Day Job

Only now is the real meat of school life starting to show up…

The Coin War is now roughly in full force. Our crappy forty-minute-effort poster is posted in the middle of the hallway that belongs to the middle school classes. Okay, I’ve managed to suppress my perfectionist urges about this project. It works. It’s good enough.

We have a big factual essay on Lord of the Flies too, and we’re taking point by point. Mr. H has very specific rules for the thesis. Everybody needs their thesis approved before they can start writing anything else. He has these “three simple rules” for writing a thesis:

“must be one sentence”: In other words, string everything together in an inhumanly slew of conjunctions, prepositions, and commas where you can’t tell what half the pronouns are referring to. That might even be bearable if our prompt was simple, but no. The prompt has two questions. Actually, it has one “analyze this” imperative and one “yes or no” question smashed together into another ugly chimera of a sentence. As has been demonstrated again and again, Mr. H likes to join every pair of sentences possible. I don’t.

“tells what the paper is about”: Fine, I won’t complain about this.

“contains an argument”: Too bad the criteria for what constitutes a valid argument are enough to fill another page. We have to look for a specific trend among a bunch of evidence. It makes sense until you figure out that the qualifier “specific” here is applied tightly enough that you can never fit more than two pieces of evidence under it. Oops, how many body paragraphs do we have again? Plus, of course, the teacher actually already has his own argument and is simply going to turn your thesis down and drop subtle hints until you figure out what he’s thinking. No such thing as a wrong answer in English, only ones your teacher doesn’t like.

Maybe there is a good trend, one that I can satisfy both of us, as well as my evidence, with and proceed with my essay. Maybe I can’t see it, no matter how carefully I look. Too bad you can’t show me because then I wouldn’t learn anything. There’s always going to be more learning about how to satisfy teachers and less about the actual subject, I guess.

So yeah. Apparently you’re not supposed to let your school interfere with your education.


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