Archive for April, 2010

“Proper Essays and other school ramblings”

April 17, 2010 2 comments

This was wrote as an English assignment. It was supposed to be an essay about sleepy hollow, but it didn’t turn out that way. I modified it here to make it applicable to a larger group of people, but the point is the same. The original can be found here: Page 1 –, Page 2 – .

Instead of writing about books I’m completely uninterested in, I write about things that are of better use of my time. This possibly explains my recent poor grades in English, but I don’t care a whole lot about that. I believe the importance of English, and most other school subjects goes way down after about seventh grade. I try to read the stories we’re supposed to in English, however teachers always seem to pick out the books that are a complete opposite of what I’d find interesting. So instead I write about things I find interesting, and exposing the uselessness of many of the things we do in school.

First, I’ll talk about the “proper five paragraph essay” idea. I write in a way that’s standardized enough for people to understand me, but I don’t worry too much about little unimportant details. I believe that gives me more time to add interesting content. No, I wouldn’t say writing “LiK DiS” is a good way to make yourself appear to be capable of rubbing to brain cells together to write something anyone would want to read, however not being allowed to use contractions such as “don’t” is an obvious indicator of how much time is wasted attempting to write “properly”. A slight run on or a misplaced comma isn’t going to ruin an essay, because it really only matters if you’re over-analyzing it. Absolute perfectionism doesn’t belong in communication, so long as your writing is understandable by your target audience.

Second, I never understood why students are not allowed to pick out what books they want to write about, and for that matter, why does it have to be a book? I find the internet to be a better source of information.  You’re always told that you should be yourself and be creative, but creativity involves thinking for yourself, which is something that doesn’t happen much in school, as the inability to choose what you’d like to read shows you. Let’s say, for example, that you read a site about car repair, would it not make more sense to write about that, to see if you absorbed the necessary information, than to write about some book that cannot practically be applied in the future? In fact, I believe many students would be far more interested in writing about something that is, or will be useful to them.

Students often get yelled at for sleeping in class. Why is that? When you think about it, English is mostly a useless class after you’ve learned to communicate well enough for people to understand you, so sleeping is a useful alternative. It gives them the opportunity to be awake when they are doing something that is a more valid use of their time, like learning something that they can apply sometime in life.

I tend to get comments saying that if I would spend as much time on school work as I do on what some teachers tend to think are a waste of my time (but mostly involve learning. Irony.) I would have a 4.0 GPA. This may or may not be true, but it doesn’t make school any less of a waste of time. I, like many kids, will always be considered “lazy” because we’d rather be ourselves and learn something that we find interesting. I’ll leave you with this: “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.” – Bill Beattie.

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