What's the point of School, really?

Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2008 10:47 pm
I can't say as I enjoy school much, because I hardly learn what I want to learn. And a lot of the in class time is wasted, coloring, cut and paste assignments for cring out loud!!, in my biology class!!
And what is the point of essays when we aren't allowed to do them at home. No time for perfection, especially when there are so many structural factors that get marked. " You can't use pronouns, lead in must be coherent, quotes must be given author's name and page number....." And only given two periods in class, only allowed to bring in "quotes" for writing the essay. Silliness.
And chemistry class, Laughing. "Lets review the periodic table. Please recite the first twenty elements of the table" Oh yeah, like we didn't do that in grade nine. :rolleyes:

Hopefully world issues class will allow for some opinion, and actually give understanding to society.

Physics has yet to get theoretical and imaginative. Yes it is al about theory but thats not my point.

Fire drills like every two weeks. Waste of a period.

And the boring way a teacher grasps a textbook so precisely during a lesson. Heck in english class (grade 11) we never got a lesson. How ironic, theres still plenty to learn, why not semantics and linguistics, or even logic.

So again, what's the point of school, besides the education (academically speaking). [If it weren't for other aspects existing I wouldn't go as much as I did]
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 12:06 am
Enjoy it while you can. Simple times are better times. The fact that you realize that things could be more interesting and complicated can become a major benefit to you. You can use the time to build your references and study for the SATS. If I had put in half the effort I put in to my LSATS as compared to the SATS, I would have been in a top tier school on scholarship.

One of my favorite professors told me the formula to get into an ivy league school. 1. know the titles and authors of famous books. 2. Climb a mountain. 3. Play an instrument.

It sounds ridiculous, but in hindsight, it makes a lot of sense.
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Didymos Thomas
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 12:07 am
Socialization. Seriously.

Meet a girl or boy you like to, and give fate a whirl. That's what high school is about.

Oh, and about instruments - I went percussion so I'm seen as the stupid drummer; ridiculous. Stick with something classical if you're going for ivy league. My advice, don't go ivy league.
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 02:29 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I'm gonna let y'all in on a secret. Don't tell anyone, but, public school is merely to keep y'all out of our hair while we go about living our lives and supporting you. Thats it. If you learn anything of value, thats just gravy.
And they made their own breakfast, too, right from the beginning!
It just gives us parents a well needed break.
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 11:22 am
I don't think there is SATS in Canada, are you talking about university or high school?
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 12:12 pm
Oh, I didn't know you were in Canada. SATS are qualification exams to apply to university. I'm sure Canada has the equivalent test or something like that... unless they don't. Which... would mean... COMMUNISTS! ARGH!!!
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 12:16 pm
They are talking about university admissions. I do not know what tests, if any, canadian univerities look at or how much weight they put on them. If you want to go to university in the U.S., study the SATs, if not, eh, I don't think canada uses them, but you should check it out. Ivy league by definition is a school in the U.S.A. based upon a competetive sports circle. Now it just means that the school is expensive and you can't get a scholarship unless you got a perfect SAT score while living in your mom's car due to the fact that you are homeless or you are some sort of child prodigy and started at 10. Otherwise, you got a pretty slim chance of getting in and have no guarantee without perfect stats and awards for somthing such as art or music. Unless your dad just donated 10 mill.

My advice is this:try to see if there is some way to test out of highschool where you live. In the U.S. you can take a high school equivalency at 16. Just go straight to college. If you don't want to do that, see if you can enroll in some classes at a local or online university.

Personally, Im pretty happy at my college. Its small, not very competetive so my SAT sticks out and I look good to professors by comparison, plus the classes are pretty easy for me.
I can get to know the professors, they are often available to talk. If I have an interesting idea I can visit their office and ask them about it. I probably will switch to another university nearby that is ranked higher to enable me to do graduate work while an undergrad for my junior and senior year, but before that there is little need to move.

If you don't want to do any of that, just read some books during class. Thats what I did, I still maintained a 3.0+ average. The grades in my school were kinda spiked. You had to have a 70% to pass, an 85% for a B- and a 93% for an A-, and I think that 100%=4.3. It seemed nuts to me because in a ten point scale my percentage would be equivalent to near 4.0 while instead they were just over 3.0.
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 01:26 pm
Did you go to a gifted school, cause my cousin goes to one and he has to maintain a 75% average but any university is available due to the vanity of the school is is enlisted in. I was recommended for gifted a while ago like grade eight and under, perfected the otis lennon test, but now as I thought high school would be interesting academically, (and it isn't), I just stopped caring. So perhaps I should have gone to a gifted school.

