The great writers have said that hard work breeds a good work ethic and a good work ethic breeds success and success breeds greatness. Well judging by the strained and frantic faces of the students of the class of 2015, we are all going to be great because MAN they are working us hard!
I’m back Back to School only three days and already I feel the pressure. Seven academic classes are on my roster and not one of them offering any solace of ease or simplicity.All my teachers profess rigorous courses and hard grading, “You guys aren’t babies anymore…” One teacher said sternly the first day as he handed out a packet of homework to do over the weekend, “So we aren’t gonna treat you like babies anymore.”
Junior year is notoriously classified as the most difficult year of high school, and this week I have discovered that that reputation is not just a lie to scare freshman. Mounds of liberally doled out homework pile up in my backpack as the day wears on, while each teacher emphatically promise that their class will take all our work ethic and willpower to pass. Let’s just say the physical toll of their enthusiasm is already giving me aches in both my head and my back (its one thing to assign a packet from the textbook to a kid, it’s quite another creature to make that kid walk 1.2 miles uphill with seven such textbooks weighing down on their sore shoulders in the hot August sun… uphill, both ways, in two feet of snow with no shoes… Oh wait, that’s Bill Cosby… nevermind
Yes I cannot wait to get other means of transporting myself from school, as walking home, while it may be building my rather nonexistent muscles, is quite a trying affair after a long day of realizing I know nothing at all. Well, hopefully I can get my driver’s license in October and cease to be one of the carless masses.
But school isn’t all bad of course. I fact, I am quite enjoying this intense and brain-challenging curriculum so far, despite my more complaining muscles protesting the workload. All my teachers are the type that are fantastic and very involved in what they teach. Each poses their respective subject as a new and exciting way to expand one’s mind and become a more sophisticated and well-rounded person. My Chemistry teacher speaks of matter and bonds between elements as the basis of our world, my AP US History professor talks of making us informed and responsible citizens of this great republic, my French teach tells us in langue français that we will be able to speak with confidence in a language not our own, my Algebra teacher states with solid certainty that she will lead us through the doors of mathematical knowledge and show us the basic truths of our world through numbers, my AP Art History professor declares we will become cosmopolitan connoisseurs of complicated images from across the span of human history, my Journalism teacher tell me she will make a plucky girl-reporter out of me, and my AP Language and Composition teacher states his class will change our lives and mold us into free-thinkers who can write about the human condition in the same way as the titans of literature.
To each teacher, we are a brain to be shaped and filled with knowledge until our minds threaten to burst at the seems. We are not a commodity to them, I don’t think, but sometimes it feels difficult to reconcile the reality of life to what they say. Can I become a free thinker in 45 minutes a day for nine months when I am being shaped into an art connoisseur at the same time? Is my brain elastic enough to be pulled in seven opposite directions without tearing? Is my back strong enough to bear the brunt of the seemingly numberless tomes that are piled in my outstretched hands? Will my fragile and delicate GPA survive this dark night of a thousand facts clawing for space in my mind? Can I do this?
My English teacher said today that there were three reactions to the realization of how much hard work we were expected to contribute to this class. 1) Give up. Transfer out. Sue him for being too hard. 2) Go home and eat 50 Twinkies and cry over the misery of your existence. 3) Become hungry for knowledge and find the will to put in the extra 110%.
Well, when I got home today I felt like #2. Maybe when I started writing this post I felt that way too, bemoaning my existence and wishing for a less challenging year. But I don’t want to live my life in fear. I don’t want to be afraid of my GPA falling so much that I don’t try to aim for the stars. Even if that means I’ll be doing ten hours of homework every night, I am not going to take the easy route. That is not who I was taught to be.
I am going to give my all for the Glory of God and am not going to give up without a fight. Bring it on Junior Year! I am ready!
End of rant.