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Bill's Parents
My Turn

by Meg


School Stinks

School still stinks.

I know, I know, college isn't supposed to stink because it is a choice. It ain't no public high school in Kentucky. It's an institution of higher learning with opportunities galore. But how exactly do we get to those opportunities? In my high school (a darn fine pubblyk skul in Kintukee), there were not that many choices. I think the most exotic class was Law and Justice. To my recollection, we did not even have creative writing. I achieved recognition by helping to create and then leading the drama club. We had a literary society, art classes and music, but come on. It was Ridgemont High. The athletes were always recognized as the true achievers, the ones who brought glory and honor to the school by showing up that darn rival of ours (also Ridgemont High).

I looked to expand my horizons in college by exploring real theatre with other people who wanted to make a career out of this fascinating subject. I started out a major in theatre since that was my only real love in high school (the jocks just didn't do it for me). By second semester I decided that I had always focused on theatre, there was a big world out there that I had never known, and by golly, I was going to expand my horizons, even further than before. So I took philosophy, religion, acting (it was my first love), and something else that I cannot remember (but I'm sure it was a subject that would help me in my mission to become a renaissance woman). But oh, how the desire to learn fades with the warming of the weather. I longed to be outside, expanding my horizons the correct way-in nature. Unfortunately, not even my philosophy professor understood my logic. I was unhappy. My valiant efforts to discover my next true love (and the one that would surely last) had failed. This led me to the conclusion that I was simply putting off theatre because I was afraid that my love would let me down. I left this first prestigious college to expand my horizons at a much simpler level-community college. I took some core classes (and acting) to "get them out of the way." I moved on to a more all-American level-- the state college (think Ridgemont College). Now I am a geology major. But I think my horizons have stopped expanding. They are probably confused by the Miller indices I am studying in my "Introduction to Earth Materials" class. I know what you're thinking-how the hell did I get from theatre to geology? Don't feel embarrassed, I'm wondering the same thing to myself right now. Actually, I'm thinking that most of the time. I think I need to expand my horizons.

But the great question for myself remains (and I'm sure you are asking the same thing since you are undoubtedly enthralled by my life's problems). How do I decide what to do as a career? Do I stick with the exacting science or the whimsical art? Quite a dramatic question. Perhaps using the word dramatic is a subconscious clue...or perhaps not. But how can one decide, straight out of high school, what to do with the rest of her life? I suppose the core classes are supposed to give a good range. But I'm pretty sure that Precalculus is not quite the career I desire. And students can only take four or five classes (without paying an extra fee). Yet we are expecting to quickly choose a path for life. How on earth can anyone decide their future by taking four subjects when there are literally hundreds of careers to choose from? Wouldn't it make more sense to let students expand their horizons by letting them actually get to taste a variety of subjects? Perhaps by giving the option to pay a flat rate and going to sit in on as many subjects as the little inquiring heart desires? True, a student might get confused if attending a class for the first time once the teacher is already deeply entrenched in the subject matter. But, in rebuttal, I wish that I had been able to foresee some of the things I am now required to learn before I had made my decision of major. Just think of the freedom! The immense expansion of horizons! Students could actually pick a career based on something they find interesting from experience instead of a suggestion from their high school counselor. Of course, upper level courses would still be only for those firmly attached to the idea of their utopian lifestyle. And core classes would still be required, but at least they would not be the solitary basis for choosing a career. It could actually work.

If this were to work, my next project would be a revolution involving the destruction of all known measures of time. Our horizons would expand so much! (Though we wouldn't be able to tell how quickly...)

Copyright Megan Leahy 9/16/98


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email: bleahy@mindspring.com