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Teen Talk

February 11, 2012

Teenhood Today: School "¦ Need I say more?

Name one person who enjoys school _ one person who wakes up pumped each morning, finishes all assignments three months before they're due, and starts a club called "The best day of my life was the day my first teacher pried my arms off of my mom's legs and forced me to learn my ABCs!"


Now name five people ...

School isn't fun. Accept it. Seven hours of brain strain is not fun. Seven hours with only one meal is not fun. Seven hours of listening while others talk is not fun. What's worse is that we don't even get to choose which classes we take.

I understand that we need to take the core classes _ English, math, science and history. But I think that we should only have to take them in elementary and middle school. High school should be a time when we start to pursue what we're going to do in life. The core classes should still be offered, but we shouldn't be forced to take them. Once we learn the basics, this is the Sun, those are the stars, and that's your nose, we should be done.

I am never going to use the things I learn in Earth science!

At what point in my life am a going to stare at a rock and wonder, "What is this rock made of? Is it igneous? Where did it come from? What minerals make up its composition? Man, I wish I had a streak plate!" That's never going to happen. When I stare at a rock I'll wonder … Never mind, I won't stare at a rock!

Astronomy. Really? Those balls of burning gas billions of miles away (as the amazingly intellectual Pumba from "The Lion King" says), just don't interest me.

If I'm never going to build my own universe, why do I need to learn how one works? You will never find me sitting in a café sipping coffee and talking to a person in a lab coat about the consistency of the water on planet Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I just don't care.

I'm fine with never knowing if there is life on other planets. I really don't care. Astronomy should still be offered for the people who do care and find it interesting, but why am I forced to learn it?

Classes should focus on what we want to do with our life.

I'm interested in music and literature. It only makes sense that I should take music classes and literature classes, right?

I'm going to pursue a career in music, literature, or, hopefully, both.

To be a singer, I don't need to know how fast a race car can drive from point A to point B.

I don't need to know the chemical composition of my pencil to write a fantasy novel. I'm fine with just trusting that my pencil is going to write what I want it to write, whether I know what it's made of or not.

Lawyers don't need to know how to read music _ why must they take music classes? Authors don't need to know the square root of 1524841257779958563352217851232 x 124871246435471634 + 6.223. Why must they take math classes?

I understand that people need to know their name, how to add, and how to write "the," but that's covered in elementary and middle school classes. High school should be a place where the students choose which classes to take.

If we did this, more people would enjoy going to school. It only makes sense. More students would wake up in the morning and not dread school if they got to choose which classes they took.

I would be much happier if we could choose our own classes. Wouldn't you?

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

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