As I marched up the stairs, ready to chew Mr. Janus out, my thoughts rattled around my motoring brain. Why couldn’t he excuse me from the stupid lab? I had just gotten back from a science camp I had applied and gotten into on a full ride. Having missed the first two days after Christmas Break, I figured catching up wouldn’t be a problem, but with an unexpected lab from the world’s biggest stickler, my new teacher, and worst of all, my girlfriend’s helicopter father, I found out just how difficult it could actually be.
Not an autobiographical experience, I crafted this situation to fit a few relationships and difficulties, both humorous and maddening, that occur around me at school.
One of the greatest problems I find in school programs is the one size fits all approach. The two greatest examples of this that I’ve run into are precalculus and the newly established two-part AP physics. I was in a precalc classroom my sophomore year. there were seven sophomores total in the class. That’s not a problem… until you notice that there were eight freshmen, seven juniors, and six seniors in the class: equal representation from each grade. This means those ready for a fast pace were there in equal ratios to those that fell behind the curve and couldn’t keep up. The same situation came when regular physics was dropped in response to the change in AP physics. The class was composed of students in all math classes ranging from algebra two or trigonometry to calculus BC. The real blow came when I requested an independent study of the class, which IS an option that I’ve seen students take at the school before, but was denied and forced to fit the mold put upon the 200+ students in the single course. Life is not black and white; schooling shouldn’t be either!