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Something i'd like to share with you all.


Kermit
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I'm in highschool. Junior year. However, i'd like you all to look at this list of vocabulary words that we have to define for the current chapter of the book we're reading.

 

Chapter 1

1. [sycamores]

2. (Recumbent)

3. [Wearily]

4. (Bindle)

5. (Morosely)

6. [Droned]

7. [Triumphantly]

8. (Pantomime)

9. [Contemplated]

10. (Brusquely)

11. (Imperiously)

12. [Whimpering]

13. [Elaborate]

14. [stake]

15. [Yammered]

 

Words in brackets are words i've learned in 4th grade, words in parentheses are words that i've learned in 6th grade. Also, those words are for Of Mice and Men, a book i've read several times already. But not in 11th grade. Not in 10th, not in 9th but in 8th grade. I'm going to remind you that other classes in the school on my grade level are reading Shakespeare, yet we're going back to a 107 page book i've already had several times.

 

What did we read before this? A book called Ethan Frome. A book fit more for a 7th grade class. In that time that we read that, guess what we got to do as a class? Yes, that's right, we got to get into groups and got to have fun with, *GASP*, COLORED PENCILS. A friend of mine, Harry, had a debate with the teacher over this, and that slug just went, "Well, some people just learn better visually."

 

This class is incredibly boring and unstimulating to the point that my grades for it are just dropping. Most people would say, "Hey, that's a blessing to do Kindergartener work! Why don't you ace that class?" But my answer is simply this: "It's completely uninspiring."

 

In my old school, we had a teacher named Dr. Katz. And quite frankly, he was the best and only stimulating English teacher that i've had in my entire life. We actually got into very intellectual class discussions and enjoyed what we read. But nowadays? Now what? "Pass the Regents. Pass the Regents. Conform." That's all they expect us to do. Read their textbook garbage, not absorb anything, and then pass a test of intellectual conformity. How is this an education?

 

Do I deserve this? Does anyone deserve this? Share your opinions with me.

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What did we read before this? A book called Ethan Frome. A book fit more for a 7th grade class.

 

If you get into any sort of intensive symbolic analysis of Ethan Frome, I'll assure you that you'll discover it's not really fit for a 7th grade class. Specifically look at things like the pickle dish.

 

However, I think it doesn't take too much imagination to grasp what "pickles" and "donuts" are trying to represent.

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Kermit, if you want to complain, you might want to hear how my short stories class went my junior year. (and yes, colored pencils were involved)

 

after reading "the most dangerous game" by richard connell, we had to color a map of what we thought the island looked like.

 

When we read Poe, we had to make collage posters. (the teacher only really cared about how pretty it looked, so reading poe was absolutely unnecessary.)

 

we would get told all of the answers to a test just before we were given the test, which were easy and worded for elementary kids, no critical thinking involved. And if we got an "A" we would get stickers, which I think is what my first grade teacher did. Our treat for completing a short story, and what acted as a substitute for critical thinking was to watch the movie of what we just read. I remember after we took a week to read Irving's "the legend of sleepy hollow," we were told how to pass the test with an A, and then we watched Tim Burton's redition of the story which took another three days. If i remember right, there wasn't a story we read where we didn't at least watch something afterward.

 

For vocabulary, we had words like,

 

mutual

intermittently

coherent

vibrant

rectify

compatible

versatile

secede

simulate

eccentric

query

enthralled

evasive

 

I can remembe learning these in middle school. Moreover, they are some of the same words used on our Iowa standardized tests for the past 3 or 4 years. (it's interesting how they never change the words or the definitions)

 

this teacher was the same I had for junior english, and she is a fat and stupid and she is not nice to people who correct her, like me. She stated that her weakness as an english teacher was that she couldn't spell, and she wasn't lying. She made us label on our research papers with astericks where the compound and complex sentences were, because she couldn't tell the difference. She had no idea where a comma was supposed to go.

 

In conclusion, it should have been easy, but it was hell. I felt the same way you do. I even served in school detention because of her because I couldn't stand to be wasting my time. You can only look forward to more challenging classes. For me, I shot up a few levels of difficulty and am taking college American Literature with a teacher who has an IQ of someone who at least graduated high school.

