I’m an American High School Student and My Education System is Broken

A high school students puts the issue of standardized testing in clearer words than anyone I’ve heard so far!

The YCBC Blog.

The way I have been told to learn does not work. I don’t have a PhD in education, but what I do have is over ten years of firsthand experience in America’s education system.  Ten years of No Child Left Behind but still feeling acutely left behind.  Ten years of CST’S, CAHSEE’S, AP’S and every letter in between.  And ten years of watching some of my closest friends lose interest in what they had previously loved to do every day.

On paper, the system works for me.  I’ve almost always received high grades and I’ve successfully discerned how to distinguish between A, B, C or D.  But intelligence encompasses much more than being able to succeed on multiple choice tests, and my peers suffer from this generalized viewpoint every day.  As much as officials have adopted a one-size fits all attitude, they’ve also increasingly turned to corporate entities to decide the…

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Change in the Weather

No Little Tykes cars were harmed in the writing of this post.

The Thickening


Carl paced from room to room, checking the views from each window. Thunderstorms were coming. First, murmurings from the west, then rumblings and a cool breeze promising a break in the oppressive humidity. It was the first cool breeze in a week. There was no air conditioning in JJ’s farmhouse. “That guy”, Carl thought as he paced and sweated. “Too good for an air conditioner.”

Carl was house sitting for JJ. Or, hiding from Anne, his wife. Or, taking a break from her. Or, giving Anne a break from him, and not for the first time.

The breeze picked up and Carl watched the sky. There were clouds up there he had never seen before, moving in odd ways. Heavy sporadic raindrops blown from the storm proper hit the windows and roof. This was going to be a whopper. A direct hit, he thought. He made the rounds and closed…

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Spam Poem

Amidst the tumult, Caterina could easily lose her sense of self

It’s actually very complicated in this active life

Women tend to do what is best for their family and their marriage,

even if that means swallowing their pride to forgive their cheating husband.

the home she’d purchased bulldozed.


she wants to be available in that detail,

therefore that thing is maintained over here.


The complaint alleges that Mr. You say” I don’t care about the great opportunity.

But he’s tryiong none the less.

The drill is always to acknowledge what your dreams are providing you as ideas

and also

to produce a game intend to fulfill the dream.

Once you have your tray filled with objects,

you are ready to play another game.


You can benefit from a less-qualified contractor

who has worked long enough in his left thigh.

Sleeping at night, dozens of Mr. What Accountants for contractors

just wants to get his required amount without any hindrances

a great deal more than 50 others and some birds [women].

You can certainly see your bdkbkebabafd


Now, I am going to pay its compensation under this program.

Hygiene and attention to yourself are part of the treatment.

Once the chicken test was done, we moved on to beef, and so on.

As the communication bridges start

their building process relating to the two worlds,

we all know

that might know about


in the relationship isn’t different

than what are the one else wants.

(Disclosures are boring)


I do trust all of the concepts you have presented

May just you please lengthen them

a little from next time?

I care for such info a lot.

The remainder of the liight can be used to produce electricity

It might be following you back again.


The Week I Look Forward to All Year

I’m lying on the cold cement floor of a hotel room in Lowell. It’s not anything kinky, or the tragicomic result of a Hangover-esque bacchanal, or even a line from a Kerouac poem (though he is the local hero). I’m here because it’s the first night of my vacation, and my back is pretty seriously injured. And I’m pissed.

I try to always see the positive. I know all the life lessons: being angry hurts no one but yourself. Depression is anger turned inward. This too shall pass. I usually try to deal with anger in healthy ways. But today, I just can’t.

I’m not the mean vacation mom, like the one in the campsite next to us, who’s just mad about everything. She’s annoyed that she had to pack up half their lives and drag it out here into the woods and set it all up again just to get her kids out of the house so they wouldn’t kill each other. She’s bothered by their behavior and nagging at them all the time. Her older son yells, “Oh yeah, sarcasm, that always works well.”

I’m the mom who lives for this. I’m not a sidelines kind of girl. I like to be out there in the middle of the action. Laying by a pool is fine for an hour or so, but what’s next? There’s a bunch of amazing stuff out there, let’s go see it.

Though I have to admit my packing experience was probably similar to hers. I was in constant pain and couldn’t bend over. I dropped the last clean spoon on the floor, left it there for my husband to pick up, and used a plastic one from the pantry. While trying to find the travel pillows, I emptied half the linen closet onto the hall floor and left it there. I didn’t even change the kitty litter (sorry Mich).

I think, you have nothing to complain about. You’re young and healthy, quit being a baby. I think of Aunt Rachel, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her early 30s and spent most of the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Or my dear mother-in-law, who is literally in the hospital right now recovering from knee replacement surgery, and is in pain most of the time.


Being positive all the time feels like a big pain in the ass today. I’m angry. I feel gypped. I want my vacation and I want it pain-free. I don’t ask for much. I get very little to myself that I really want, and I deserve it to be nice.

My job is to function at a very high level all year so other people can have a life. I want mine just for this one week. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

My mother (who I’ve been texting for long-distance diagnoses and medical advice) reminded me of the year she put her back out and had to lay on the couch while her entire family went on with all their vacation fun. She said, “Four years later I’m still mad about that.”

I remember that week, and while we were relieved that for once Mom had to let go of the cooking and cleaning and let us take care of her, other than that we only wanted her to get better. No one was mad or resentful, and I think that’s how the men are seeing me this week (well that and trying to make me laugh by challenging me to race little old ladies with canes). I have to push them to go ahead and do the fun stuff without me. I got us here because I at least want them to still have a vacation.

And even though I’m waving them goodbye and hanging out on my own a bit, I’ll still have vacation memories. Like the look on Older’s face when he helped me grocery shop and found a double cherry that looked like a butt. Or clinging in fear to Younger during the scary parts of “The Lone Ranger.” And the way they charged toward me and actually wanted hugs every time we were reunited.

But as I lie here flat on my back on a picnic blanket waiting to pick them up at the end of their bike ride (on the stunningly amazing and beautiful Acadia carriage roads) I can’t help but feel sad.

I have to settle for the tourist views that you can see from your car. I know the hard-to-find ones are so much more impressive, and more rewarding because you had to work for them. This is the one I enjoyed while writing this post:

Bubble Pond

Bubble Pond

It’s not much, but it’s still pretty. I have to be content with the little things this week. Like the dragonfly that landed on me while I waited, and the two beautiful black and blue butterflies that danced over the pond. When the boys arrived they ran to me through the woods, grunting like apes to scare me. I asked if they’d do it again for my video camera but shockingly, no go.

Last year on the drive to Maine I told Dave this was the week I look forward to most out of the whole year. He seemed surprised. I couldn’t imagine why he was, since it really is the best time we have. He said, “There are so many other things to look forward to.”

Sigh. He’s right. It’s not the end of the world. This year I will sit on the sidelines a bit, and I’ll be angry and resent this injury and its horrible timing. As we drive along listening to the special vacation iPod mix I breathe in the ocean air, smell the pines, and try to relax. This is all that matters – that we are together.