Culminatings, Converting, and (non)Confirmation

Oh, how I love the end of the year … (sense my sarcasm).  As unbelievable stoked as I am for summer, I dread the coming month of June.  “June” to a high school student does not mean ‘almost summer’ or ‘teacher’s are getting slack’ or ‘another year is over’.  To a high school student, especially a grade 12 student, “June” means unbelievably packed schedules filled with last-minute projects, cramming for tests while also attempting to study for exams, and the ever-despised, culminating projects.

To this day, I still do not understand the point of having an in-class culminating project.  We’re told that if students are allowed to take their culminatings home, there’s a chance they will cheat.  Realistically, we shouldn’t be cheating on any of our work.  But if the risk is there, why let students take anything home?  It doesn’t seem to follow that teachers are seriously concerned about us cheating on our culminatings, but couldn’t be bothered with everything else we’ve done in the year.  And if the issue is the extra time (some teachers take issue with the fact that while some students would gladly advantage of the extra time at home, others could care less), then isn’t that a matter of time-management skills?  You snooze, you lose, right?.  And the kicker: doing culminatings in class means we can’t type it out.  This hurts the grades of the slow and/or messy writers, and is completely unrealistic given what technology has come to mean to students today.  I’ve mentioned before that teachers need to accept that technology is here to stay.  I know my opinion matters little to the school board, and it’s unlikely any change will occur before I’m out of the schooling system, but every now and then, I come across a teacher who has been struck by – dare I say it? – sanity.  A teacher who doesn’t mind bending the rules, because the rule are stupid.

Then again, some teachers are so stuck in their ways that certain students have no chance of succeeding.  Take, for example, an agnostic at a Catholic school…  Religion doesn’t play a huge part in my life, except that I go to a Catholic high school.  Now let’s say that, hypothetically (I say hypothetically only in order to remain P.C.) I had a teacher that was so set in his religious ways, that he (or she) unconsciously marked certain student’s responses harder than others.  Considering I am a non-Catholic at a Catholic school, I am very careful to survey my audience before I give my answer.  However, a question occasionally arises such as, “As a Catholic student, how do you feel about…” Unfortunately, the culminating in this class — this hypothetical class — is an essay in response to such a question.  Now, because of my constant need to ask questions, my ability to remain polite in frustrating situations, and my overall lovely demeanor, this (*hypothetical*) teacher still has hope that he might help me find the Lord.  I gotta say, I doubt it.  But I’m left with the decision: Do I miraculously convert and write my essay from the perspective of someone who had found God (something this teacher would love to hear), or tell him the unfortunate truth (albeit the politically correct version)?

One last thing: deciding to come back for grade 13 was a good decision, but it’s hard at times.  Times such as these, where I receive a letter from a university telling me that I haven’t been accepted.  I mean, I’m not actually planning on going anyway, but rejection still sucks.  It’s even more difficult when I receive an email telling me I have been accepted not only to the university, but also the residence I would kill for, as long as I confirm within the week.  I’m soooo tempted to just click that little “Confirm.”

Anyway, other than the above mentioned, it’s been the most fantastic 24 hours.  I have just found out that my favourite Australian band — John Butler Trio — is coming to Toronto this summer.  And even better than JBT, there is a very good chance that one of my closest friends will be coming to visit me (all the way from Denmark!) next summer!  I thought I’d mention these lovely events so you’re all aware that despite all my complaining, good things do actually happen to me, and I appreciate them endlessly. <3

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