 

EDIT: she also does "of mice and men." What's most peculiar is how she'll be teaching "The Hobbit" in her novels class and her Junior English class simultaneously. She hasn't changed her novels book list since she started teaching. They are,

Of Mice and Men

The Catcher in the Rye

Lord of the Flies

The Hobbit

 

The funniest thing about her teaching the Hobbit when I was in her class is how much she overlooks. She has been teaching it for over 10 years, and students would correct her in class. Her famous response is "Is it?" Absolutely unbelievable for a "children's book."

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Just wait untill you get to college. You'll have more than enough crap that you're REQUIRED to learn in order to get your degree. A lot of it will be repetion.

 

In my opinion, if you hate what the useless stuff you're learning now; avoid liberal arts schools at all costs. Liberal arts schools have the most BS required classes ever. At Emory I was a Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology major yet I was required to take an "Intro to Politics" class that entailed reading old greek plays, The Bible, The Koran, Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf etc. Most of which I've studied alread and the majority of the class was not related to politics in the least, it was more literary analysis. Although the class was called "Intro To Politics" it was really nothing more than a class in Western Civilization. On top of that the professor was this morbidly obese guy who had the most monotonous voice I've ever heard.

 

Talk about an incredibly boring and unstimulating class.. My poli sci class was the worst ever. I've also been required to take several other classes of the same nature, for example: Public speaking. College is full of required BS classes that are horribly boring.

 

I guess the summary is: get used to it, at least for the next couple of years. You're going to be required to take pointless classes untill you're in your Junior year of college. Sucks, but thats how it works =\

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Anywho, day 2.

 

Our homework? Unimaginably hard. "Bring in your copy of Ethan Frome tomorrow to be exchanged for Of Mice and Men." Funny thing is, half the class probably won't even do it. As for that vocabulary homework? Wasn't even collected, wasn't even checked. What if there were errors? Come to think of it, there won't be any -- the teacher actually ENCOURAGES you to just copy and paste from a dictionary website. How the hell is that teaching?

 

My question now is, with the apparent "goals" of the American public school system, what the hell are we trying to create? What are we trying to accomplish? Creating complete conformity that doesn't prepare for the future, and doesn't even try to teach critical thinking? No damn wonder we're chock full of fundies and creationists -- people can't even think for themselves now. If any of you have read the last few chapters of Carl Sagan's book The Demon Haunted World, you'd know what I mean when I say that we're raising a generation of idiots.

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I'm in highschool. Junior year. However' date=' i'd like you all to look at this list of vocabulary words that we have to define for the current chapter of the book we're reading.

 

Chapter 1

1. [sycamores']

2. (Recumbent)

3. [Wearily]

4. (Bindle)

5. (Morosely)

6. [Droned]

7. [Triumphantly]

8. (Pantomime)

9. [Contemplated]

10. (Brusquely)

11. (Imperiously)

12. [Whimpering]

13. [Elaborate]

14. [stake]

15. [Yammered]

 

Words in brackets are words i've learned in 4th grade, words in parentheses are words that i've learned in 6th grade. Also, those words are for Of Mice and Men, a book i've read several times already. But not in 11th grade. Not in 10th, not in 9th but in 8th grade. I'm going to remind you that other classes in the school on my grade level are reading Shakespeare, yet we're going back to a 107 page book i've already had several times.

 

What did we read before this? A book called Ethan Frome. A book fit more for a 7th grade class. In that time that we read that, guess what we got to do as a class? Yes, that's right, we got to get into groups and got to have fun with, *GASP*, COLORED PENCILS. A friend of mine, Harry, had a debate with the teacher over this, and that slug just went, "Well, some people just learn better visually."

 

This class is incredibly boring and unstimulating to the point that my grades for it are just dropping. Most people would say, "Hey, that's a blessing to do Kindergartener work! Why don't you ace that class?" But my answer is simply this: "It's completely uninspiring."

 

In my old school, we had a teacher named Dr. Katz. And quite frankly, he was the best and only stimulating English teacher that i've had in my entire life. We actually got into very intellectual class discussions and enjoyed what we read. But nowadays? Now what? "Pass the Regents. Pass the Regents. Conform." That's all they expect us to do. Read their textbook garbage, not absorb anything, and then pass a test of intellectual conformity. How is this an education?

 

Do I deserve this? Does anyone deserve this? Share your opinions with me.

 

Welcome to highschool.

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Anywho' date=' day 2.

 

Our homework? Unimaginably hard. "Bring in your copy of Ethan Frome tomorrow to be exchanged for Of Mice and Men." Funny thing is, half the class probably won't even do it. As for that vocabulary homework? Wasn't even collected, wasn't even checked. What if there were errors? Come to think of it, there won't be any -- the teacher actually ENCOURAGES you to just copy and paste from a dictionary website. How the hell is that teaching?

