Posts Tagged ‘class’

Of Brilliance and Mediocrity

(April 29th, 2010)

Dear amazing teacher-filled Planet Earth,

Imagine: coming into English one day expecting a rather dull discussion on the usage of a semi-colon and realizing that by the end of the class period, all the students have their cell phones out marveling at the outline of a dead body under a rug. Well, that’s exactly how the scenario played out today! My English teacher pondered over what to make out of a slightly used pair of sweatpants left over from another class period. Before you know it there is a group of high-schoolers helping her stuff the pant-legs with construction paper and creating a crime scene in the middle of the classroom floor. These quirky mannerisms are what make this year so captivating.  Everyone’s had that teacher who has created some wild, unforgettable moment to shatter that absurd boring aspect of education. There is an amazing, unique person that always adds light to the confines of the dull cement block walls or the painstakingly over-original shade of slumber brown reflecting off of the bulletin boards. I’m talking about the person who really captures a vivid environment for their students by hanging random paper mache molds of ham, a giant sculpture of a green egg from the book by Dr. Seuss, a festival of lights from the dry-erase board or a small stuffed pair of toddler jeans disguised as a flower planter and referred to as “the half girl”. I’m talking about the teacher who will make every occasion count by bringing in an enormous glowing elephant lawn decoration during the week before winter break and set it up with a group while one classmate reads from the instructions, the one who puts up a Youtube video of a blazing fireplace on the overhead projector and dims the lights when the temperature in the room is cold. This is the teacher who adds random images of dopey-looking horses or adorable squirrels on intermittent slide shows to loosen the scene or cut out a shape of a duck from paper after she asks you to blurt out any animal from the top of your head. I hope I’m not gloating by saying that my English teacher is among some of the most wacky of all the figureheads at my school. I don’t want to spread the idea that nothing work-related gets accomplished. Instead, my teacher just makes it an enjoyable experience. Before assigning a five-paragraph essay, my teacher once acted out a skit based on the television show, CSI. She blows away the previous definition that school is a place solely of study and learning and makes every day memorable.

By the way, Connor recently had his entry accepted on GraphJam, a downright hilarious website full of charts, diagrams, and of course, graphs. I recommend that you check it out, he would really appreciate more viewers! Anyway, click here to see it.


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What’s The Point?

(January 25th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

This weekend was a tough one for the books. Luckily I didn’t have too much stress since the finals were over. I felt trapped inside the house all weekend because I couldn’t get out and do anything. Usually I pass the time by playing Dance Dance Revolution. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option this time since I had gotten a splinter from a small piece of glass… or something… that I stepped on. It was the tiniest thing, but I couldn’t walk afterwards since the bottom of my foot would start stinging with every step. On Sunday I did manage to get out with my family though. I stopped at Borders and picked out a new book. Gosh, I can just never get enough of books anymore. This whole weekend I just felt like browsing a bookstore and seeing what interesting stories I can find. I’ve started to look at the adult reading section… I know! How mature of me! I felt so warm inside when I was scanning through the shelf at that Borders in the literature section, thank you very much! I’m just not used to the reaction that my parents give me… ever since I started *reading*. Anyway, the book I picked out today, Breakfast With Buddha, is about a normal man out in the world who encounters a religious monk. His wife tells him that he should go on a trip with this spiritual being to the place of his childhood. I haven’t really gotten that far into it, but that is what I know of from the summary on the back. I don’t know why it appealed to me, I guess I’ve just been into religious readings recently ever since I took religions last year. I had a bad experience when I was trying to read it last night. I was in my bed with my night-light on when I heard my parents start arguing in the room on the other side of my bedroom wall. It felt like the arguing went on for hours… I just couldn’t concentrate on the book. My mom and dad have fought so often now and me and my sisters are upset to our stomachs having to listen to it. They just don’t love each other, and I can’t really do anything to change that. I wished I could just get up and out of the house, but I couldn’t walk on account of my splinter. I couldn’t drain out their noise with my iPod because my ear was bleeding like crazy last night. What could I have done?

