It is with mixed feelings that I enter my 12th year in public school education. After spending 76.5 percent of my living years on earth attending school, it’s about time to receive recognition. Teachers greet my fellow seniors with ease, counselors congratulate our success, and freshmen simply adore us.
Well:maybe not that last one.
The school year ahead is full of anticipation – anticipation to reap the benefits of our time spent here and anticipation for the “real world,” that world beyond the walls of high school and cities farther than our hometown. We are already facing the responsibilities of adulthood, driving on our own, working part-time jobs, and planning our future. College looms in the minds of many even this early in the school year, with much frustration and anxiety over determining just what to do with the next four years of our life.
Despite the pitfalls of returning to school, there’s something familiar, a relentless pattern that is somewhat comforting. Carrying a backpack with well over the recommended 15 percent of my body weight can only bring back fond memories. As a member of the senior class, many students (including myself) have arranged their schedules so as to include only four classes, leaving plenty of time for the activity our generation is much deprived of: sleep.
There are also other benefits involved from our time in class. There’s time to be spent filling a sketchbook with doodles and artistic masterpieces. There’s a chance to reconnect with friends we have not seen in several days. And, of course, there’s also the possibility that we might learn something.
Yes, school holds several aspects far beyond and unrelated to education, but we have to thank our persistent and well-intentioned teachers for their perseverance in gaining our attention. Teaching is truly an art – not only to deliver information, but to keep their easily distracted audience entertained. We also have to thank the administration, particularly for attending to the ever-present line waiting outside the counseling office during the first week of school. Last but not least, we must thank the custodial staff for taking the time to pick up after over 2,000 forgetful and messy teenagers.
Personally, I enjoy learning, but I can’t help but say, “Only 50 weeks left!”