Firstly I must come clean… It wasn’t 2%, it was in fact 1%. I was given 1% for having the audacity to stand up to my mathematics teacher. Instead of answering the mathematic questions he set out in the paper I wrote a short paragraph on how Afrikaaners hate English speakers. That short paragraph got me the 1% and the remark that it wasn’t an English exam and if it were then I would have failed. My only response was that I had written in such a way as help him understand.
The reason? This is what went down.
For my high school years I went to an Afrikaans school that admitted English speaking students – more students, more cash. The school was tiny, the most students it ever had while I was there was 300 tops, situated within a small farming village that was very Afrikaans. Now let me first state that I mean no offence to nice Afrikaaners, none what so ever, but to those who hate English speakers…
In grade 11 (we have 12 years of schooling) I was doing Mathematics Higher Grade, I loved maths and got consistent A’s. The only problem was that the other English speaking kids didn’t so there was all but 3 of us in the class with a teacher who spoke high-flatulence (intended) Afrikaans.
Now because of my slowish brain, doing Mathematics higher grade in a foreign language was challenging to say the least. When ever one of us “Souties” didn’t understand something we would obediently put up our hands and question in English what exactly the teacher was trying to explain. When ever one of us would ask we would get a quip about how slow the “engels kinders” (English kids) are.
The one day however it was my turn to ask and when I did the teacher literally stopped in his tracks and just stood there staring at me. It wasn’t a stupid question either I just did not understand what he had said and asked for an English explanation to make sure that I understood. He stood there with his hands on his hips and repeated my question in Shakespearean English then going on to answer it as well in the same way.
I had had enough, plain and simple, the Afrikaaners kept on saying that we were stupid and degenerate, putting us in a box like they did the races. Enough. So I rebelled, I wrote that exam and got a whole 1% for giving him a piece of my mind. After that exam and the words I had with the teacher I decided to go for Business Mathematics and learn the intricacies of tax, budgets and forecasting. It was an English speaking teacher
Why didn’t I complain about the teacher? He was the principle of the school.
So that is the sordid story of the 2% that is really 1% and one of the reasons why I never speak Afrikaans.
Not so exciting see