 

My question now is, with the apparent "goals" of the American public school system, what the hell are we trying to create? What are we trying to accomplish? Creating complete conformity that doesn't prepare for the future, and doesn't even try to teach critical thinking? No damn wonder we're chock full of fundies and creationists -- people can't even think for themselves now. If any of you have read the last few chapters of Carl Sagan's book The Demon Haunted World, you'd know what I mean when I say that we're raising a generation of idiots.[/quote']

 

I blame sparknotes. Sparknotes.com is solely responsible for why people can graduate without reading a goddamed thing. My graduating class is 47 people, 47. Out of them, approximately 8 have never read a book in their life.

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I blame sparknotes. Sparknotes.com is solely responsible for why people can graduate without reading a goddamed thing. My graduating class is 47 people, 47. Out of them, approximately 8 have never read a book in their life.

 

As I said, we're teaching a nation of idiots.

 

Why read a book? Goto Sparknotes.

Why do arithmetic? Get a calculator.

Why read a dictionary? Go online and copy and paste stuff.

 

To create a resource there has to be someone around to be knowledgeable on whatever it is. You can't have an average person write a book on chemistry, you need a professor. But after a while, aren't we going to reach a point where everyone has been dumbed down by Spark Notes and its equivalents in other fields to the point that nobody is going to take an active interest in whatever that field is, so that when we need to find a resource from that field nobody can understand it?

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Out of curiosity, what's the US school system's ranking with other countries? I think I heard somewhere that we're actually beaten by a South American country or two, but just wondering.

 

Oh, and I expect the ranking to be pretty low. It's kind of obvious.

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I completely agree with the original poster about where our education system is headed. The only good teachers I have our the older ones. Their both great teachers and guess what I actually learn stuff in their classes and I also get A's in them. Reading Of Mice and Men isn't odd though for a junior. My class just completed Othello and we will be reading that next. And people should realize that the length of a book doesn't determine its quality. All my classes besides Chem and Precalc are incredibly boring and tedious. I'm not challenged in my other classes.

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I didn't say that the lenght of the book determines its quality. I'm just saying that the general subject matter in Of Mice and Men is more suitable for a younger audience as opposed to, say, Macbeth, which really challenges you.

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I think the challenge for you is to find the way to see something "familiar" with a set of new eyes, as you said the last time you read the book was 8th grade. I would hope that the ensuing years has led to greater intellectual development and that you can apply this to your current analysis of the work (even if not required by your teacher).

 

I can relate this to my students when given pond water to look at under a microscope, they will often quit after 30 seconds saying "I've done this before". There is just so much more to observe and learn for those willing to put the time and effort into something they have done before.

 

Challenge yourself to find those new insights, to see things unobserved before, and you'll find your classes and life much more interesting.

 

Good Luck

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I think the challenge for you is to find the way to see something "familiar" with a set of new eyes' date=' as you said the last time you read the book was 8th grade. I would hope that the ensuing years has led to greater intellectual development and that you can apply this to your current analysis of the work (even if not required by your teacher).

 

I can relate this to my students when given pond water to look at under a microscope, they will often quit after 30 seconds saying "I've done this before". There is just so much more to observe and learn for those willing to put the time and effort into something they have done before.

 

Challenge yourself to find those new insights, to see things unobserved before, and you'll find your classes and life much more interesting.

 

Good Luck[/quote']

 

I understand what you're saying, Roadstar. I'll try to look at the book with whatever i've learned in the past (which isn't quite much) and try to see it in a completely different light.

 

And yes, ffsjoe, it's year 11. One more year left.

 

Now that the challenge part has been dealt with, how can we explain that more kids in my class know about the Wiccan story of creation than about the Big Bang theory? I can clearly remember the looks on their faces when I corrected the teacher several times about the Big Bang theory when we were discussing some backround information before reading Inherit the Wind a few months ago. I could clearly hear people saying "nerd" behind my back as if though it was a bad thing, while a kid was able to go on and on about the Wiccan BS for about five minutes uninterrupted while the entire class paid attention to him (And yes, I know, the Wiccan stuff has nothing to do with Inherit the Wind, but we were discussing evolution, creationism, and the big bang).

 

I'm slowly starting to notice an anti-intellectual streak in America, though it just might be my reading of too much Sagan. Anyone care to elaborate?

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