Posts Tagged ‘english’

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.


Preparation

(February 5th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

I’ve been so jealous of Connor this whole week since he’s been given the advantage to miss school for a couple of days while his “snowfall” clears up. I feel like I need that time to relax and be care-free again. Recently I’ve started to go to a preparation class for the ACT and SAT on Thursdays. I took a practice test last week for English. I felt like I did pretty well on the grammar section but not as well on the reading. I’m just not that great at reading under a strict time limit. Of course, I have started to read a bit more recently, but I like to take it slow so that I understand everything to my greatest ability. Why must reading be so radically adjusted for exams? I really wonder when in my life my boss is going to give me a sheet of paper to read in eight minutes and then answer a whole assortment of questions based on what I remember. I didn’t even get to the last reading of the test since I was still trying to figure out my answers for the other three. Luckily there are other factors in determining whether I am worthy of getting into a certain college rather than just testing. Anyway, I’ll have to continue it for the next couple of weeks before the test starts. I have been getting rides to school from a cab. My mom repetitively asks me to ask someone for a ride, but I’m just not that social. It really would take a great effort for me to ask. I had attempted to bring the topic up in computer science to someone in the same class as me, but someone else in the class turned it into a joke and then I just decided to never bring it up again.

Tutoring was a blast on Friday. I had an opportunity to actually teach someone a little something about Mathematics. Every tutoring session is completely up to the chance of the draw; I was so excited when the luck of the draw went to me. There was a student who came in (most likely a sophomore) who needed help with Advanced Algebra. I kindly accepted the challenge and asked the boy what he needed help with. To my surprise, he had told me that he wanted to look ahead at future chapters in his textbook that he had not gone over yet in class. I was a little skeptical that this would turn out well, but it ended up being a blast. I was finally given the opportunity to teach this over-achiever something new! I covered several random chapters that he had flipped through in the book at random and taught him everything he needed to know on the subject. I felt so honored to be giving out knowledge instead of just helping a student master a topic.