle, a pebble in the road, if you will. Ms. Radovic assured me I had nothing to worry about. Anon, how foolish I was to believe that. When I got my report card for 1st Quarter, I found that I had gotten an "A" or "B" in every class, but when I looked at my Algebra 2 class, I found a "D". A "D"! My new Achilles' Heel cost me the Honor Roll, which I had gotten every quarter in the past 2 years!

Once 1st Quarter had ended, Ms. Radovic gave me a chance to improve. I was emailed by none other than her one day. She had given me an a usemame and password for an educational website known as KhanAcademy. This proved to be even more tedious than Algebra 2 itself. It took me weeks at a time to improve in one part of Algebra 2. When 2┬░ct Quarter ended, I found out that I did pass my final exams, but still had a "D." That was when my troubles ended.

3rd Quarter had arrived, and I struggled as always. However, things were different.

I struggled less and less as time went on. Algebra 2 became easier to grasp, and I kvetched less and less. The grades on my tests and quizzes had changed after going to KhanAcademy for so long. I had found a "C+" on my report card for 3rd Quarter. My change was slight, but genuine nonetheless.

Then the SAT and ACT tests rolled my way. In spite of my greater efforts, the Mathematics portion proved to be quite profound. At that point, it seemed like my improvements were in vain. Things took a tum for the worst when I took the math

equivalent to my finals for 2nd Semester. A part of me claimed it was abundantly clear that I would fail, and be held back due to my academic Kryptonite. Yet another part of me told me to have faith in what I learned, not to be so negative. With that, I pushed through and strained my brain until every question on the exam was answered.

Ms. Radovic confronted me later on. My heart raced like the hearts of Maury Povich's fans When they are waiting for his final announcement regarding the episode on their TV. Apparently, I had passed the final. I spent a bit of my summertime nervous, pacing my bedroom floor as I remembered the challenges I faced in 4th Quarter. My mother talked with me one day, claiming that my fourth report card came in the mail. I retained my "C+" !

I now realize that getting an education is very difficult, but the tedium that it conceives cannot break us. I was on the verge of failing Algebra 2, and with Ms. Radovic's help, I managed to become a Senior. I have also heard of this Jackson fellow who also struggled with math and improved thanks to his teachers. Instead of trying to improve his grades significantly in one sitting, he did as his teachers advised him and tried to improve little by little. This was clearly a great success.

This Jackson and I are no different. We overcame our academic weaknesses and moved on to the next grade. As overbearing as our educational system is, it cannot best me, Jackson, or the students that engorge America. If a school frowned upon by Cleveland, OH can cause a student to rise in times of struggling, there is nothing America as a whole can't do. That is how I learned to adapt to new academic challenges. My current goal is to attend Cleveland State University for at least two years before transferring to Florida A&M Univeristy. I continue to improve, and as such, my dreams are far from dashed, just as the spirit of America is unbreakable.

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