GPA Never had a Truer Meaning

By Madison Alvarado, Intuitive Writing Project student

Grade Point Average,

Three letters, one number.

4.0 Never good enough,

3.0 Why doesn’t she try harder?

2.0 She may as well give up on college,

1.0 Was she dropped as a child?

Because society has decided that only numbers can measure our value

And only letters can determine our worth.

So we must all play into a system that rewards so few and crushes so many.

And I’m sitting here, wondering when GPA turned into

Grief, Pain, and Agony,

When GPA turned into

Grating Pressure and Anxiety,

When GPA turned into

Good for Parents’ Approval,

When GPA turned into

Good enough? Probably not for Acceptance.

Because GPA is no longer three simple letters or a single number,

GPA is a lifestyle,

GPA is a bully,

But GPA doesn’t want your lunch money, GPA wants your happiness.

GPA is a vacuum here to suck out all of the hope,

GPA is a murderer here to kill all of the dreams,

GPA is a thief of youth and carelessness.

And I’m sitting here wondering when I let her in,

Because I don’t remember leaving the front door open

Or the back door unlocked.

But she must have found the spare key hidden under the mat—

How else could she have snuck into my thoughts

And locked herself in the heart of my house?

I don’t remember when GPA turned into

“God, Pass the Alcohol”

For every kid at my school;

All I know is that I’m drowning

as I wait for someone to throw me a lifeline and tell me I’m good enough.

1 Response

  1. Sue Boudreau

    Dearest Madison, yes you are! I am hoping that you will not let the pressure crush who you are and define you. I will be sharing this with OIS staff tomorrow along with Veronica’s 24/7 and the rather shocking Orinda News story on the MHS survey that came out in this month’s edition. A book to validate your point is ‘Beyond Measure’ by Vicki Albeles, a local author/director of the Race to Nowhere. It just came out. We are thinking about block scheduling as one way to calm things down for our students. Come see me sometime soon. Good things are starting to happen…


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