Though at the time I believed that the gifted program offered around my area did not differ in terms of what content I'd learn from much. Plus being noticed is not something I want,. .. latent:a-ok:.
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 12:20 am
Unfortunately, I did not go to a gifted school although there are a couple in my area. I am certain I would have qualified since I participated in gifted enrichment at my elementary school, and I found a piece of paper later on indicating my WISC-IV verbal to be just shy of 140 (about 99.5 %ile,I don't know my other subtest scores but verbal is the best indicator of ability and can be used as a stand alone score). So I can relate to the dissatisfaction you feel with your school situation.

I was quite advanced in elementary school starting full fledged algebra in 5th grade only to repeat what I already knew the next year in 'advanced math class' and then placed in the normal class again by accident for part of the following year which totally threw me off track.

I was very non confrontational then and wasn't sure how to handle the situation, it took me a while to work up the nerve to ask whether it was a mistake that I was in the class, and of course it was. Upon finding out what had happened I was switched back into the 'advanced class' only to find that I had missed nothing and they really hand't progressed much at all. Being so uncomfortable talking to the teachers, I never asked whether there was any way to take highschool courses, which was indeed an option. By the second half of the eigth grade when I found this out, I had givien up on school alltogether but still kept my performance above average in order to avoid an unpleasent discussion with my parents.

During middle school I did no homework out of class and generally not at all, I read during class due to how useless the subjects were (I always knew them already) and I still managed an A/B average and 99th percentile standardized test scores. I was more knowledgable than my science teachers (I would often read Scientific American and Discovery as well as other books on science/electronics) and often they could not answer my questions, which lead to a lable as gifted in sciences. This meant that I could either A)Go self study away from the class and do a couple extra useless projects, or B) Talk to friends and still get an A. Tough choice.

During High School I kept my academic standards low to avoid wasting my time on mediocre/outmoded coverage of academic subjects by choosing instead to develop my talents in Art and Music. My mother having an MFA made up for the incompetence of my art instructor and I won a few awards including honorable mention in the tristate level (it goes up to national) of the scholastics art competition for a very nonstandard piece. By the time my senior year of high school rolled around, I was ready to go to Berklee school of music in boston to study composition and guitar performance after playing guitar for only 3 years studying under a well known avant guard/jazz guitarist in my area who teaches lessons at a local music store when lo and behold my interest in science and mathematics creeps back in through my reading of The Elegant Universe.

So I buckled down and got a 3.5 unweighted for my senior year (almost 4.0 for second semester) and took the at the last minuet SAT with no prep and got a 1380 (650 math 730 verbal). I realized that I would have to attend a local school, albiet a decent one, for at least the first year due to my late score, and I applied to it. I tried to test out of calculus one through the clep exam and got a 46, however the requirement is a 50, which isn't bad for only having started with algebra 2 and limited trig, besides; I knew how to derive the formulas pretty rigorously for 3 months of self study.

I don't know if this is at all similar to your situation, however if it is I hope it helps. My advice, if your situation is indeed similar, is to ask about taking college classes and be very persistent. Self study to show that you are motivated and see if you can test out of introductory college classes to prove you can handle the challenge.

I said the rest in the above post.
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 11:33 am
I am glad that you realized early in life that the monotony of everyday school sucks. It is a fact of life we must accept and go on with it. Having realized that mass education has no more to offer you does not mean that is entirely worthless. It always provides the basic, the speed of the mastery of subjects though rely heavily on the speed of your so called peers and the educational politics of the time.

