When was the last time you heard the phrase “High school years are the best years of your life”? I have to say that I have heard that too many times to count. When I first started my freshman year in high school, I was just like everyone else, nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. I went to Freeport Area Senior High School, which is about 30 minutes North of Pittsburgh. The previous year, I was an eighth grader at the Freeport Junior High School, we were the oldest grade in the school, and we were the “top dogs”. But that all changed when I started freshman year, we were the youngest of all the students there, and we were the ones that got picked on the most. There were a lot more students in the building than there were in the junior high school, because the high school was a ninth through twelfth grade school, and the junior high was only seventh and eighth grade. Each grade was sitting at one table, and they were completely full. They were all involved in their own “cliques”, and they all had different interests. One group was into sports, while the other was into computers or music. I had a variety of interests, but I didn’t have the confidence to reach out and talk to somebody. I was afraid that if I did reach out to somebody, that person would later make fun of me, or take advantage of me.
Students aside, I also has some problems with teachers. Most people tell me that they liked their high school teachers alot more than their middle school teachers, but I was exactly the opposite. I had very helpful teachers in the junior high that were very helpful, and we did tons of projects where I was able to express myself with my computer skills. My high school classes were nothing but books and paper, we did no hands on activities and we had to do it exactly how the book said to do it. In my computer applications class, the only program we covered was Microsoft Word. The textbook we used had these “do it yourself” activities, and we had to copy all of them word for word, and format it like they told us to. I had more skills than everybody else in the class, so it was a completely useless waste of time. Instead of working at our own pace, we had to follow along with the teacher, who would just sit and ramble about things I already knew how to do. The class lasted for a semester, and at the end I got a 59 percent, and the teacher wrote “refuses to follow directions” on my report card. I wanted to prove to the teacher in that class that I already knew how to do it, and that I didn’t need to listen to her boring lectures. There surpisingly quite a few people that didn’t know HOW TO FORMAT A WORD DOCUMENT OF ALL THINGS.
Math wasn’t one of my strong points, and it still isn’t today. It really makes things better when you have a great teacher there to help you with things you struggle with the most. That unfortunately wasn’t the case for me in public high school. The math teacher I had to deal with in high school reeked with the smell of tobacco, and was also a very grouchy, old woman that hated her job. If you even made a short glance at this woman, you could tell that she just didn’t want to be working at our school. She would spend the first 20 minutes of the class period complaining about why she didn’t want to be at school, and about all of the students she hated working with. Then, she would give us a homework assignment and expect it to be done by the next day. There were days she wouldn’t even explain how to do the material, then she would sit and fall asleep during class. That, of course was the time for all of the students to goof off. When the students would make a lot of noise, she would wake up, then the dismissal bell would ring. That was the daily routine of eighth period math class. Another thing that really distracted me was the sound of the buses pulling in. My parents mentioned it to my learning support teacher, then they decided that I would go to the support room for the last 15 minutes of eighth period math class. It was on the other side of the school, and it was far away from where the buses would pull in.
Sophomore year was better academically, but not socially. I got teased and labeled from the same people as always, and I got very sick of it. In November, we went on a class trip to the Lenape Vo Tech school in Ford City, PA. I got to tour each of their 15 technical programs, and the one I was impressed with the most was their new opto electronics engineering technology program. They had a very enthusiastic instructor, very friendly students, which all seemed very interested in what they were learning. One unique thing about Lenape is that you stay there for your core academic classes one half of the day, and you study your chosen technical field in the afternoon. I will go there for both my junior and senior year. I know that this school will be a much better option for me, and it will give me a chance to start off on a clean slate. I know that there will be a few of those rude, arrogant people that try to bring me down, but I’m not going to let that get to me.