Hi Hi Hi! It's been a while, sorry, but I've been busier than a pack mule. Between school starting again this week and a bunch of work I have to do for extracurriculars and debate, I haven't been able to find much time to update this blog. From today on, though, I'll try to get back on my "update every day" schedule. It's the best thing for everyone, really; for me, because it keeps me honest, and for you guys, because it provides the most opportunities to have fun at my expense (isn't it great to know that you're better than at least one person?).
Here's a general #411: schoolwork, schoolwork, and schoolwork. That's pretty much all I've been doing for the last week, and even with this thorough dedication to my education I still feel as if I don't really "learn" anything in a school day. Any given Thursday looks something like this:
Precalculus - review things that I already learned over the summer, because I took the initiative of going over the course on Khan Academy in order to be fully prepared. I should try to figure out why I still make stupid errors, because arithmetic accounts for at least 2/3 of the points I've ever missed in math class. We took a test yesterday, and I'm hopelessly positive that it was a B, not because I didn't know a single thing that was being tested for, but because I can't fucking add consistently.
Spanish IV - I do actually learn things in this class, so I suppose it's the exception to the "school is a lesson in busy work" rule. However, for whatever reason I absolutely deplore the course and dread it day in and day out. The only reason I'm even pursuing the Spanish courses offered at my school is because I have an acute interest in the curriculum; that is, the Spanish language.
Chemistry - realistically, things are learned in Chemistry. My teacher is an awesome guy, both hilarious and in love with science, so I have fun in there, but the curriculum is so wide that the class feels forced, and understanding quickly becomes memorization. A better way to put it: we learn how to solve particular styles of problems, with particular sets of equations, and no greater understanding is ever fostered. It's no one's fault but College Board and the district, for pacing the course at such a breakneck level. Is there a better solution, though? If it wasn't so fast, than would AP Chemistry truly be the equivalent of College-level Chemistry?
US History - I also learn "things" here. The important thing to note about history class is that there is no distinction between INFORMATION and WISDOM. All we ever do is accumulate FACTS for the sake of TEST-TAKING, instead of looking at history CRITICALLY for the sake of INSIGHT. The teacher is a funny guy though, loves history, and I like him well enough. He also has a naughty - albeit adorable - child who attends class upon occasion (normally when he's bitten someone in his daycare, or something along those lines). We had a test today, and honestly, it was a clinic in information regurgitation. Disgusting. Also probably College Board's fault.
College Board, by the way, is a non-profit that adjudicates much of an individuals High School career in the US. Things from standardized testing, to receiving college credit for advanced course, to matching student to campus are all tasks organized and monitored by the organization. As such, it's the natural target of ginormous amounts of criticism, some of which is actually justified. I feel neutral towards the body; at heart, they seem to have popular education in mind, which is the best thing in the world for the world. I can't complain; I get to take "rigorous courses" and have a wealth of college-seeking information at my fingertips that no other generation has had, all because of the services offered by College Board. Anyways, sorry for the tangent; back to my day:
English - I don't learn a single thing! Since youth, I've considered myself and have been widely considered by my peers to be an exceptional writer (haughty as that may be), and yet I receive average grades in the course. Despite the frustration this has incurred, I've done my best to stay objective and seek out criticism from my peers and instructors to better myself and my literary offerings. Nothing, however, nothing has ever been conclusive, and any given piece of advice is either A. meaningless / too abstract to apply practically or B. contradictory to other advice I've received in the past. I'm so lost in English; the best thing I can do is to write endlessly, which is the Saturday-essay-writing-task I've self-inflicted.
Environmental Science - probably the easiest class I've ever taken in high school. I sleep through the whole period, and the material has gotten even easier as the year progresses. On the upside, the teacher is a hottie with fake jugs, so at least I get to enjoy the, ahem... lecture.
Physics - my favorite class, because I actually get to think critically and solve problems. It is unfathomably rewarding, after a day of information synthesis, to be able to put your mind to a problem and SOLVE IT. I'm actually pretty good at Physics, too, and have yet to score below 97 for any of the tests. Next year, AP Physics is definitely in the cards. Right now we're looking at work, power, and a general extension of 2D kinematics, which is one of the more rigorous units we've undertaken as of yet. Love it!
Anyways, I hope that serves well enough as an update for today. Tomorrow, after I actually go to the gym again (I've decided to switch to 24hr fitness, so this last week has been a transition [laziness] period) and collect my thoughts more accurately, I'll write a post that actually covers the goals that this blog was supposed to be about. This Saturday will be my first official SAT; wish me luck!
Love you all. No, really.