Private Education: Pros & Cons

Until this year, my sophomore one, I had gone to only one school, a small private one with grades kindergarten through 12 and only 350 students.

I was there on scholarship and several factors influenced my decision to leave.  The first was curriculum diversity. The school had only one AP class, AP Calculus.  I felt like I would be able to design my courses to fit my interests more so in a public school.  The next was cultural and racial diversity.  The school was predominantly white with no Asians and three Black students. I felt like I would be going to college without a more international perspective on life.  The last was social. For those of you who have never attended a small public school, imagine a close-knit family (I could name every student there) in which newcomers are rarely welcomed and those who don’t fit the “normal” are shunned. I did not fit in the “normal” category, but I had immunity against open ridicule because I had been at the school since kindergarten.  If I had come to the school as a new student instead of leaving it, the story would be very different.

I cannot point out the cons of private education without pointing out its pros. I received a very personalized education and have excellent reading and writing skills.  I have found that my English is much better than my peers.  For example, earlier this week in my English II Honors class, my teacher asked us to list the eight parts of speech for a warm up.  I all but scoffed out loud.  I had known the parts of speech since fourth grade and here I was being asked for them in a high school honors class!  I was even more surprised to realize that I was the only one who could list them all and that the next best listing was four out of eight.

The eight parts of speech are, by the way:

  1. Noun
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adjective
  4. Interjection
  5. Verb
  6. Adverb
  7. Conjunction
  8. Preposition

 

I also have less trouble and do not stumble over words when we read aloud in class.  Part of this could probably be attributed to the fact I am an avid reader and writer, but words such as “atrocity” or “misdemeanor”  should not be words that a sophomore honors student struggles over.

Another thing is note taking. I have found that I take better notes than my contemporaries.  I had an excellent science teacher (the same one grades six through nine) who taught me how to highlight the important stuff and not to write down something you already know or is common sense.

In all of the other subject areas, though, I am right on par with the other students.  I find this very interesting and hope to one day find out how to bridge the gap between public and private education.

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Grandma’s Cookies

Most everyone will swear that their grandma’s cookies are the best.  What is it about grandma’s cookies that make them so wonderful?  Maybe it is because they were made just for us.  I believe it is because they remind us of when we were little and life was simple.

Sitting on the sofa, or wherever for that matter, and eating warm cookies fresh out of grandma’s oven simplifies everything.  We forget about an essay worth twenty-five percent of our grade.  We forget about bills that need to be paid, places we need to be, and all of the responsibilities we have.

We don’t even need to be at grandma’s for her cookies to work their sweet magic.  I was once at a camp and having a thoroughly miserable time, until my grandma sent cookies and I was transported back the chair at the counter in her kitchen. I forgot all about the fact I had poison ivy, hadn’t taken a hot water bath in over a week, and had horrible roommates (who got none of my edible gold).

So, the next time you are munching on grandma’s secret recipe, think about what the labor of love means and don’t forget to give her a hug!!

Florida: It’s Not What You Think

When you think of Florida you probably think of the following and if you have ever come here on vacation the following is probably what you saw.

       

 

That is of couse, what the tourism industry wants you to see.  In Florida, and in many other places whose economies rely on tourism there is the constant controversy between preserving nature and promoting tourism.  Tourism is Florida’s number one industry, but it kills real Florida.  As a Floridian, it pains me to watch people come to my state and see the fake aspects of it, the tourism industry.  Yes, Florida is beaches, but it is also beautiful pine tree forests, orange groves, Everglades, lakes,deciduous forests, and quaint little towns.

I absolutely LOVE beaches, but only when they look like this

 

To me, there is nothing like a sand dune.  I love beaches where the birds are not always begging you for food and where the shells are plenty.

Florida has a diverse selection of wildlife as well

The Roseate Spoonbill,    

Not to be mistaken for a flamingo         The Great Blue Heron  

   

 

White Tailed Deer –The poor souls are often hunted here in northern Florida. Having the head of one on your wall is something of a status symbol to most.  The bigger the rack (antlers) the better.  Personally, I find them adorable.        

 

The Alligator- When discussing the wildlife of Florida, we cannot leave out the alligator.  One can obtain a license to hunt them, their hide and meat being of value. They are not as cute as the deer, but the commodification of alligators is worrisome.

 

These are just a few glimpses at Florida, the real Florida.  I hope the next time you think of us, the peninsula of the United States, you think of something other than Disney World and crowded beaches.

Should you ever decide to visit Florida, here a few beaches and parks I would recommend:

St. George Beach

Mexico Beach

St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge

Everglades National Park

Amelia Island State Park

Cape San Blas Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Growing Up Clumsily

 

That’s what I think I’m doing.  Growing up clumsily.  Why not document it so that later on in life I can laugh at myself? My interests now might not be my interests a year from now.  This is my journal, so to speak, but it is one I want people to benefit from. 

I will write about something interesting I learned in class, saw on the news, or something I was an eyewitness to.  I will tell you about the flora and fauna of northern Florida and of the states around it.  I will tell about what I see wrong in the public school system here in the United States and I will tell you what I see right.  I will describe to you what it is like to be American and why sometimes I am not so proud to be one.  I will ask you to tell me about your country and what it is like there. I will tell you stories, share random facts, tidbits of history, lessons on biology, words of wisdom, and more.

I want this blog to not just be about me.  I want my words to inspire others to share what their life is like and to make this blog into a melting pot of cultures, ideas, lifestyles, and voices.