Sunday, September 18, 2016
School Thus Far
First off, I'm a junior in high school. Junior year, as most people will tell you, is supposedly the most stressful year of one's high school experience. It's packed with standardized testing that can determine your future, it's the year you're supposed to start thinking about colleges, and it's also the year that colleges and universities focus on when reviewing your application (so I've heard). That means that junior year you have to step it up. It also means it's a Stress Extravaganza.
Without further ado, here are my classes for the year.
Drivers Ed. I only got my permit in April, so I wasn't selected for summer Drivers Ed, and my class schedule was already full, meaning I couldn't take it during the semester. That left one option: coming to school at 7am every day for a 45 minute class. Yeah. It kind of sucks, but it only lasts a semester and doesn't count towards your GPA, so I'm dealing.
Honors Pre Calculus. Despite passionately disliking mathematics, I'm still somehow in advanced math. So far I'm just sucking it up and rolling with the class, and even though I don't enjoy it, it's better than Honors Algebra II last year, which was just a nightmare. Algebra is my least favorite branch of math.
Fundamentals of Graphic Design. I'm so thankful our school provides plenty of art classes for students, because without art in my school day I think I'd enjoy school a whole lot less. Graphic Design is interesting so far, although all we've really done is learn how to use Adobe Illustrator. I think I'm going to have fun and learn some good skills.
Honors Physics. I'm not very into science, and physics hasn't managed to ignite any passionate spark in me. For homework we always seem to be assigned word problems out of our textbook, which basically just means I'm doing extra math every night. So I'm a little bitter about that.
Concert Chorus. Don't be fooled. The "Concert" in the name isn't special. It's actually ninth grade chorus. Our school has two chorus levels: "Concert" for all the freshpeople, and "Senior" for all upper grades. Unfortunately, Senior Chorus didn't fit into my schedule, which means I'm stuck singing with the freshies. It's not really a problem, except they're all afraid to sing out, which means my voice alone makes up half the volume of the alto section.
Metals in Art. Metalworking is by far my favorite class. It's a relaxed environment with a great teacher, and I take it alongside my friend, so we get to talk all class while we work on various projects. Currently, we're making rings, which is really interesting and great fun. It's a low pressure class where I get to do what I love: make art. 10/10, would recommend.
Spanish 4/5. Due to budget cuts in the district, Spanish 4 and 5 have been combined into one class. Fortunately, I'm part of the "4" group, so I don't feel like I'm re-learning the material, but I feel bad for the seniors who are in a class with a bunch of kids below their level. Language comes relatively easy to me, so I'm able to doodle in my sketch book most of the class and not fall behind, which is all right. I also have it with two of my friends.
AP US History. My only AP class this year. Over the summer I had to read six chapters of the textbook and fill out this huge packet, and that's a pretty good description of the class itself. Even though the teacher is great, our only purpose is to drill the material so we can ace the AP exam. Every day we take out our note packet and follow along while the teacher lectures. And every week, starting soon, we have to read a chapter and fill out a packet. No creativity, no room for error. The only thing I like about it is that it's a structured routine that I know I can depend on, and I know that this method works and will help me do well on the exam.
Poetry. For my English elective, I wanted to take creative writing. Unfortunately, it was full, so I'm taking poetry instead. I'm not too disappointed, because I enjoy writing poetry and am eager to learn new techniques. So far the class hasn't been very revealing, and we've mostly just read and analyzed poems, but I have it with my friend and it's pretty relaxed, so I feel good about it.
Madrigal Choir. Even though this is an extracurricular, it counts as half an arts credit, which is why I'm including it here. Last year, I joined Madrigals when our new chorus teacher revamped it, and I'm in it again this year. Basically, it's a select choir that sings and performs at festivals and concerts throughout the year.
All in all, school is okay. After two years of being in high school, the thrill has worn off. I'm not giddy at the size of the campus anymore (can you say STAIRS?). It doesn't feel like a luxury to eat on the lawn, especially when all the grass is dead and it's infested with biting ants (seriously. They will chomp down on you). And this year they're supposedly implementing a new policy that requires students and faculty to wear their IDs on lanyards at all times, so that should be double the fun.
How is school for you? Ups and downs? Classes you love/hate? Feel free to rant in the comments.