This I Believe

Patrycja - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

My whole life I was told “Study hard, and learn a lot,” by most of my family. I have tried to maintain a life of following that what they told me. In elementary school I learned how to read, write, and basic math, in Middle school I learned Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Algebra, Geometry, and American History. As I entered high school as a blind 14 year old freshman taking classes like Algebra I, Earth Science, English, Health, Geography, and P.E. The only difference was that the books were bigger, and the teachers maintained the same criteria.

Starting my senior year with college applications, I got a chance to look at and go over the classes that I have taken. The only classes that I found significant were my German and U.S. Government classes. In my German classes I learned a different language, culture, and how to live life. In my Government class I learned to read faster, and what was happening around the world. I learned in these classes because the teachers allowed us to debate. We spoke freely on any topic, in a safe environment.

On days when district officials would come to check up on our school the administrators knew months ahead of time. Classes that they would see would be chosen, and the officials would have their lunch in a separate area as to hide our true behavior. Technically speaking, the officials only saw a day’s act, which was practiced over the previous month.

In most classes students don’t care and mostly talk about, “ who is going out with who, which person made a fool of him or herself over the weekend, and even who has the best ‘stuff’ for sale.” As this all goes on the teachers just wrote e-mails to one another, and pretend to teach.

Thinking upon this, I believe that High School is not needed to learn the subjects that are put upon us. We are sent to this school day by day, told to sit in a desk, and literally learn something that could be learned at home. I have friends who are home schooled, and have been home schooled all their life, and they know more information for the future than I or many other students at my school. I believe that if high school is to continue being the way it is today, more people will be dropping out, and going to independent study.

If I could have re-lived my four high school years, I would have signed up for independent study right away. I would have then graduated high school sooner, and have been on my way to a University. I believe that we are sentenced to sit through high school to waste our time. I hope that people realize this sooner than later, and come up with some kind of solution, like ‘independent study schools’.