Thank you for joining me on this adventure.
I started this blog for an assignment for one of my college classes. When I started it, I felt more than a little insecure in the thought that I could truly help anybody with my own thoughts and experiences. As it stands, I still am not sure I truly helped anybody.
Instructors are people too. Most people are aware of this on a cerebral level by the time they hit high school, of course – it’s pretty obvious that our teachers are not automations that shut down when the final bell rings. But teachers are people too, and they bring with them their biases and preconceptions about the world.
Sometimes, this can be for the better, such as a teacher helping a student deal with difficult circumstances outside of school. But sometimes, this can result in unfair treatment and even bigotry towards different students for a variety of reasons.
Nevertheless, in the face of this sort of situation, you are not powerless. Every student deserves a safe and fair learning environment.
It’s the cliche to end all cliches: “how will this help me in the real world?”
Granted, I’m not a big fan of the concept of the Real World in the first place, but I feel that this question still has some merit. For many people, a large portion of the things that we are forced to learn in middle school and high school are both uninteresting and ultimately irrelevant to their futures. Meanwhile, it can feel like the things you want and need to learn to be a secondary consideration, if at all. And it seems that schools encourage rote memorization over skills which are critical to the modern job market.
In much of the US right now, the temperature is dipping quickly. I live in Wisconsin, and the first whispers of snow are reaching my ears while my daily commute to and from class becomes colder and colder.
The cold is a problem for nearly everybody – from transportation difficulties to illness complications to the natural human urge to not want to get out from under your warm blanket, it seems everybody has a bit of a harder time at this point in the year.
Nevertheless, there are things that can be done to make the cold a bit more bearable.
Apologies for another late post. I will get today’s post up before midnight CST.
For a lot of people, at least here in the States, things are really starting to pile up around this time of year. It’s a common time for birthdays, there are various regional holidays, and the school year is in full swing (and possibly gearing up for finals). It’s more than enough to make your head spin, if you’re not careful.
Naturally, it’s common to feel overwhelmed in the face of all this. There’s little you can safely put off or set aside, and just as you clear your plate a bit more and more piles up. But coping with this is not impossible. Chances are you’ve done it before. Whether you feel you did a good job or not, half the power is in the doing to begin with.
If you need a little more help, I’ve got some troubleshooting tips as always.
For those of us who aren’t graduating, or have only one semester to go, it’s not unlikely that right around now you’re worrying about the semester to come. In my experience, sometimes this is super straightforward, and sometimes it’s a matter of running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to scramble together something coherent.
I’m guessing a lot of this blog’s demographic is in the later situation.
I really, really hate how condescending people can be to students sometimes, especially high school students. We’ve probably heard the same song and dance.
“When you’re in the Real World, people won’t give you detailed instructions!”
“You think you have problems now? Wait until you get into the Real World!”
“High school/College is really the best time of your life”
The phrase Real World is capitalized for a reason – I don’t think these people are talking about the same thing as the real world, so it’s only natural to differentiate it. Because if we aren’t living in the real world, where the heck are we?
Does anyone actually enjoy doing group projects? I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who did, and it’s rare that I’ve enjoyed them myself. Unless you luck out and get a great group and are working on a project that is in and of itself great, chances are good that you’re in for some stress.
This is to say nothing of when situations aren’t ideal – perhaps you hate the subject matter as it is, or you have less than ideal group mates, or your instructor isn’t understanding of the circumstances outside of your control. To make matters worse, sometimes you or your group members may have extenuating circumstances that make things even more difficult, like an overfilled schedule or a condition like social anxiety disorder.
That being said, there are ways to deal with these besides just “sucking it up and dealing with it”. After all, much of the post-graduate world involves collaborative work, and these problems don’t disappear when you get your diploma.
As is likely obvious to anyone who’s gone to school before, different subjects need to be studied in different ways. Studying a book for an English paper is very different than studying a theorem for a math test. There are times where this can get very granular – one class might be completely different from its prerequisite in terms of how best to study.
Sometimes though, articulating the differences between the different kinds of classes can be tricky. A class studying game design and a class studying algorithms don’t seem all that different at first glance to people with surface knowledge of both subjects, as many students may be when planning their schedules. But in practice, those classes might ask very different things from their students.
How can we use this to our advantage?