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School

Do you ever give much thought to the time you were in High School?

I give it a bit, but it's mostly due to the questions I get asked by students while teaching, and I'm always faintly amused by how little importance I gave it back then (or now, really). I don't remember doing many assignments, nor do I remember spending a lot of time thinking about what I would do after school. I just kind of went there, spent time with my friends, and endured the many growing and social embarrassments that you do while surviving your teenage years at school. But I have this job now, the one that gives me money, where I spend time making sure that students get good marks, that they understand how to construct an essay, and various other things relating to the subject, and I see in them this desire to do well, this direction that they want to take after school, and the stress to get there.

It's a strange experience. Sometimes, I find myself telling students how little their High School marks mean six months after that finish, but I try not to use that as a conversation on why you shouldn't do well. They should, of course. Doing well makes me look good. It also gives them choice after they finish High School, which I think is not very well explaining. High marks don't mean that you get to be a doctor or a lawyer or happy or whatever, but it does mean that you can make a choice to be whatever you want, which someone who has lower marks does not have. A few years back, I was teaching a girl doing her final year of school, and doing the ESL course (English as a Second Language). The kind of work she was doing, at the end of her school time, was on how to make a resume, how to apply for a job, but the jobs were shit kicker jobs, the kind of thing that does not make for a bright and brilliant rock star future. It was realistic, sure, but at the same time, it drove home just how much more choice students who did top courses and scored well did.

Yet, when I was at school, I didn't think about any of that shit. I was oblivious to everything.

Oh well.

In a few weeks, the final exams for year twelve students begin. My punishment, I suppose, for being so oblivious back then, is I get to prepare every year for those exams, like I'm trapped in Hell, and there's no way out.

Please insert the appropriate music.

Comments

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catsparx
Sep. 27th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
I think about high school often. Not *about* it as such, but about the fact that I had nothing whatsoever resembling a grip on reality throughout. It never ceases to amaze me how clued up some other kids could be. Like they were little adults already at age 12. I didn't even grow a brain till I was 30.
benpeek
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
yeah, that's what i was kinda getting at--how all the students seem so clued in while i was oblivious to it.
ataxi
Sep. 27th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
Um, yeah, I do occasionally. No good lies down that road, though.
benpeek
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
lol.
kylaw
Sep. 27th, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
I wrote a novel about my time in high school. I keep meaning to go back and revise it into something saleable, but it's so fricking uncomfortable I'd rather keep playing around with undead. Much rather.

For music, I suggest "The Order of Death" by Public Image Ltd. Originally used as the titles music for a low budget SF film called Hardware, it can also be found on the Blair Witch soundtrack. "This is what you want, this is what you get..."

benpeek
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
but i hate the blair witch project...

you know, i have a bit of a weakness for high school reunion stories. my favourite is by christopher brookmyre, where the reunion takes place on an oil rig, and is attacked by terrorists.
ashamel
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
My favourite is Grosse Pointe Blank. Possibly that's my only one as well.
benpeek
Sep. 28th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
yeah, grosse pointe blank is alright. it hasn't really withstood the test of time for me, though.
ashamel
Sep. 28th, 2010 09:30 am (UTC)
What has?

(That might just be me.)
kylaw
Sep. 28th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
Oh, do I need to say it? Gross Point Blank!
benpeek
Sep. 28th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
lol. you were beaten to it.
exp_err
Sep. 28th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
For me, the whole of year 12 was about uni entrance scores. It was pretty intense. It wasn't even about getting a high enough score to get into my choice of subjects: it was about getting the highest possible score, even though that bore no relation to any requirement for the future. So that was pretty disconnected from the real world, too.

They handed out a big, fat book of career options towards the end of year 10 and I spent hours going through each option, giving it a tick or a cross, ranking those with ticks and making sure I was choosing the right school subjects to get me into absolutely anything at uni. Top contending options for me from that exercise included law, psychology, politics and criminology. But I ended up choosing environmental science after all, which is what I'd have said I'd do if you'd asked me when I was 8.
ataxi
Sep. 28th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC)
For me year twelve was much the same, but coupled with an equally studious pretence that I didn't care how well I did. "Oh, I'm so lazy," I'd say, while waiting with bated breath for my marks. I was orgasmically happy when I got dux, beating a couple of people who I'd convinced myself appeared to be slightly swottier than I was.

I think at some point I took the phrase "keep your options open" a bit too seriously. There's no way I'd waste my uninclined mind studying chemistry if I re-did high school: the two-maths and two-physical-science combination was strictly for the breadth of course prerequisites it satisfied. But then I'd probably choose different university courses as well.
exp_err
Sep. 30th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
"Oh, I'm so lazy," I'd say, while waiting with bated breath for my marks.

We had one or two like you at our school. We didn't believe them for a minute.

I did the standard Maths 2&3, Physics, Chemistry, English Literature and Economics combo. I was shocked when a smart friend chose a non TEE unit of Child Care instead of Economics or a language, but she obviously knew what she was doing. She's now a part-time GP with four kids.
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