(Note: I know that many of you, especially the people mentioned in this article, are mentioned somewhat hatefully in this article’s context. Please don’t take anything I say here personally, I mean no harm.)
Whenever I want to take off school for a day, I usually don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve got straight A’s and B’s, and that’s while working on this website often, trying to fix our Internet connection constantly, building new structures and working on new features for Luigiville, and occasionally taking out the trash and letting out our dog. So, of course, on Wednesday when I asked my school’s counselor about taking off Friday to go to our city’s Balloon Fiesta (possibly the most important thing to happen in Albuquerque all year) and she said “yes”, I was hardly concerned. After all, what would be happening on that day was a class meeting. I asked about its importance: she said to check with our school’s Activities Director.
So I go to my school’s Activities Office, feeling I would be fine. I asked what would be happening on that day. (I’m paraphrasing here, because after I got done listening to him I nearly had a heart attack from being so pissed and couldn’t remember any of the crap he had said.) And of course you know what he said.
“This is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT”, he said. “IF YOU WANT TO GRADUATE, YOU HAVE TO GO TO THIS. YOU CAN JUST UNCANCEL THAT APPOINTMENT YOU HAD, AND (blah blah blah blah) VOTER REGISTRATION (blah blah blah blah) SCHOOL SPIRIT (blah blah blah) HOMECOMING (blah blah blah blah) CAPS AND GOWNS FOR GRADUATION (blah)!
After listening to him, I seriously felt like an ass for never asking myself exactly why I should want to pass up such an incredibly important “class meeting”. After all, as you can see by his words being in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, he was INCREDIBLY ANGRY at me that I would ever decide that I shouldn’t find out about homecoming, and of course I need to learn about voter registration (I registered weeks ago, as a Democrat, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to support Senate Minority Leader Elect Dennis Hastert and His Perv Posse). The only thing that sounds important to me is the caps and gowns issue, and the guy seemed more interested in the fact that he was going to be talking at the assembly (he referred to himself as “yours truly”) than about the serious issue of where I’ll be getting my caps and gowns (I already know where, by the way–Herff Jones supplies everything to the schools, and they usually give out brochures, so unless they talk specifically about anything else, in my opinion it’s not important).
Walking out of his office, I got so irritated by his confrontational attitude towards the fact that I didn’t want to have to attend another one of my school’s stupid class meetings that I asked my grandmother to drive me home for fear I might have an accident. In fact, I got so stressed out that I got sick from it and decided to take a day off school today. That’s particularly ironic, because I’ll bet that they chose to put the assembly during the Balloon Fiesta’s last Friday for a reason, and I’ll bet it’s not just because that was the only day they could. I think they did it so students wouldn’t try to take off to see the Fiesta on SCHOOL TIME.
I always find it funny that schools harp on their students so much about staying in school every day they can. After all, the students that don’t go to school very often and who ditch don’t get very good grades, as we all see. They don’t go to school, don’t get their homework, and therefore can’t study and don’t pass their tests.
Now, as an Internet author, I know that many of you get your panties in a ruffle whenever anyone who isn’t an “expert” on an issue puts in their two cents, so I’ll just say I don’t have a degree in psychology. In fact, hell, I don’t have any degrees. In fact, scrub that, the only reason I have any knowledge whatsoever on this issue is that I go to school every day with ditchers, people who get low grades, people who have high grades, and their teachers and administrators.
And what have I learned? Well, first off, the reason that ditchers don’t do well in school isn’t primarily because they don’t go. The main reason ditchers don’t do well in school is just because they don’t give a shit. They get sick of teachers, don’t want to do the work, and so they take the chickenshit way out and just don’t go. And then their parents don’t know and don’t care either, which means nobody’s pushing them to strive to better themselves, excepting teachers who already have thirty students in their classrooms that are desperately seeking to get out of this depressing rabble of losers and failures and make something of themselves. That’s why ditchers don’t do well in schools. It isn’t because they don’t go, because I’ve seen a lot of incredibly smart people who could probably do well on tests even though they didn’t finish school, but are smart anyway because of what they learn outside of school. It’s because of pure apathy.
The reason that schools push students to go to school longer is in a desperate attempt to shift blame to the schedules instead of parents who would sue schools if the schools said a thing about how incredibly STUPID some parents are. “Oh, I won’t punish my child for smoking pot or doing drugs, because he’ll do them anyway.” Yeah. “Oh, I’m sure it’s okay for him to ditch every once in a while!” Yeah, right.
Please, parents, stop acting like it’s the school’s fault that your child doesn’t do well. It’s probably yours and your child’s, and if either of you cared more about his abilities and his doing well in life someday, he could probably learn more from school. The way us students that try to go every day, for fear that otherwise we’ll get buried in homework, do. And schools, stop asking us to go to school an extra month every year; the students that care pass your tests with flying colors, and the teachers say they don’t have enough time because they’re trying to figure out your new schedule that doesn’t really give them any more time. Oh, and also, your “class meetings” where they show off the sports team, and your entire “activities departments” that handle these class meetings, aren’t really great ways to use your time or money. Why not pump that money back into classrooms, where the teachers can use it to teach students who want to learn regardless of who’s on the sports team or what the school’s mascot is?
Just trying to help, of course.