With music still as a topic of thought, my life has grown a lot more musical ever since my sister handed me an iPod one day… for free! Recently I’ve written songs that I am familiar with to put on it. I still have to use my sister’s iTunes account since apparently it doesn’t work on my laptop (according to her). So I have to resort to bugging her every second of every day to put more music on. Any free moment I have is one spent listening. In fact, I’m listening to it now as I am typing this during my free period. I never knew what I was missing out on until now! Whenever the idea of music came to me, I would always just shoo it away, thinking that I didn’t need such a thing in my life. Especially with my music-adoring friend, Trevor. In the past I’ve been irritated with any reminder of music because of him. I am sick of his wild guitar and any other instrument he plays.

It has gotten warmer out lately??? I know! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the snow outside was gone! I stepped outside on Sunday and the air actually tickled my face with its pleasantness instead of beating it up. Apparently, it started snowing again today. Gosh, these little heat waves are so short!

I’m just so glad that all of my stress from school is at a minimum level again.  Finals were… well… easy I guess. So far I am satisfied with my grade in Pre-Calculus and Physics. I realize now that I have the highest grade in my Physics class now, which makes me want to do a happy dance! I feel so honored. For my Pre-Calc final I only had one question wrong, which kind of bothers me because I was so close to a perfect score. Consumer Economics was a real painstaking class. I am just glad to have that over since it was a huge contributor to my stress. The day before the final I had some idea that I had to complete a final project for the next day. I spent at least two hours working on a goal statement as a consumer, thinking that it would have to be turned in the next day. Apparently, I hadn’t received the memo concerning the cancellation of the assignment. The minute I turned it in to the teacher she started laughing at me! I was so embarrassed, yet proud since I had gone above and beyond. I am praying to god that she gives me some sort of credit for my pointless work.

Second semester started today. I just walked into school with a smile on my face. I don’t know what it is, I just adore change to my normal routine. It might not even be as great as last semester, I just love that it is different. In Physics we started learning about impulse and momentum. I received my grade back from the roller coaster project. I got like 101% on it… somehow. I don’t even think that there was extra-credit on it. Spanish was a pain. I’m just not doing so well in that class as I used to. We started off class by talking about what we did over the weekend… and it basically grew worse from there. She announced that we had to start with Diarios again with the topic that we have to talk about someone else in our class. How exciting! Especially because I am somewhat anti-social. She then announced that we were starting a new short story, and lastly that we would be studying South America next. Gee, I really have to get back into the stream of things with that class. I was so excited when Computer Science came up in my day. I walked in, happy to get back into the swing of JavaScript and HTML when I realized that the entire format of the course was redesigned. Apparently, everything I had learned last year was pointless since we started off with a completely different markup language. I was baffled to find out that there were other people who were in the same class as me last year that were in the AP level now. I feel so behind now, gosh! Anyway, I hope I grow to get used to this whole new format.

Apparently my domain will be ending on February 19th, 2010. I hope to pay it again, I just wonder whether I should buy a new domain for my site rather that renew this one. Any ideas for website addresses?

Back At School

(January 4th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

School is finally back in session, which unfortunately many are not delighted to here. I know I am one of those grunpy people who would rather stay at home all day sleeping late and enjoying myself  with Dance Dance Revolution and other mind-degrading video games, blogging on WordPress, talking on Skype and Oovoo Connor, and plenty more. Of course, it is important to adjust oneself depending at what life brings someone, and it my case, it is the stress associated with schoolwork. I felt my stomach sink inside me when I heard in Physics that I would have to do a project examining the changes in force and total mechanical energy at different points on a roller coaster. I had completely forgotten most of the material over this long break! In English I could barely pay attention to the reading we started in class because I was so lost. I really need to get my game on, or I am in for a mighty spin down a drain. I’m sitting in Tutoring in the learning center at school typing this, honored to have potential time to relax after this hectic morning of classes. Today was also the first day getting ready this morning in my new house. I feel like I smoothly adjusted back into my routine of eating cereal, preparing my choice of sanwich for the day, checking updates on my computer, and talking to Connor. Sadly, I was unable to stop to check the weather, but during the dead of winter it seems to be a common instinct to know how to dress for the day. I felt rather cranky this morning though, I just wanted to hop back into bed and sleep for another… five hours?

