This school year looks like it’s going to be a lot of torture, especially at three in the morning on a Saturday when in a ranting mood.
When I entered eleventh grade, I didn’t expect it to be a field of rainbows and puppies. I didn’t expect it to be laid back like the last few weeks of tenth grade were, where half of the teachers were at the end of their curriculums and just searching for something to fill the last days without devolving into absolute anarchy in the classroom.
But eleventh grade, from the get-go, has been even worse than my expectations. My math teacher’s personality is absolutely atrocious and hinders any motivation I had to ask her for help when I don’t understand anything. And, you know, it’s hard to seek a non-convoluted way of explaining precalculus when she gets pissed at anyone who even touches a school-issued iPad, even if it’s for school work.
My Spanish 3 teacher, really, is the reason that I’m writing this rant. When I signed up for that course, I expected it to be in the same vein as Spanish 2 was- vocabulary- and grammar-heavy with not a lot of horsing around. I expected to actually be learning vocabulary, because unfortunately Duolingo doesn’t teach you every single thing in the world.
Did I get that? No. I got watching old TV episodes that were narrated in Spanish. It’s not inherently bad to use an educational program for education- that’s what it’s intended to be used for- but I absolutely cannot stand even staring at a TV. I have no attention span in that department. And unfortunately for me, Destinos has no written equivalent that would actually stick in my brain.
I expected to do phenomenal on the first Spanish test since I had done so much studying over the summer. But no, I failed because I couldn’t put names to the faces of the television show characters.
That was it. That was half of the test. Never mind that I did stellar on the vocabulary portion, I failed because I couldn’t get a good enough look at everybody’s face or remember all of their full names. Apparently knowing every single character to ever appear in Destinos will help me get a good job! Who knew?
That brings me to my point: I hate school. I hate being told what to learn and being forced to learn it at the same pace and in the same way as everyone else.
But don’t get me wrong- I love learning. I love expanding my vocabulary and writing. I enjoy learning about the innards of my phone and how the Internet works. I find great pleasure in mastering a difficult concept in any one of the four languages I’m learning at the moment. The act of learning isn’t a problem for me.
But in the workforce, at least at first, nobody really cares that I can restore a softbricked phone to normal operation in ten minutes or less (not counting the ROM download to be flashed). Nobody really cares that I can manage a database, whether it be a proliferating inventory or a music library stretching over several cloud storage accounts. Nobody really cares that I know how to make an app if I really wanted to. Nobody really cares that I’m trying to learn the ins and outs of being a sysadmin.
Nobody really cares about the skills I’ve already developed unless it can be neatly packaged into a number and put on a school transcript, college degree, etc. Once I’ve actually made it in the realm of work and have a resume filled with experience, then my school achievements become less relevant. But there’s still a hill to climb, and for kids who are smart but not book smart, that hill is almost insurmountable.
I’m certainly up to the challenge of keeping up my respectable 3.69 GPA, but a big problem with that is going to be motivation. I’m going to have to balance my passions with the forced homework. School, especially from here on out, seems to be more about cramming and puking out the crams onto a test paper than actually developing useful skills.
It feels soulless compared to the hour-long sprawls across the internet that I did throughout this past summer, learning about things as I needed the knowledge. And if there’s anything that my poetry has tried to convey recently, it’s that sometimes I feel soulless. I feel like a zombie shambling my way through the education system, only gaining credits to please adults who won’t matter five years down the road when I’m in college slaving away in the same exact way.
There are no standardized closed-note tests in the real world. And isn’t school supposed to be about preparing us for the real world?
Or maybe I’m just another angst-filled teenager angry at yet another broken system.