Disclaimer: You may have heard this story before. If so, I apologize – after almost six years of daily updates, I sometimes forget what I’ve written and therefore repeat myself. I don’t think I’ve told this story in its entirety though, so I will now tell you my shameful secret!
Ready? Here we go:
For all my verbal skills and penchant for using seven slyly descriptive words where a smaller one would definitely suffice, I’ve been hiding a fairly large secret from all but my closest friends. My own family doesn’t even know; so deep is my cavern of secrecy. However, in the spirit of the season I now invite you to explore my depths. Won’t you please come a-spelunkin’ in my caves?
I haven’t graduated high school.
I know, I know – in the grand scheme of the universe, this isn’t really all that shocking. Thousands of people haven’t graduated high school, and they don’t write auto exposés about it on the internet. Why am I so very special that I think my non-graduation is any different? Just who the hell do I think I am, anyway?
For starters, I
used to be have always been one of the “good” kids. Our kind never dreamed about dropping out or being anything less than perfect in every way. We lived for parental approval, and teachers always left the class in our charge when stepping out because we were just that smart and good and well-behaved and all had excellent heads on our excellent, over-achieving shoulders. I was one of these people; extra curricular activities out the ass and enough volunteer work to be up for sainthood. Yes, we were nerds of every flavour, and old people adored us because we were just so very GOOD.
So, what happened? How can I have fallen from grace? Why did I not receive the standard form letter from the Premier congratulating me on my successful completion of high school? Why do I not have a diploma that at the very least would get me an excellent job manning the fry vat at the Burger King on the corner?
I did not graduate high school on a technicality.
Just over one month before my high school days were to be put behind me, I was called down to the principal’s office. The school administration had been going through all the graduate’s transcripts, and had discovered something odd about mine. I had more than enough credits to graduation – 22 over the required 52, as a matter of fact – but I was missing one thing: I did not take Consumer Education in Junior High.
In grade 9, I desperately wanted to take an additional arts course that was only offered in one block. Unfortunately, that created a schedule conflict with my required Consumer Education class, a government-mandated course that all BC students must take in order to graduate. I seriously did not see how spending an entire semester learning how to write a cheque would help me in the real world, so I went to speak with our guidance counselors, who called a meeting with the principal.
Given my excellent school record and shining example of what every loser nerd ought to want to be, the principal decided that I would be given an exception so I could take my band class and not the required Consumer Education course. He explained that the course was outdated and on its way out anyway, and by the time I graduated high school it would no longer be a mandatory requirement for graduation. He wrote a note to have my schedule changed, congratulated me on being such an excellent student and hapless loser (albeit with a giant rack), and sent me on my delighted way.
Fast forward to May of my graduation year. Consumer Education had NOT been removed from the required course list, and as a result, I would not be graduating high school. I begged and pleaded and cried, but rules were rules – I missed a necessary class, and I would not successfully pass Grade 12. With one month left in the school year, there was not enough time for me to take the class and I was utterly, fantastically, fucked. 74 credits and my extra curricular activities be damned! No graduation for Kimli!
I managed to keep this a secret from my parents. The graduation ceremony things had already been printed, and my name was on it – so they got to see me on the stage with the rest of my class, but that was it. If you check with the government of BC, it will show that I did not graduate high school. I didn’t drop out; I just didn’t finish on a technicality. In disgust and anarchy, I didn’t bother trying to fix what I saw as the School Board’s failing and have since let the issue lie, only bringing it up when I have nothing else to talk about (as demonstrated here).
I am a total fraud and a failure.
I have, however, graduated college with three designations. No high school, but definitely college. I don’t even know how I managed to get in, but I wisely chose not to question the decision and just went about my total fraud and utter failure of a way. My secret haunts me to this day, with my great job and frankly excellent life – it’s all built on a technicality of a lie, and one day the past is going to catch up with me and it’ll all be stripped away and replaced with a paper hat and a salt shaker.
And that’s my secret. I’ll understand if you totally hate me now.
13 thoughts on “kimli’s secret shame”
YOU BEAT THE SYSTEM!!! a-HA now the system as we know it will colapse and you will rule the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s awesome! And you’re so not alone – my story is very similar.
In Alberta Phys-Ed and CALM (Career and Life Management) were required courses. I hate phys ed and had spent my entire school career as an honour student getting much less recognition than any idiot who played volleyball or soccer each year at the awards ceremony, so I refused to take it in high school.
With CALM, I enrolled in my grade 12 year after I had moved out and was living an hour away from home so I could attend a real-non-small-town-with-actual-smart-people-school. The first assignment in the course was to create a realistic budget. Great, I thought! I was living with a roomate on my budget of $625 per month and it was a good opportunity to get it down on paper. Only, I failed the assignment with the note that my budget was not realistic. Not realistic! I had been living on it for months. I pleaded that this is what I was living on and that the expenses were accurate and offered receipts and how rather than making up fake numbers for their fake assignment I had fully embraced the foundations of the career and life management course. The teacher refused saying that he didn’t believe that anyone could live on that and maintained it was unrealistic. I dropped the course out of principal.
I still got to go to grad and get handed the blank roll and smile for the photo and such – I did the graduation ceremony back in my home town as I had gone there all but my grade 12 year and those were my peeps. I just didn’t tell them I wasn’t legit.