A couple of days ago I was browsing through Barnes & Nobles when I came across a book that I am dieing to get my hands on: The Wild Things by David Eggers. I had told Connor about it, and apparently he had already known about this certain book. I just have to read it! I wasn’t able to purchase it, since I had just used my money to see The Blind Side with my friend Nick and a couple of other people. Anyway, I’m just so interested to find out how it relates to the movie, its a rather long read (in my opinion). Of course, I am not much of a devoted reader to start out with, but I was pretty excited about this one. I’ve heard some pretty good reviews online about it. I just hope I can find the time in my day to read given that it is junior year, my hardest year in high school. I will get to it eventually!

Childhood II – Youth vs Adult

A Collaborate Post
By Clonez and Connor

The end of school is approaching ever so slowly. Tests, quizzes, projects, speeches, orals, in-class essays, writing assignments, papers, and lots and lots of studying for the finals. My level of stress is really soaring right now. I was up last night really late working hard on getting work done early. I am starting to get those end-of-year jitters. Things were so much easier when I was little. I remember the end of first grade: our class had a huge party to celebrate the end of the year. Cakes, cookies, and brownies galore! We would leave school with no homework to work on at home: free to play and do as we please. Sophomore year rolls by ten years later. Everyone is walking around school like a zombie for not getting enough sleep last night because they were working on that last minute project or paper for the final. No party whatsoever. The level of stress soars to new heights that we thought were unimaginable. I just feel like going back. Going back to the time when everything was care-free: to reminisce once again the magic of childhood.

Sometimes I really feel like school is such a boundary for me
I feel like I am in a jail cell
Just waiting to burst free out of the doors
homework
tests
projects
Freedom is waiting patiently on the other side
He encourages me to gnaw through those steel doors and walls
to reach the light I see on the other side
I must escape from this darkness

Freedom isn’t always a good thing Other times I feel like I need to stay in school
where it is safe
Where every day is a new adventure
A new experience to learn more about myself
I go through my everyday routine of walking down the pathways
I’ve carved them for myself to travel throughout the year
School:
where I can meet up with friends
spend time getting to know others
be part of the many clubs that are offered
School really fills up the boring schedule of couch-potato-ness

School really brings out the stress in me.
I come home after a long day
hardships
stress
problems
loads of homework
Summer settles me back to a state of peace with myself
I feel the rush of freedom flow through me
I can go wherever I please
see whatever I am in the mood to see
enjoy what I want to enjoy

School helps me in the long run
I start to focus more on my future
the things that really matter
getting into a good college,
studying for the ACT and SAT
getting a part-time job
Oh, and did I almost forget?
I am going to be a tutor next year
the urge for retaining education has surged through me

Leisure and diversion help me in the long run
I start to learn more about myself
I continue to do summer activities that please me
I can return to the child side of me
Summer keeps me relaxed
I will start all fresh and new when school begins in the fall.

Imagine being stuck at a fork in the road. You have just been traveling for miles trying to find the way out of a desolate, dark, and dreary forest. You now have to make the choice that determines your fate. Its a hard and painstaking decision which road to follow. That is exactly how I feel. I really don’t want to give up the magic of childhood, but I also really want to grow up. I’m torn apart by the mysterious forces of both sides.

Connor’s eighth grade is a little different. Since my “class” is “graduating” to high school, the eighth grade teachers are like totally “oh em gee!” So we’re doing a bunch of end of the year festivities like we all did last year. Picnics, free days, blah blah blah. This year, one thing we’re doing is a “Graduation Ceremony” at some college campus called Wait Chapel. Or something like that. Whatever. We have to rehearse for it, so I know I’ll be missing a couple periods in the next few days. My “finals” were two weeks ago, so I’m pretty much stressless. However, I do have my FIRST actual fo reelz high school final on June 4th. For math, since I took a high school level class this year. I am definitely stressing over that. My 8th grade end of grade tests don’t count towards my grade at all, but the math EOC (end of course, final, whatever you wanna call it) is 25% of my final class grade. I’m scared about that since math isn’t my BEST subject. The days of naptime and end of year waterdays are long gone. However, I do have a little party in Spanish. It won’t be much though, since my spanish teacher treats our class as high schoolers, because in fact I took a high school level spanish class as well. Waaah! I want chips and movies and soda in Spanish. Those lucky 6th graders. ):

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