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msh's avatar

Which educational arena did you have the most difficulty surviving? And the best?

Asked by msh (4262points) November 10th, 2015 from iPhone

Public schooling can be a wonderful thing for some, and a living hell for others.
Primary School, Junior High/Middle School, High School, Private School, Military School, Vocational School, Specialized Schooling, Home Schooling?
What made it wonderful?
Or Hellish for you?
Students, Teachers, Extra Cirricular Activities, Bullies, Learning Hold-ups from disciplinary actions? Subject Interests? First loves, crushes, etc., that went south?
How did you fare?

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18 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

I am never a fan of school in general, mostly because much of the subjects taught at school are of no use to me, and because there is so much stress in have good grade. The most wonderful thing I can say is that school is the main supply of friends for me. Other things range from so-so to downright horrible.

I just can’t get on well with homework. I always think of it as a waste of time. And I hate learning by heart. Every school except college asked students to learn by heart to answer questions. And I never did well in that.

Nevertheless, I do generally well as school. I often fail horribly in tests that require memorization, but I do well in tests that require full understanding of the subjects.

Seek's avatar

The people, in general, sucked. I liked a few of the teachers, and have two friends that I still talk to on Facebook.

History class was really great. So was wood shop in junior high. Math class has been mercifully repressed, for the most part.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I loved them all.

tinyfaery's avatar

Jr. High sucked ass. My whole life changed during those years and school was the last thing on my mind.
I’m a rock star in a collegiate setting. I love studying interesting subjects. And since the only pressure to perform is on me, I’m happy to do whatever it takes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Did it change because of the people,family, classmates around you, or did it change because of the schools?

tinyfaery's avatar

I met a boy, I finally decided to stop taking abuse from my father, I ran away from home for about a year. Lots of upheaval.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you for your answer. I hope things got better for you.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

When I was in the middle of 5th grade, my family moved from California to Florida. In order not to repeat 6th grade, I needed to enter a 5th grade class quickly upon arrival. I had been in Catholic schools all my life. The only schools that could take me so late in the year were public schools. It was a shock on many, many levels. Whereas I was used to being in uniform and standing beside my desk along with the rest of the class and greeting my teacher in unison as she entered the room, now I sat in a class of noisy, spitballing rubes that said “ain’t” and ignored the teacher for the most part. I hated it from the beginning. On top of this, 1964 was the first year that the public schools in that county first accepted black students and the racism constant and daily.

One kid threw a folding chair at another and broke a window. Some days the teacher just gave up and sat at her desk staring at her text books, ignoring the melee. I’d never been around people like this. I’d never met kids that were allowed to get out of control. I’d never even met a black person before and this had to be the worst situation to meet one. There was a huge animosity between the black kids and the whites. My parents didn’t believe me when I told them about what was going on. They couldn’t believe school kids could act like this. Only when I got my nose broken, reset, then broken again in the same week did they finally believe me, but still there was nothing they could do if I wanted to get promoted to sixth grade. Finally, June came and I got the hell out of there and never had to attend public school again.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I changed schools ~six times before even starting high school. Making, leaving and then making friends again many times over as a child was tough. I learned very early that your trajectory into new social groups was crucial for becoming accepted and sometimes outside of your control. I was accepted in some and left an outsider in others. By the time I was in 9th grade I pretty much said f**k you to everyone because I was just tired of constant flux and found the nature of teenagers around me repulsive. The high school I landed at was in the wealthy part of town in a large city. All the kids were white, rich, entitled, spoiled, insecure and just wretched. Night and day from the working class school I came from. When guys had conflicts in my old school they would simply duke it out on the playground or parking lot, be pals again after and that would be the end of it. Conflicts in the wealthy school were more long lasting and people attacked each other socially in very nasty ways. I was completely out of my element there. I kept just a small handfull of friends and held them somewhat at a distance as well. I basically keep people at a distance to this day.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Ihad a blast in public school. athelete, one of top member of the class, never studed much. in a class with 49 other kids. I went to college, class size of 5000 plus. and I ain’t got any study habits. oops. Freshman and Sophmore years were a bear. Plus I loved the social life and the other sights available. I made it, but I didn’t see many A’s until Junior and Senior years. I could have done it a lot better and easier, but I think the overall experience was worth it. Some friends did the two year college and transferred, but they missed out on two years of the experiences of the big campus. It was the toughest thing I ever did, but I’m glad I got those experiences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus What would have happened in a Catholic school if kids had acted like that?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Dutchess_III They just didn’t do it—not on the level of general chaos I saw in this public school. Most kids started Catholic school from first grade on, and we knew no other kind of behaviour. If we got a kid from a public school, it was never mentioned by the teacher in their introduction to the class and I don’t remember any difference in their behaviour. We were insulated from the public school system. We had our own sports and academic leagues, etc. There was never any discussion about public schools by the nuns, no criticism. They just weren’t mentioned.

