Tuesday, March 14, 2006

All I really need right now is a nice, long thunderstorm.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Real teaching.

I think one of the main things that causes students to turn away from schooling is the teachers' mentality that students are somehow inferior to them. I loathe this mentality, detest it. I feel like a real person, and when teachers feel the need to condescend and dumb things down in order for us to get it, I feel as if I'm slamming my head into a wall. How can someone teach who is incapable of seeing who is being taught? The best teachers are those who see us as people, not students. I don't care what is being taught, it won't be successful if the students feel condescended to. I don't care what any teacher, however smart, says, I am a real person and I know that I'm capable of logical thought process and I know that I'm capable of appreciating concepts whether they're "appropriate" or not. Arrest me, I've watched R-rated movies before. And, horror of horrors, I didn't sit sniggering at the f-word and my retinas are still intact after seeing a few scenes with nudity in them. And, surprise, at the tender age of only 15, I'm capable of looking past the nudity and cussing and seeing the message of the movie. Shawshank Redemption, is it "appropriate"? No, but it is a genuinely good movie with a good message. But clearly, since I was only 13, I couldn't possibly understand the movie. No, certainly not, all thirteen year olds are incapable of understanding a mature movie.

And it all depends on the students, but teachers who lump all the morons who get drunk on weekends and don't have the attention span of a fly with the regular people are really detrimental. Because even the morons who do dumb things are capable of comprehending concepts. And everyone suffers.

A certain comment on a certain other blog really made me angry. It was along the lines of, "this movie really has a good point, but I don't think the students are capable of understanding the content or "getting" the message." That really bothered me. My response to that was such:

"I hate to offend, but it's often this kind of issue where students turn from education. All too often, we feel as if our teachers are condescending or trying to spoonfeed us things. I would suggest you sit down with a few students and really talk to them. Not about grades or what they did in biology last week. But talk ot them, you'll find that we're people. Actual people with thought processes just as complex as anyone over the age of eighteen. Any given student in any given class is not only capable of getting a message, however disturbing it may be, but really learning from it. Mental maturity and ability to "get" things is not magically bestowed upon us on our eighteenth birthday. I don't know where exactly the line is between 6 and 15, but we are much more capable than people seem to think. It really depends on the student, but we are very much the same as you are. Young students hold that belief that teachers sleep under their desks and aren't real people, that mentality seems to be reversed sometimes.

There is certainly a line between 6 and 15, but as a 15 year old, I certainly feel like I'm capable of appreciating just as many ideas, however disturbing, as my teachers. Who knows, perhaps I'm wrong and there really is some sort of intellectual epiphany at 18. But where is the line at any age? Is there a real line between a high school sophomore and a college sophomore?

I know I strayed from the topic about links and blogging, but I really felt the need to express my thoughts on this. Sometimes adults, parents, teachers or just people in the community forget that teenagers are still people. I could be wrong, but I certainly feel like a real person, and I hope to remind people that perhaps we aren't so different after all."

I really wish that every adult who deals with youth could sit down and think back to their high school and college years. I certainly feel like an intellectually capable person. And although we may lack life experience, we still have valid thoughts, opinions and beliefs, and when an adult totally dismisses them on the grounds that they're "older than you, better than you, and that's just how it is," it makes us feel inferior. And we're not inferior. When does a student become an adult with valid opinions? Because, for years, I've thought of things that seem worth thinking about, but when I offer my opinions to adults, they're entirely dismissed. What happens when I turn 18? Do I get blessed by the God of Sudden Knowledge and Wisdom? Cause if that's the case I'd love to know so I could just shut up and stop spewing all this wrong information. Are my opinions suddenly valid when I turn 18? Or am I just the same as anyone else? Please, I'd really love to know.

Every teacher should take a lesson from a mentor. My mentor is my archery instructor. I've known him since I was seven. The reason we get along so well is that from the moment he met me, he respected me. He was the first and only adult I could ever really talk to about real things. I could talk to him about my ideas, and he would listen as if there were some minute chance that I could have a legitimate thought in my head. And even better, he would tell me the truth. He didn't sugar-coat things for me. He realized that even though I'm young, I can understand the full depth of things. That's a real teacher.

I apologize for the length, but I really needed to rant a little bit.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We found Osama!

I really, really, REALLY want the rest of my voice to come back by tomorrow. We're doing such good music in choir that I woud be genuinely dissappointed if I couldn't sing it.

I only have one real day of ALIS left of my entire life, yet I have this terribly dark, ominous feeling that it will prove to be a very, very long day. I entirely forgot the fact that I have a choir concert the night before massive paper due.

So I found this thoroughly entertaining song. "I hate you all" by get set go. It's really a rather terrible song, all of the lyrics are detailing how I hate everyone, and all the different reasons, but the tune is so wonderfully upbeat and funny, I just can't stop playing it. You will find yourself singing and dancing around the room, then stop and wonder why you're so happy that everyone's gonna die.

Having a few days off of tech is rather nice. I love tech, but I've found that whatever relationships I have outside of theatre are suffering because I'm ALWAYS at theatre. Rather a dilemma. So having a few days with no lighting it kind of nice. Plus, as much as I love talking to gobos and fresnels, they aren't very sociable, so having a few days to talk to people is rather healthy.

I love silly putty.

Recent reports show that Vice President Cheney did not, I repeat, did not shoot Henry Whittington. He found Osama. Dressed as a texan lawyer, in the middle of a field, making quail noises.