Incompetence Envelopes our Lives

Nick - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe incompetence envelopes our lives.

When I was in 7th grade I had a teacher responsible for teaching me how to read and write- an English class, if you will. I came in with soaring hopes as I expected this higher tier of school to offer a level of teaching not yet experienced. The beginning of the year met my expectations and I engaged heartily in my work. I would work late into the night and grew proud of my accomplishments. I was able to sustain myself for a long time on that alone. Then, one day, I actually thought. What was happening in our class? The teacher would quickly assign us a project or test, and then leave us a long series of class periods to finish it. The problem with these projects is that we never received feedback. When I make something in school it should be done with the express purpose of bettering any future items I create. The only way to achieve that in an effective manner is to tell me what went well and what didn’t. That didn’t happen. I do recall a few sheets of paper being handed out informing me that I achieved an A, but I never knew why. Later on, even these sparse exchanges petered out and I grew doubtful he even looked at my new entries. However, I was at a loss as to what to do because no one else cared. Homework was minimal to nonexistent because so much class time was given that even if you spent the majority of it chatting with friends you could still finish the work, which is really all that anyone cares about. The next year I actually learned that standardized tests for his classes was noticeably lower.

Although I gained some basic knowledge from the reading of the assigned books, it paled in comparison to what could be achieved with nearly two-hundred fifty hours of my time. Far more valuable was the realization that just because someone was assigned a job and appears to be doing it doesn’t mean that they are actually accomplishing something.