To Learn for Knowledge's Sake | Teen Ink

To Learn for Knowledge's Sake

April 20, 2011
By magic-esi PLATINUM, Hyde Park, New York
magic-esi PLATINUM, Hyde Park, New York
27 articles 0 photos 231 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light."

School is like a safe haven for me. Ever since I started high school (two weeks ago, but it feels like it’s been two years) I’ve felt more comfortable in school. In middle school, I had to take regular classes and I was usually stuck with a bunch of idiots. By ‘idiots’ I don’t mean they were academically stupid… I mean, I don’t care if you get bad grades, you might still be a nice person. I mean people who ALWAYS, always judge you by your looks. And make fun of you if you dare to be smart. Half of them DID know the answer, they just wanted to look stupid so that the boys would like them better. Then I got into high school and it’s so different. I have all-honors classes and I only have one class with idiots in it. All the curriculums are so interesting- art history, for example, my absolute favorite class. And they give you so much freedom. Like in middle school, they acted like they were going to have a conniption if you were two seconds late for lunch. Now, you don’t even have to go to lunch if you don’t want to. You might have classes with seniors and juniors if you’re smart enough… or if they’re stupid enough. But they also give us more responsibility. We can’t be late to class; we can’t be absent for our family’s vacation; we can’t turn in homework late- there’s no such thing as “half credit” or “bonus”. Our classes are all over the building and we have to make our own schedule- our teachers don’t lay out organization plans or study guides for us anymore. But I like it that way. I hate the way teachers used to make us organize our binders and lives in exact ways. Even our essays had to be five neat little thirty-word paragraphs. We couldn’t expand out of that box. And now we can.

Unlike Mary, I’m not a Legend among the teachers. My freshmen-year Bio teacher wasn’t planning out AP lesson plans for me since I was in kindergarten. Nobody calls up the teachers in the next grade and warns them that I’ll correct their spelling. Parents don’t plot to kill me so that their kid can have a chance at being the smartest one in the grade. No, when I enter a classroom and sit quietly in the back and doodle on my graph paper, they figure I’m one of the regular kids. As soon as they bring up the word ‘essay’ or ‘novel’ I’ll groan and want to die. But if they’re smart, they’ll soon figure out on their own that I’m not “doing homework for another class” and I’m not “sleeping with my eyes open”; I’m writing in my journal and I’m paying attention.

The strangest thing is that I used to be one of the regular kids. Sure, it wasn’t that I was not paying attention so I could text under the table- I was the one reading all the books in the young-adult section under the table. Classes were boring- I read my own books; did what I thought was fun. But then in eighth grade we read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And while most of the students in my class were trying not to fall asleep, I was trying not to read ahead. Soon enough it wasn’t just English, but I was finding math- my least favorite subject!- fascinating. And then I was researching current events and the chemical components of the atom in my free time. Pretty soon, I was living up to my geeky reputation. And I realized I didn’t just want to get good grades- I wanted to learn.

The author's comments:
This is an excerpt from a story I based strongly on my life which I wrote at the beginning of this school year. It reads out a little like a journal entry. Things have changed a bit since then (as in, I've learned that some teachers provide opportunities for bonus points, extra credit, etc; and also, they are not THAT cynical) but the underlying message remains the same. Hope you like it!

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This article has 2 comments.

on Jun. 28 2011 at 6:55 pm
Bgeekgirl24 GOLD, Bellefontaine, Ohio
16 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
Eat healthy. Excersize daily. Die anyway.

I was thinking almost exactly what IntrepidRose said. I really liked this excerpt from your novel and I really want to read the whole story. Is there any possible way that you could put the whole thing on here? If you would that would be fantastic. But don't worry if you don't!

on Jun. 28 2011 at 1:14 pm
MidnightWriter SILVER, Ontario, Other
6 articles 0 photos 225 comments

Favorite Quote:
Writers are a less dangerous version of the career criminal. Everywhere they go, they see the potential for the perfect crime. The difference is that writers have better self control.

When I saw the title I wasn't expecting this. When I logged on today I wasn't expecting this. If you walked through life and never published a novel, the world would lose out on the influence of a great writer. I loved what I just read. You've got a real character in you writing. If this were a full novel, and it were all so well written, I might sit and read it all in one sitting. Great!