You know when you’re watching your favorite show or listening to the newest song on the radio, and something is said that we understand, but only would’ve been understood if we had read a book or learned something in class? That may be a long description but there is one word that sums this phenomena up- allusion. Dictionary.com defines it as “a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication” or “the act or practice of making a casual or indirect reference to something.” Allusions make us feel educated and accomplished. For example, in a song by country artist Luke Bryan called ‘That’s My Kinda Night’, he mentions Conway and T-Paine. Now, if you have never heard of these artists or their music, you wouldn’t understand their purpose in the song. Bryan uses allusion in his song to make it show more of his personality and interests, this example showing his preference in music when taking a girl out. Sometimes you need to understand an allusion to understand what is going on, you need the context of it to get the rest. Allusions are used to express the artist or make them more understandable. When we understand allusions, it shows that we are educated and are capable of learning. For example, I took AP world history last year and now I understand so much more about the world and the history behind it. I can listen to songs and read books and get what’s going on. This may be pushing the boundaries of allusion but it is still helpful to the reader or listener. So, basically, stay in school if you want to understand and be able to comprehend songs, books, and even movies. You are missing out until you strive to unlock allusions.
Everyone always says it’s the best four years of your life, the ones you’ll never forget, and I for one agree. So bear with me because this is a cliché post on everyone’s favorite thing to hate: high school. Personally, I freaking love high school, I love every aspect of it, even the drama. To me, that makes it so much more like high school. For some reason when I say these things, people think I’m crazy and need serious help. But high school is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me, like if I would’ve been homechooled I think I would’ve ran away. I love the work and the people and the craziness of it all. Especially in my school, where not a day goes by that something spontaneous happens. However, like all things in life, I’m going to have regrets. I’m going to regret that I wasn’t as involved, that I didn’t join show choir, that I didn’t meet more people. But we have to look past those regrets and remember all the great times we had with the people we did meet. We have to remember that even through the bad times, high school is temporary. Life goes on. But even so, we need to cherish it while we still can because it is truly, I believe, the best freaking four years of anyone’s life, especially if they choose to make it that way. So do what you want, try out for the musical, take another AP class (since you already have five, why not even it out at six?), ask that guy you’ve been fawning over to prom, because when you have your high school reunion, you want to say, “I can’t believe I did all that!” rather than, “I wish I would’ve done more.”
These days, everyone is focused on the science, medical, and mathematical fields. After the USSR launched Sputnik into space in 1969, the Space Race between us and them was on. NASA was founded and jobs in science and math were highly sought upon, all to produce better and faster technology that would make us unprecedented globally. Nowadays, and even locally in my own school, there are classes specifically for S.T.E.M. jobs, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These jobs, for some reason, are highly fought for. A lot of people I know are going to major in different branches of engineering. Rockwell Collins is a local industry where I live and many people need degrees that relate to S.T.E.M. jobs. However, the people racing to become physicists and chemists are trampling the people who want to be writers or historians. I would like to major in history education when I go to college and hopefully end up teaching world history to high schoolers. We need to know our roots before we create new branches. People may ask why we need to care about history or reading, and I honestly can’t answer that. I just care about them because I enjoy them and I want other people to do the same. History is so intriguing to me, you can learn all about the past, a place you can never ever travel to (unless the science people I mentioned above figure out time travel or the Tardis pays a visit). My friends at least understand my love for the past because they bought me an AP world history textbook for my birthday. But some people will never understand. This goes for writers and musicians as well; people who want to publish the next great American novel, or write a hit song that will stay at the top of the charts for weeks are looked down upon, and even scorned by society, especially by those older than us. Maybe it is because of their experience, or maybe it is because they had similar dreams that had to be given up for practicality and security. Schools also discreetly force science and math into curriculums in the hopes that it will spark something in a student who isn’t willing. Personally, I believe by the time you’re in high school or if you know for sure what you want to do, you should be able to plan your coursework accordingly. I always joke that the only math I really want to know is the history of math, not math itself. Basically, governments support and fund science because it is seen as an economic and technological gain to them. History has shown what can happen when governments get too hungry for war and defense. The Cold War is a good example of this. The USA and USSR were the superpowers of the world at the time with the nuclear means to completely obliterate each other. There were many close calls, especially with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This is just one event that we can use to tell future generations the consequences of increased technologies used for negative purposes. In conclusion, I believe that more emphasis should be placed on history and especially the arts, like how many times do your parents get excited when a song from the 80s comes on? People remember places, events, leaders. When equations and formulas fail, history makes up for it.
This is sort of on topic of my blog, so don’t freak out. I just have lately been seeing a lot of tweets and tumblr posts about school and how people dread it and all kinds of things along those lines. Generally, school these days is not on top of everyone’s list of priorities. Experiencing school on a personal level, I can vouch that most students, frankly, hate school. I’m one of those weird kids that enjoys school and gets weird looks when I tell people that. However, I can see more and more reasons why students have such an extreme dislike for the thing that we spend our childhood doing. One reason students say they hate school is that they aren’t learning anything, and when they do, it isn’t valuable to them in the real world. I for one, can see this. I’m in my junior year of high school, and I know I want to be a history teacher. This has made me become more observant and scrutinizing towards teachers and now I can see what these students feel. Teachers these days seem to be presenting students with the basics and then expecting them to figure out how to create something out of it on their own. This is difficult for students like me who need outlines, motivations, and organizations to excel to their student potential. For example, in one of my classes, the teacher is always having us create concept maps to connect topics and find similarities or differences. This may have worked for this teacher in school, but not for me. I spend more time worrying about how I am going to organize the concept map than worrying about what I would put on it. This doesn’t help me in my learning and I have a tough time in this class, even though it is one of my favorite subjects. In another class, the teacher just gives us worksheets with rules and guidelines and then wants us to do the homework pertaining to those. This is, in my opinion, lazy teaching. Explaining the expected material thoroughly would help me and my classmates tremendously. These are just my personal experiences with how teaching nowadays has taken a turn, and most would say for the worse. Students also feel that they don’t have time to do any of the things teachers expect from them. Lets say you get home at 3:00 and each teacher expects homework in their class will take around 1 to 2 hours. With six classes, this would take you until the late hours of the night! Students actually do need supper and a decent amount of sleep. I get up around 6:00 everyday and next term I will have to take an early bird gym class because it is required by the state, and it starts at 7:00. Logically, this is not enough time to feel well rested and ready to learn and I believe that’s why students are never up to the challenge that school brings for them everyday. It is just too much. Add being a teenager into the mix doesn’t help. What I’m trying to say is, we might need to rethink how education is done here and see how much that benefits our lives when it is done in a healthy and sustainable way. What do you think about the modern education system that we have today?