Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5.26.09

Brian over at Urizone! has already commented on this but this story is too ridiculous to pass up.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/25/AR2009052502293.html?nav=hcmoduletmv

Three students are getting recognized for having perfect attendance, one- the headliner of the story has not only attended school every day for 13 years but has also had straight As since 4th grade. Instead of someone helping her out with this obvious affliction, she has been celebrated! Thank you for coming to school every day! Even though you were most likely sick at least one of those days and infected everyone else! Even though there are other things that are more important! I am not a huge fan of school and I honestly feel that once you get past the free part it's just a scam to make money, a ton of money. We just play along because it's required for jobs. I have learned more working then I ever did in school and *gasp* it's actually applicable to life. In fact, I informed my mother last week that I think they should just bring back apprentiship programs. I might feel differently about this if our entire educational system were to be overhauled, if anything I think it's gotten worse, not better, since I left because now they spend half their time preparing for standardized tests.

My school life went like this: Elementary school was alright, then in 5th grade my mom moved me to another school with a better math teacher. I was incessantly bullied, no one did anything about it and came home every day crying until she finally saw the light and sent me back to my original school... only to move me the following year. Also, she didn't send me back in time and I had already learned that the greatest defense to bullying was to not be the teacher's pet, never do homework and never get the top grade on anything. Thus, when I was thrown back into a school in 7th grade with a lot of the same people I was with in 5th grade (pesky Junior high schools) I stopped doing all homework as a rule. Instead I gossiped during class, ignored teachers and whined about getting bad grades on tests because that way I was one of them! I blended!

In eighth grade someone informed me that colleges actually only look at your final grades (the average of all the quarters plus your final), a rule which I then exploited for the remainder of my time in school. Tired of english class? Take a quarter off, then go back to getting As and you'll be fine. This was incredibly annoying to all my teachers who would inform my mother every single teacher's conference that I was so smart and yet did nothing. They couldn't understand it. Oh yeah? Go back to the living hell that was 5th grade, that might explain it.

High school- or at least my high school there was one true fact, if you are smart enough, you can coast by without ever truly being challenged or having to do anything but still get good enough grades to get into college. I also skipped an entire month of school at the end of my senior year to study for my AP tests by claiming I had a mysterious illness in which my fever came and went for no reason. My mother did take me to the doctor and somehow the fever that before was only achieved with help of lamps (don't knock it, it works) was there. I call it mind over matter ;-) I was a prime example of someone that would have been better off, if there was as comprehensive of a homeschool program as there is available now, to just be homeschooled.

The moral of this story is... most of school is a waste of time and busy work with a spattering of funnish extra curricular activities. The only things that really matter are what you read/learn most of which you can do without the aid of teachers (I'm not knocking teachers, it's just been my experience that they are overworked, have too many students, too regulated on what they can and cannot do, etc) if you care enough to, and AP exams which give you college credit meaning you can take less classes in college. All that I got out of that post article is that girl spent a shit ton of energy doing something that in reality takes a lot less. She'll burn out halfway through college and/or end up on anti-anxiety meds.

I guarantee it.

2 comments:

SB said...

Gotta disagree with you on this one, ace. Your particular aptitude in taking and doing well on AP tests is kind of limited to you alone. Plenty of kids benefit greatly from the school setting, the teachers, and so forth. And while setting, teachers, and curriculum can be lacking at some schools, the good far outweighs the bad.

I think it's a bit narrowminded to assume that no student needs a teacher, and that reading can answer all questions. Maybe for some; but the vast majority need instruction and the back-and-forth that a (good) teacher can provide. I wouldn't be where I am today without at least 4 teachers I can name right off the top of my head. Wouldn't trade them for a homeschool if my life depended on it.

Of course, I still agree that this particular student seems a bit nuts. Burnout ain't fun for anyone.

talklesssaymore said...

You were also in a vastly better school system then I was.

Our experiences shape our opinions. :-P

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