But don't worry follow DT's advice. Spice up your High School life. It will only happen once. Don't try drugs though, its illegal with the exception of "weeds" I supposed. Its all over your flag for crying out loud. J/k
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 01:15 pm
Go out, find people you like, or, if you really truly love some field of academics, go learn it on your own and follow the advice I gave in my above post. If you like chemistry, you could probably find a way to be done with organic by the time you go off to college depending on what year you are in H.S. now. You would be able to go straight into the theory and meat of the subject and you would have a huge leg up as far as job/academic opportunities. It all depends on what your priorites are.
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Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 08:59 pm
Zetetic11235 wrote:
Ivy league by definition is a school in the U.S.A. based upon a competetive sports circle.
Huh? No, Ivy League is specifically the following schools: Brown, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell. Other than Cornell they are some of the oldest colleges and universities in the country, and they're all prestigious, competitive, and academically outstanding. There are many other top schools that are not part of the Ivy League, of course.
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 12:27 am
In historical context, Aedes. Observe, Ivy League - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Im surprised you went to Harvard without knowing anything about its history. Its not really of much import I suppose, but still. No school outside those eight can every be ivy league, only of ivy league quality.
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 03:53 pm
You know, honestly, holiday, it sounds to me like your school isn't that great even among public schools. We learned about the structure of the periodic table of in Integrated Science 1 advanced, which is the first level H.S. course for freshmen. We learned about how it was set up as far as periodicity, valence shells, reactivity. Further we studied all of the phase changes, evaporation, sublimation ect, and all of the basic principles of earth science; aquifers and their classification, stages of volcanic activity ect.
We started cheistry with a review of factor lable and then jumped into electronegativity, atomic raduis, surface tension ect and we had to do quite a bit of stoicheometry. By the end we had touched upon very basic organic chemistry.

In biology, we did do quite a bit of coloring....in retrospcet I hated the class and the teacher was a dingbat.

In honors physics we covered everything from frictional coefficients to basic optics; refraction indexes, mechanics of mirrages ect. The teacher was quite intuitively good with the subject and had 2 or 3 maters degrees in hard science. He took advantage of the fact that he was so in demand to allow us to do somewhat unorthodox experiments, one such being a projectile launcher, one of the students made a black powder cannon with a rock structure, a metal pipe and steel ball bering. Basically a ground mounted gun. We fired them all over the football field.

My physics teacher was definitely the one who got me into physics and mathematics.

Overall, highschool wasn't that bad. Most classes sucked, but the science ones were good. I found people who I really liked my junior and senior year that I otherwise would have never known. I may have been screwed over more than once by the auditorium class sign up method...there really is not up side to that, actually. Whatever you want to do.
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 04:41 pm
My physics teacher is cool too, and we really do quite a bit of work in physics, and I've scanned the grade twelve textbook, and I found we get to learn about the dual slit experiment and wave-particle duality, now finally something. I hate kinematics and dynamics, personally, and that was basically the whole grade eleven physics course. We briefly touched on magnetism.
Chemistry had some stoichiometry, its not like we didn't get into some good math. We did limiting reactants, mol conversions (the course was principled upon the concept of the 'mole'), and 3 days of organic chemistry, it was nomenclature of hydrocarbons, but we stuck to alkanes, so not really an appropriate intro. Now I can name hydrocarbons, ethers, carboxylic acids, ketones, etc. ( I taught meself at the start of summer break ). The textbook was better at explaining than the teacher in the nomenclature. (There can be some pretty complex molecules as Aedes would probably know).
Biology was all about the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum, the lysosomes, etc, all of which we did briefly in grade eight. There was some Mendel, along with punnett squares. We only had two variable punnett squares though (I'm assuming you can have dozens). And we did darwin, we were taught that darwins theory was correct, and I asked the teacher is the theory correct in grade twelve? And he says no not really. Ticks me off!!

As for our school, well, its nicknamed the pharmacy Laughing. Otherwise I don't really know how good our school is rated.

What I can't wait for is the peer tutoring class and world issues class. And I'm still considering the writer's craft. I would have only too good of creative writing to submit compared to the laime stuff that is generally done throughout.

Its the fact that there are no lessons in english class after grade 10. And all lessons in grade 9, 10 are geared to 'how to write formal essays'. It's all about preparation for university, never about real writing. Also, what about real books?
Did you have to read Lord of the Flies? Stupid book with little analysis to give. Don't know why its in the curriculum still. 1984 was good so I can't complain though.
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 12:47 am
We also read 1984, and we had a couple opportunities to pick a book on which to do a presentation. I chose crime and punishment. InHonors english junior year they read Brave New World, however, due to a clerical error of some kind I didn't get into the class dispite a 95% in english two advanced(which was a joke of jokes, we watched movies or discussed current events the whole time, a bit of sentence corretions and vocab, but that is nothing).

