So today I actually talked to someone who had failed a test last semester.
That shouldn’t be a big deal, because statistically, I should know at least 5 people who have failed tests. Also, it was a test that nobody felt good about, and I had been convinced I’d failed myself (and only barely passed).
But nobody talks about failing, and I can’t blame them. It’s not that people would make fun of you – first, I think our class is composed of nice people on the whole, and second, who the hell could judge with a clear conscience? – there’s just this totally rational fear that being open about failing would change things.
I think, if you were open about failing, it would be a lot like everyone knowing that your sibling had passed away – it would be a total elephant in the room. People would want to acknowledge it, but wouldn’t want to bring it up in casual conversation, so it would be kind of weird and you’d have this strange pity thing going on. And some overly-studious classmate might ask if you want them to help you study and then you’d have to whip out a sword and stab them to restore your honor.
So nobody brings it up. I wouldn’t either.
Anyway, I was really relieved when she just casually brought up the fact that she’d failed a test and had to meet with the Dean. This is partly because A) It sounds like Metropolis actually does just want to help – they offered her a bunch of resources, reassured her that failing by 1% on a hard test isn’t really indicative of anything, talked about how to study for the re-take, and B) she’s still alive.
Not gonna lie, B might be more reassuring than A for me. I was honestly beginning to wonder if they like, fed the non-passing students to lions. Because where are they? Wasn’t there a guy with curly blonde hair at orientation? Did he fail a test and get eaten? And didn’t there used to be a tall brunette sitting in that corner? OH GOD MUST STUDY.
But, no. Sounds like it wouldn’t be the end of the world, so… good. More boring than the lion idea, but slightly more reassuring.