The Things that Change Life

asfafagfwetqetI remember a time when I was just a baby freshman in a high school world. The first things my parents did was make sure I was prepared cause ya’ know, better to prepare than to worry. It was just some basic stuff, new pencils, new pens, new backpacks, lined paper, and all that other stuff. But the way my grandparents prepared me for high school really did a number on my outlook on school. And all they did was….talk to me.

They sat me down during a family party and just told me about their lives back in Vietnam. Poverty-stricken, starving, constantly at work, constantly in danger, and constantly surrounded by health-risks. But the absolute worst thing they could have thought of, was their lack of a proper education. They couldn’t go to school cause it was miles and miles away or because it was across a river, and they didn’t have time to get an education cause they were forced to work 20 hours for a small and unsatisfying meal.

That’s some pretty hardcore stuff to take in. Please keep in mind, I was only 14 and everything I every worried about was undermined in a single sitting.

  • “My throat’s kind of gruff… must be cancer. “
  • “My leg’s been hurting for a couple days…must be cancer.”
  • “My eyes are doing the weird eye headache thing again…must be cancer.”
  • “Why is my face so red? Must be cancer.”
  • “My cough’s been pretty bad lately…must be pregnant.”
  • (Actually symptoms of cancer that should not be ignored)

Just the weirdest stuff even, all nothing in comparison to what my grandparents went through. But it was this exact comparison that motivated me to appreciate the school life, despite hating it with every fiber of my being. I mean, at least I have it, right? What’s better than stress, crying, annoying people, annoying adults, and even more stress.


I’m WISH I was joking, but in all honesty nowadays, school has lost its meaning. As motivated as I’d become from my grandparent’s speech. It was all deemed useless as I started to recognize and understand my understandings. What is a test if everything is forgotten the day after? What is an assignment if everyone copies off each other? What is a Report Card but another way to judge a student? What is cheating other than the acceptance of the fact that a letter grade matters more than learning? What is School?

The answer is still unknown, but for now, I’ll keep up the hard-work for the sake of my aging grandparents. May they never have to learn of the reality of what school has become and how it has conformed society.



3 thoughts on “The Things that Change Life

  1. Basically, I always looked at school as something required which would tell employers that I was intelligent. Most real learning these days is accomplished during one’s free time. That outlook probably comes from being more interested in history, literature, and foreign languages, which tend to require much self-study.

    In any event, it’s certainly true that the quality of schooling is no where near as high as it used to be.


    • I looooove studying language, but unfortunately its importance is not as emphasized in my school district. I wish I could focus more on what I love, and less on what the employers love. School isn’t the most efficient nor effective way to hire, it’s just the simplest way.


      • Well, if you learn to speak Japanese or Chinese fluently, employers will absolutely love you–even if your GPA stands at 2.0. And, in this market, I sometimes wonder whether having a marketable skill is better than a good education and high marks.


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