Home > Real Life > Is this how it’s supposed to feel?

Is this how it’s supposed to feel?

I think I have Senioritis. It’s a nebulous issue, with no real definition, but I’m definately embracing the clock-watching aspect of just waiting for school to be over and done with. Now, I’ve always been an underachiever. I went into high school planning to get a certain GPA, and as it so happens, I’ve managed to exceed that, and so much the better. But I certainly think my grades are good enough — and NCSU agrees.

But this is a new manifest fold of underachievement: apathy. I believe that it has been coming for a while, but some time this past week I reached a tipping point of sorts. I would like to believe that I was essentially deluding myself into not allowing what has happened to come to pass, at least as long as there was more curriculum to be learned. However, now that the formal instruction part of my Calculus class has come to an end, I’m just wholly unable to stand it any more. I don’t want to go, and I don’t want to do the work.

Now, let me placate the more alarmist among you by saying neither of these will actually happen: I’m not the type to skip class, mostly because I still stand a slight chance of learning something from going to Calc. And I’m actually doing more work now that the AP test is close at hand than before, because I’m up to my gills in review material. However, paying attention in class is getting increasingly difficult.

A major factor in this is the teacher. I believe that I’ve also been forcefully deluding myself into not outright disliking her, because I realized that doing so would just make class all the harder. However, her recent behavior to the class in general and towards Woody, a friend of mine, as well as various dissident mutterings that have been constant throughout the year (but which I wrote off as standard “I hate the class so I’ll blame the teacher” speech) have finally piled up and changed my opinion of her. Her general attitude and inability to keep a handle on the class have been constant irritation points for me, but I’ve let these slide because, admittedly, it’s a rather rowdy class. But her more frequent use of shouting as a teaching method as well as her uninsightfulness (ask a question and she’ll answer the wholly different question she though you asked) have really begun to grate on me.

The thing that’s really got me is Woody’s situation, though. He’s right behind the 8-ball on class credits, given that he didn’t do so well in earlier years of high school, and now needs to pass AP Calc to graduate. This wasn’t looking too bad until he was sick for about a month straight, and the medicine he was on was messing with his head, plus he missed a few days of school. All this has him sitting on a failing grade in that class right now. But it was some weeks after his grade dropped below passing that he and his family actually found out about this. So he’s now having to scrabble to get his grade up before report cards and graduation come. This isn’t made any easier by the fact that she is either unable or unwilling to give him a speedy retest for the test he missed while sick, which is becoming increasingly aggravating. As Woody’s mother pointed out to me, given that I got to a Magnet Technology school, it really wouldn’t be that hard to have weekly e-mail interims for a tough class like AP Calc. But, as I informed her, the Calculus teacher is about as tech-illiterate as it comes. While not necessarily a bad thing, when you’re the math department chairman of a technology school and you use email as little as possible, there’s a problem there.

At this point, I’m going to do what I can to study for the AP Exam, take it, and pray that I don’t completely fail, which seems impossible given how incredibly poorly I would have to do to accomplish that. I’m going to place into whatever math level NCSU thinks I should be in based on my AP Calc test score, and take it from there. I look at one of two eventualities happening: either I do well on the test and I get into the next successive math class, and maybe get some credits for it, or I don’t do so well, but still pass, and get put in college level Calculus again. If that happens, as I’ve been reminded to no end, it’ll all be review and should make the class a little easier.

Now, aside from Calculus, my other classes are actually holding my interest rather well. For example, AP Computer Science, where I am currently writing this, is undoubtedly my favorite class because it’s all independant study. Because I can blow through the exercises and labs and finish early, I usually have time to keep up with email, news, and this whole blog fiasco. I doubt that I will place out of any Comp Sci classes when that’s my major at NCSU, but it’s certainly been a fun class, and the hopefully high AP Exam score won’t hurt my standings at NCSU.

Honors Physics is more or less the same as it always has been, which is interesting at times, but often dull during note-taking sessions or tangential lectures. However, as has always been true in my science classes, because of these unengaging moments, I’ve been getting a decent amount of writing done. Just sort of though experiments, as it were, to come up with a story and tell it on the front and back of a single sheet of paper. But they keep me occupied, and I make sure to answer a few questions ever five minutes or so to let my teacher know that I am paying attention.

As for German, I’ll certainly miss the class when its over. I’ve always been a language person, and I’m really starting to get to the level of “thinking in” German instead of “speaking in” German. It’s a tricky step in learning any language, but once you’re there, it’s that much easier. It doesn’t hurt that I’m one of the two or three best speakers in the class, even if I don’t have one fo the highest grades. Heck, German is just a plain fun language.

So it seems that I’m really truly only Senioritic about Calculus, and that’s for reasons deviant from the normal, not the usual belief that, armed with a college acceptance letter, high school becomes irrelevant. And I will surely miss high school, but I’ll write more on that later.

Categories: Real Life
  1. Grandma
    May 4, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    I knew this would come–it is quite normal. If you do well enough on your AP exam to be placed in the next calculus class, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how challenging college will be. And that goes for all the other classes you’ll be taking, too.

    Of course, your parents can tell you all about this, and probably already have. Hang in there. It’s only a few more days.

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