Sometimes there was an individual who became disruptive. I remember a kid in 6th grade named Dudley who sat in the back of the class drawing WWII airplanes and making machine gun and bombing sounds. He was brought up in front of the class and given a few whacks of the pointer on the palm (NOT THE BACK) of his hand by our nun. I got it a few times for talking out of turn or passing notes. When he was caught again, his desk was moved to a corner near the teacher’s desk where he was given extra work researching and writing essays on WWII and was allowed to illustrate them. It was deemed pretty good work by our teacher and he was asked to read the essays and present his art for class approbation. He became a very good student after that and later went on to college to become an engineer.

The worst punishment was leaning against the wall on your little fingers in front of the class for three minutes. Girls never got corporal punishments. The usual punishment for girls was to be made to stand silently by their desks until the next subject was discussed. We didn’t change classrooms for different subjects until 9th grade.The sexes were segregated into different classrooms at seventh grade. Then there was detention after school in the library for the real miscreants. A couple of boys were suspended from school for 3 days for being caught drinking the sacrificial wine after alter boy practice. They were eighth graders. If there was something personal, or a misdemeanor too serious to reveal to the class, the student was quietly sent to Mother Superior’s office.

Parents had an almost blind trust in our nun’s devotion to their children’s best interests. The commonality was Catholicism and a reliance upon the reputation of academic excellence of
Catholic schools. We had some Jewish students and at least one Muslim girl.

I was totally ignoring my classwork in math when we approached Algebra. It was so bad that Mother Superior had a conference with my parents and it was decided I would spend my Saturdays at the convent alone in the Solarium studying math. A nun would come in once in a while to check on my progress and serve me lunch and tea. It was a beautiful neo- romanesque-art nouveau mansion built in the 1920’s given to the Church by the multi-millionaire who invented the tractor tread mechanisms used on Army tanks and whose father had built the Brooklyn Bridge.

There were two armored knights on guarding each side of the marble arched alcove just inside the huge front door.The solarium had huge floor-to-ceiling windows and was decorated like Versailles Hall of Mirrors. The windows overlooked dual marble steps leading from each end of a huge blach and white checkered marble terrace to a coral swimming pool (that the nuns never used) and out over an ice-blue bay and green out-islands.

The house was quiet, smelled slightly of frankincense and myhrr, and I sat at a long, polished mahogany table under a chandelier. It was amazing. I spent my first hour inspecting the room and all the objets d’art, then at the table with my books open, daydreaming and staring out over the bay. My nun-teacher came in with some scones and tea, saw I hadn’t done any work and gave me a gentle lecture on my future and the duty smart, privileged children have to grow up and be generous citizens of the world, and if that didn’t work, I would be banned from sports until my math grades went up.

I got the work done and learned my Algebra. It took six weekends. It was a very good thing and I saw a little bit of how these amazing, devoted women lived. It was a real education on many levels. I exchanged letters with two of my nuns for years after I left school, until each of them retired back to Ireland and passed away.

