Straight Ds


… and then straight through to Oxford

Rachel Mathew

“It’s honestly not that bad!”

“What do you mean, not that bad?! Straight Ds are UNACCEPTABLE.”

Rochelle and her Mother were at it again. You would think four and a half years of therapy would help, but some would say it made it worse. They refused to stop fighting. Once it got so bad that Rochelle went missing, she was found in her “safe place”. Upstairs, in the cubby she made when she was 10.

“Dad, mum says my grades are unacceptable.”

“Sweetie, your mother is right. You can never get a D ever again.”



As Rochelle cried herself to sleep that night, she thought to herself. Maybe if I got better grades my parents would stop ganging up on me. *sniffle* Rochelle was wiping the tears from her face because they were stinging. Then she heard a tap on her window. She got up, walked over to see what created the sound. As she pulled back the curtain she was expecting Iris, her best friend, or Julianna, her big sister, but it was neither. It was just a tree branch knocking against the glass — luckily the glass is bullet proof as her father works in the prison industry.

The next morning Rochelle took her sister’s motor bike out to the convenience store. The one her mum would take her to every time she got a new move in gymnastics. As Rochelle entered the store, the floor board creaked and a little plump lady appeared around the corner.

“Well howdy there sugar, what can I do ya for?”

“Just some popcorn and milk, thanks.”

“Alrighty, down the left aisle and to the right.”

“Thank you, Margery,” babbled Rochelle reading of the little lady’s name tag.

On the way home Rochelle thought that maybe she ought to apologise to mum, after all she was going to have to stay with her. She figured her mom does usually look for the best in her. When Rochelle arrived home, she went to her room to study and though it wasn’t easy to become a straight A student overnight….


Rochelle is now 21 years old and a graduate from Oxford University. Rochelle lives by the motto “F-E-A-R has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise”. As Rochelle was packing her bags from Oxford to go visit her mum and dad she was thinking about the time she had gotten straight Ds and her parents were being so hard on her. Now she knows why, it’s because her mum knew that she would end up in a big school and do so well, that she can now call herself an Oxford graduate of 2026.


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