This is Not a Victory.

My faithful readers are probably rushing to their computers, desperate to find out if Dylan survived the first half of 10th grade, so I won’t keep the three of you in suspense.

Dylan survived. He did not fail the first half of 10th grade.

Somehow he pulled himself barely out of the gutter. He did work night and day for a few weeks to do it, and he did it. We think he had no failing grades, although we won’t know for sure until tomorrow, so I’ll alert the presses if it changes.

This is not a victory; it’s more of a “pass-fail” success.

Although the online system is not updated yet, we think he eked out two D’s instead of failures, along with a host of C’s and even a couple of B’s. This means he gets to keep his extracurricular schedule, including being Willy Wonka in the play. He also “gets” to stay in Ski Club, for which his parents paid hundreds of dollars.

This is a victory for his social life, but I hope he realizes how close he was to losing those things.

Dylan still had many, many missing assignments that will never be done. He simply didn’t do the work that was required of him, and he surely didn’t turn it in on time. For the past month, he’s been extremely stressed out, nearly unable to function under the workload that he created himself.

I’ve noticed with Dylan that, for most of the time, he is utterly panicked about the workload – so much so that he can’t do anything other than panic – instead of just doing the work. If he would do the work instead of worrying about how much work he has to do, his whole world would run smoothly. But he procrastinates, then panics, then struggles to catch up.

This quarter was substantially worse than any that has come before. Dylan missed three days of school because he was sick and, when he finally decided to buckle down, it was simply too late. A lot of his assignments got only half credit, and some remained “zero points” for the entire quarter.

I do not consider this a victory.

Dylan didn’t change his study habits, prioritize his homework, and act responsibly so that he could get good grades. Instead, he did the same thing he always does: change none of his behaviors until the end of the quarter, then pull out a miracle based solely on determination and luck.

Somehow, he’s come out with relatively reasonable semester grades, which will go on his transcript for college. I don’t know exactly what they are yet, but he won’t have anything less than a C. The majority of his semester grades will be B’s.

Still, this is not a victory.

This is merely a chance for an awakening.

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