Now, what most people don’t realize is that you don’t need a high school diploma to go to university – you just need the prereqs. It really is all a big conspiracy to make us all take stupid courses. Heck, I even got an engineering scholarship to the U of A based on the fact that I was a woman with high sciences marks. Weu!
A few years ago though I was applying for a job within Swashbuckleco and became irrationally paranoid that they were going to find out that I hadn’t graduated high school and would fire me on the spot. The horror! At that time I discovered that there is a very cool for me loophole in the Alberta school system. Phys-ed and CALM are required courses for graduation, but they are optional for mature students. Why, I was mature! I inquired and found that in order to graduate I only needed to complete one high school credit – any credit would do – and as I was at that time in my 20’s the system would realize I now qualified to graduate and kick out a diploma.
So, I took a one credit correspondence course in web design, and with a badly made website thrown together while watching law and order one night – relaxing from our web design business, no less – I completed the conditions to graduate and a few weeks later received my certificate in the mail.
Of course, no one has ever asked to see it and I don’t feel any different. I kindof wish I was still an ungraduated bum just ’cause I like to be different, and really, it didn’t make any difference at all.
So – you’re not alone! I’m sure there are many out there with similar stories and subsequent tales of success and grandeur despite the shameful secret of education past. Thanks for sharing your tale!
Interesting… very interesting. Consumer Ed is required to graduate in the state of Illinois as well. However, (and Canada might have this too) we could take a test to get out of it. As I remember, it was a very long, grueling, hard test. Anyways, you had to get above a certain score to pass and skip having to take the class. For some reason, the test (which we were given FOUR HOURS to complete) had to be scored BY HAND. That meant the poor guidance counciler had to spend her entire day making little tic marks all over the scan-tron sheet. She added mine up while I sat in her office and came up with two points under the passing score. She decided to recount again (lucky for me) and came up with a couple points above passing score. Not please with this result, she decided to add it up again! Unluckily for me this time, becuase she was once again a few points below a passing score. So she added and re-added and double super doggy dare added- I kid you not, this went on for at least an hour! And here comes the anti-climatical ending… can you even stand it?!?!?………. She let me pass. I didn’t have to take consumer ed either, but there is a strong possibility that I didn’t really pass that wreteched test. I will never know… and it haunts me to this very day.
Your principle was an asshole. I was in a similar position, except with Social Studies 11. I took History 12 because it looked way more interesting, and figured that it would be good enough. Then, same thing, a month before graduation I was called in and they told me that I needed Social Studies 11. What?!? So they did something sneaky: they sent me down to the Social Studies 11 teacher and had him administer an “exam” : he asked me three questions (Name the current Prime Minister, Name who the Fraser River was named after, and one other I can’t remember) and then said “Congratulations, you passed Social Studies 11!” I can’t believe they wouldn’t do that for you. Jerks!
Have you asked the Ministry of Education about your current standing? How about this possibility: all students who entered Grade 11 in Sept 2004 or earlier are in the 1995 graduation requirements. You have until June 2011 to finish the 1995 graduation requirements. The only things you’re likely missing are Career and Personal Planning 11&12.. But maybe you did an equivilent course they’ll give you credit for? Just as an alternative to doing any 3 courses as an adult to get your Adult Dogwood.
I kinda like the idea of just leaving it as it is. No high school graduation, but college. Pretty nifty!
I almost didn’t. I got the horrific letter telling me “Haha, you fail at life!” … but they had failed to notice that one of my classes (comp sci) could count as both an applied skills class AND a science (one of each being necessary) and I had three other science classes that would easily fit the bill. The catch was, I was in Oregon at the time, and had to call all the way back to Surrey to say “Yo, what the fuck? Fix that, biznatch!”
Sheesh. I didn’t pull an A in comp sci class so that I could not graduate… hmph!
That’s funny! I have a similar story …
I was on track to graduate on time but ended up being one class short – I didn’t want to tell my family that I didn’t graduate, so I let them believe that all was well and I did in fact graduate. I did all the grad stuff and everything, so nobody had any reason to be suspicious …
But what I ended up doing was this – I registered for a correspondence course immediately after grad-time. I worked my butt off (usually stayed up until about 4-5am) on the assignments and finished the course within a month or so. And then it was official – I had enough credits to graduate! So it was all over and done with, just a little bit after the time when I was supposed to “really” graduate.
The funny thing is that this was back in 1993 – I just finally confessed to my sister and brother in law last month! I came clean, after 13 years! Tee hee!
So I know where you’re coming from. :)
One day I was talking with some co-workers and I casually mentioned that I hadn’t finished high school. I think I just said something about not having a prom or whatever. One of them was shocked and actually said ‘wow, you hide it well.’ In my head I was like, ‘yeah, actually it’s just because I’m smarter than you.’
Didn’t stop me from enjoying such things as boat ownership and event attendance.
I finally did graduate, but it was a couple weeks after my class. In my district, if you weren’t graduating you didn’t get to walk through the ceremony. I was short one math credit (due to a lying skank of a Geometry teacher), so I didn’t walk. However, I did con a math teacher at my local alternative school in to letting me write an essay about math to pass an Algebra class in a little under 2 weeks.
I’m jealous of you all who could just smile and go through the motions. I didn’t get the option, and in my small town, it wasn’t just a big deal to my family, but to everybody. Being a state champion track athlete and a 3 year varsity basketball player didn’t help my cause at all.
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