Dutchess_III's avatar

See, the discipline you described would not be allowed in public school. Educators are almost without resources to maintain order. Nothing really happens to the kids, and the result you describe is what you get. And everybody blames the school system.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Dutchess_III I realize that and it is a shame. Never did we think there was anything malicious or personal in our punishments. We were never injured. We felt we deserved what we got and it was over when it was over.

I think the biggest problem is that parents have no faith in the teachers today, which is directly related to lack of faith in all government systems in general. And with the scandalous events that have been publicized since the 1980’s, the cynicism is now rampant in the public mind. I wouldn’t know how to begin to turn this around, to give the people back some faith in the system.

It probably seems weird to people who weren’t alive at the time, but I believe public cynicism began with the assassination of our president in 1963, was exacerbated during the Vietnam War, became mainstream and even fashionable after Watergate, and is supported repeatedly by the variety of scandalous societal, political and military events since then, right up to the WMDs of the previous administration, the public and Catholic school scandals of the past thirty years, and the generally bad behaviour of our leaders. A people without good leadership are lost. When people think that their leaders are lying to them, they get lost in conspiracy theories—they assume the explanations that serve their personal realities. And everyone’s reality is different. It becomes a kind of intellectual anarchy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The ease with which lawsuits can be filed is part of it too. When you and I were in school, if someone had tried to sue your school because the teacher whacked the palm of the kid’s hand with a ruler, it would be laughed out of the courtroom.
Not today.

Parents need to quit making excuses for their children’s behavior.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here is an example of a discussion going on on FB:

It started with this post from a mother: “I’m not paranoid but I feel like my son is being picked on and singled out I this situation! No fighting at school is not acceptable but really this is a bit extreme! And if they were adults and this would have happened do you think the outcome prior to the police would have been much different? NO probably not! Why do people think kids aren’t going to respond badly to the same kind of situation an adult would respond negatively to?!?!”

I asked what happened.

She said, ”A girl stole money from my daughter her brother threatened her my son got involved and beat the boy up now the police arrested my son charged with 4 felonies but the other kid is charged with 1 charge my son is expelled and the other kid is suspended for 10 days.”

Then she said, “Idk they had it out for Son from the start they told me this”

Again I asked why, and she said, “The cop there doesn’t like his Dad and they are treating him like he’s his dad.

A friend of hers said, that’s a little extreme for defending his sister! who do we call to complain about this?! FOR REAL.

I would have caught absolute hell at home if I’d wound up in a situation like that. My parents would say, “This is why you do not fight. This is what can happen. OK, so you think they are picking on you. Well, don’t get yourself into a situation where the cops have a chance to pick on you.”

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes, I agree. it’s all gone horribly wrong. We’ve substituted harmless corporal punishments for calling the cops, thereby introducing the student into the law enforcement system, initiating a criminal record that is never really expunged, and too often sending the student on the road to later felony charges for misdemeanor arrests due to their previous “priors”, resulting in a life of under-employment, unemployment, and even chronic homelessness.

Many of these people realize they can make a much better living for themselves and their children by slinging dope, among other things, than working at Burger King. They have kids and ultimately this all becomes generational and we all find ourselves living in a country with growing generational poverty and a permanent class of felons as described in books written 150 years ago by Dickens and Hugo. All because our schools are afraid to deal with a couple of kids having a fist fight and instead have the cops deal with it—not in the interest of the kid, but in the interest of their jobs and the county school system budget. It’s CYA from the suits you speak of above.

You said once that you worked in the prison system as a teacher. You know what I’m talking about.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the prison was a piece of cake compared to public schools, actually. Swear to God. I loved the time I was there.

Yes,the schools are afraid, and they’re afraid because whiny baby parents will sue them. IMO, the root of our education problems are the parents of the children we’re trying to teach, not the system itself.

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