How I Got Smart

Published: 2021-09-16 17:45:10
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The essay “How I Got Smart” by Steve Brody explains how as a young boy he hated school until his sophomore year. Brody’s grades until then were horrible and upsetting to his father to see (152-153). Then he found a passion for knowledge and education through a girl named Debbie whom he fell in love with, was much smarter. Brody gets an idea and purchases an encyclopedia (first volume) to win her love by being smart (153).
On several occasions Brody impresses Debbie and even impressed his class with all the knowledge he gained from the encyclopedia (153-155). In the end, Brody discovers that Debbie was in a relationship with a hockey player from another school with a C+ average. Brody felt hurt and betrayed but in time he recovered from his crush on Debbie. As time went on she became a fleeting memory that had moved from the neighborhood to another school (155). Brody realizes that his original incentive to learn was gone and that he developed a thirst for knowledge (156).
I really liked this story because I had the same experience in my freshman year of college while attending Naugatuck Valley Community College. I learned about certain things that motivated me to do better. I was having great difficulty in my Introductory to Algebra class. The material was very boring and the teacher would give me tests that I would fail, time and time again. I would continue in this downward spiral until I reached a point where I had to withdraw from this course. I was discouraged for a short period of time until my parents had a nice talk with me.
Their pep talk motivated me to do better and I strived to wrestle with Algebra again during the semester break. The teacher made the course interesting and fun as she had added humor to her way of teaching to get things across to the class. Because I was able to understand how the new teacher taught, I was able to apply her teaching methods more easily and to my amazement I had received an 85 on my first graded assignment. This opened my eyes and made me realize that if I keep on putting in the same amount of effort that I put in the first assignment then I could do well in this course.
When I had questions about what the teacher was educating on, she would take the extra time to help me learn it in a way that I could understand. The teacher was very courteous which would make you feel comfortable in her class. I continued to learn more and more from her. I had a positive outlook in this class and would participate a lot more than I used to. I would be eager to raise my hand to answer the questions that she put on the blackboard. Overall, this new teacher made the environment in the classroom comfortable, where I felt accepted. I now would take the time after class and go to the Academic Success area of the college.
There I would do my homework assignments and if I had difficulties with a certain subject, I would not hesitate to get help from a teacher or someone with an understanding of the topic. Throughout the remainder of this Algebra course I felt various types of motivations. These included my parent’s reassurance that I would be able to do well, the teacher in the way she taught the course and treated her students. Last but not least my own self motivation, which was my deep down desire to show myself that I can succeed and pass this course with a good grade.
I passed this Algebra class with a final score of a 79 percent average. I was very happy with this grade and so were my parents. I was now able to hold my head up high with a new positive attitude. This experience had changed everything in my school life. Ever since I took the algebra class, I have been putting in a lot more time and effort in my school work. If it hadn’t been for my parents and algebra teacher, I would not be as motivated as I am today.

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