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Learner story archives

September 15, 1997

The following story was written by Darlene Snook from Newfoundland. Darlene didn’t get much of an education when she was a young girl. As an adult, she was nervous and uncomfortable about going back to school. Now she says she knows more than she ever did before, thanks to ABE teachers who explain things well.

Afraid of Going Back to School

by Darlene Snook

When I was a little girl going to school, I was not very smart. I was a slow learner. When I knew I had a test the next day I would study for it, but soon after I closed the book I would forget everything. I used to fail my tests a lot, but the teachers were not helpful at all. They didn't sit down with me and explain what I was doing wrong. When the end of the year came around for the report cards, they always put me ahead a year. It was like that until I was fifteen years old. Then I quit school.

I was out of school for a year and I started to look for work. After a while I got a job in the fish plant. It was better than going to school. I worked there for eight years. Then they closed the fishery and I ended up on the Atlantic Groundfish Strategy Program (TAGS). I had to go to school or lose my money. It was a big decision for me to make because I was afraid that school was going to be the same as before. I asked myself, "What wil the teachers be like?" I made up my mind and decided to go back. I started in October and school is not what I thought it would be.

[This story was taken with permission from a collection of stories written by adult learners, entitled A Newfoundland Spell, p.21.]

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