I found it quite disheartening when I realized that I had a much more expansive vocabulary than most of my english teachers and grasped the essay on oligarchial collectivism in 1984 much more deeply than the teacher who assigned it, who then had me do a presentation about it for the class. I spent my senior year reading Dostoyevski, Kafka, Hesse, Nietzsche and a bit of Kant. I had long hair so I hid earbud head phones under it and litened to captain beefheart while my teacher went over vocab, which took so much of th class period it was unbearable without the music and my writing/drawing to distract me. For an unacceptable ammount of time(any) my english teacher put on Grey's Anatomy, a moronic, disgustigly predictable, bastardisation of the video media, instead of teaching because she was too incompetent to use up the time in any meaningful way. I stand by this, education majors are 99.9% dunces by every measure and should not be allowed near children or expensive equipment.

I utterly dispised the educational side of the highschool experience. It ate away at me the whole time I was there, everytime another student showed the astonishing depth of his/her ignorance I felt a little sick. I couldn't handle ignorance and obtuseness of the magnitude that the bulk of my student body had, it depressed me too greatly seeing what should have and indeed could have been. How easily distracted people are, how easily they will let the wool be pulled over their eyes, how petty the highschool differences, who was in this group or that due to this or that reason, it all disgusted me. I can say that while I am glad I went, I am glad I'm out. Although the very same problems still surround us, it is not so concentrated and does not seem so hopeless. It is probably a defiant illusion that leads me to such a conlusion, one that plants a seed of false hope that humanity will one day improve in a substantial way, stop being so petty and pay less attention to the silly distractions that become our obessions and values, silly disputes over sports, over politics, over videogames, looks.

For me, I think that highschool was a real eye opener to the stark reality of human nature, the good and the bad, and how rare the good is. It showed me what I can change and where my limits are.

Well, that was quite a diatribe, I haven't reflected much on that for quite a while and now I feel a bit upset. Academically, do what you want, the other aspects will fall into place.
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2008 01:10 pm
lol. Can't say as I am as smart as you. Not having to try and getting 95% (s). But for the most part I understand, the problem with me is I don't try so my marks don't reflect any of my abilities. When writing it is a nuisance to be marked on structure rather than ideas, and connections. In school I notice that most classes don't recognize the making connections portion of a course. Its only worth about 10% of each class. It is the part though where a student can think an come up with abstract ideas, and learn. But nooo... its all about the knowledge portion.
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:43 am
I think most schools up to college serve to beat the last remaining intellectual curiosity out of people and take fun out of learning. People are easier to control if they quit learning and just begin accepting and reciting.
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 10:36 pm
I think that as college becomes more 'consumer friendly' by encouraging people only looking to get a carrer jump to come in rather than apprentice or go to trade school we shall decline into a nation of fools, having no outlet for intellectual curiosity/freedom nor any appreciation of such things. As superficial practicality takes precident over true achievment and intellectual progress, we will fall as a nation and rightfully so.

The standards of institutions of learning in the U.S. now pale in comparison to what they were in the mid twentieth century thanks to this massive effort to crank out more specialized 'products' in lieu of men of letters, all in order that companies can benefit from the workforce, which will become so overspecialized that it reaches a point of total incompatibility and falls under its own weight.

When no one can see beyond their tiny function to the greater whole, the tower starts to crumble, you get roads built to nowhere, you start loosing money and the infrastructure collapses. Beurocracy and overspecialization will be the downfall of us in the end.

I am not an elietist, I think every man and woman deserves to have a place in society, and no man is greater than another simply because the boulder he/she pushes is bigger or brighter in color. But this method of weakening the educational infrastructure for a more desirable product is undermining the whole of america. I cannot see this nation lasting as it is for many more decades, there must be a paradigm shift in order that we endure. It seems to me very unfortunate, looking at the heyday of my country and what it accomplished, that we seem headed for such a rough decline. I can only hope that what I describe will not be the case at all.

You seem like a pretty bright guy holiday, follow your interest. There are a lot of online college programs you can enroll in during highschool. Just be warned, don't let them make you into a stamped out worker bee, keep things in perspective and try to figure out when it is best to go with the grain and when you can get away from going against it.
Reply Sun 10 Aug, 2008 02:54 am
There is absolutely no point to high or elementary school, and mandatory education needs to be abolished immediately. It kills creativity in the student, they learn to despise the work, because god forbid you don't go to school and follow your own method of learning, the police escort you. Learning is not a crime... unless it is YOUR style of learning which does not precisely comply with the school, then they take issue.

Get rid of it, now. School should absolutely be optional, all the way, for every age.

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