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June 2, 2012

Teenhood Today: Throw the workbook out the window

As we near the end of the school year, many things happen.

For instance, everyone gets excited.

Students begin studying, or not studying, for that one big test that will mark the end of this year.

Parents frantically try to finish everything on their to-do lists because everyone knows that nothing will ever get done when the kids are home for the summer.

Teachers begin practicing their evil stare in front of their mirror.

After all, that's the only thing that will keep excited students on task.

The ambitious kids start looking for a summer job while the others start looking in the chip aisle for new flavors.

People also tend to get nervous.

With this year over, what will the next one bring? More homework? Bigger tests? Less time for lunch?

And there's always that summer project that teachers assign.

How long will that take? Will I still have time to relax?

The worst thing that happens at the end of the year is the amount of testing. It seems that every class has some big final coming up.

And then you have a field test as well.

Every teacher also assigns a huge end-of-the-year project, because each student is just overflowing with extra time.

Oh, yeah, on top of everything there are also Regents coming up.

Teachers are kind enough to prepare us for the Regents, but it's always the same form of preparation. A workbook.

By the time the Regents actually rolls around, we've been carrying 50 tons of workbook for the past month and a half. I think that the teachers should come up with new, creative ways to prepare us for the death-test.

I have been kind enough to include a list of suggestions.

Suggestion No. 1:

An inflatable obstacle course. In math, we can calculate the time it took Betty-Sue to climb through the red tunnel, up the elephant's nose, swing from the monkey bars, climb up the "rock wall" and down the slide at the end.

Another thing: Why do inflatable obstacle courses always end in a slide that heats up way too much in the sun? Don't companies know that children are tired of that? It's so predictable! But, that is another article.

Suggestion No. 2:

Writing a novel. In English, we always read books and write short stories, but what about writing a full-length novel? Not only would this be different, it would also help people like me who have started many different books and never gotten around to finishing them. Motivation, preparation and even more motivation! It's a win-win-win.

Suggestion No. 3:

Food. In Earth science there can be a multilayered cookie with different flavors for each layer. In one layer there can be fossils (gummy worms), other layers could have sprinkles of different sizes to symbolize the different sized particles. The little sugar crystals can even represent the clay, as they are the smallest sprinkle I know of!

I am very thankful to all of my teachers for preparing me for the Regents, but if you happen to read this, feel free to use any of my above suggestions. I'm up for a good obstacle course race any day!

Miriam A. Thurber is a freshman at Unatego Central School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at

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