Sunday, September 18, 2016

School Thus Far

Welcome one and all. Today I want to do a kind of "school review," where I go through my classes for the year and tell you what I think so far (and probably complain. Cause school.)

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.

L8r sk8r,
Ella

8 comments:

  1. OMG! you have so many classes! I would be over whelmed but you know, metal arts sounds like such a legitimate class. I start classes at PCC pretty soon. AH college boy am I nervous but excited.

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    1. Yes, I do have a lot of classes...tryna look good for colleges ;) And I am genuinely interested in most of them. Especially metals!

      Good luck in college!

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  2. Your schedule sounds much better than what I have, although you have APUSH which is a class that I really wanted to take but couldn't due to my schedule.

    I get what you mean about having to be stuck with the underclassmen in several classes. Spanish III was another class that I couldn't fit into my schedule, but I was able to fit into a Spanish II class where the teacher is giving me harder, more advanced material compared to the rest of the class, but it does get annoying because reviewing concepts can be tedious and the freshmen in the class sometimes need to get a grip, but they did manage to bring in food for the surprise class parties we're allowed to hold, which atones for most of it, I guess.

    Okay, Pre-Calc isn't that bad, and actually, if you end up taking AP Calc A-B, which is what I'm currently taking, you actually spend the first several weeks relearning everything, so you can relax a bit on that. But taking Physics? Yikes! I was kind of hoping that I wouldn't have to take AP Physics, but it's the only other science class that doesn't require to take up two class periods besides APES, which is what I'm taking right now (AP Environmental Science). Word problems can be super annoying, not going to lie...

    Hopefully the rest of the school year goes well! There's so much stress, but it's just really this year. Senior year is a tad bit easier (probably only because we know what we're actually doing, though).

    xoxo Morning

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    1. Sorry APUSH didn't work out for you...it's not exactly riveting thus far, but I think it really depends on how it's taught.

      I know I can make the year go smoothly if I am on top of things and don't procrastinate, but stress seems to be inevitable. I hope your year goes well!

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  3. Hey there! I just found your blog and love it! ( AND your YouTube channel is hilarious. X) )
    You pink hair is fab, and your style is to die for!
    You have a lot of classes, but keep up the great work! :D
    Xoxo
    http://everythingisbetterwithpolkadots.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much! I'll check out your blog.

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  4. We have practically the same schedule and hopefully not the same stress level. (mine is high!) I'm taking 2 AP classes this year which is just like you said, straight up packets and review, + driver's ed + 3 clubs + a part time job + dealing with crazy teachers and clueless underclassmen. << That's my mini rant and I hope you don't have TOO much going on in school. My advice: push off college worries until next year and have sleepovers while you can. I hope you have a good year and would love to see poetry and pictures of your metal art!! XOXO

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    1. Yikes! Kudos to you for getting a job as well. I hope to get a job once musical season is over, when I'm not in play practice all the time.

      Keep your head up! I know you can manage all you've got going on.

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