Why even go to high school!?

Sunday February 21, 2010

This has been the question in our household ever since I started up my classes again this spring. If you don't know, I take online classes through the University of Maryland. They have an awesome curriculum and are one of the very, very few places that offers English bachelors degrees. So a couple of weeks ago, my spring semester started and we are just now getting into the nitty gritty of assignments, labs, and due dates. Online schooling is one of the best things that could happen to me. Sure you miss that face to face conversations with people, but when it comes down to it, I am still learning all of the information, and my classmates and I talk all the time through chat, and via our discussion boards. I even found out one of my classmates in my Biology class is even in the same city as I am in Texas. That was cool.

But yes, back to the question that has been going on in our house. That question is "Why even GO to high school??!" Now imagine a 16 year old girl saying that. That would be my sister. My all knowing, AP Honor class taking, tennis champ sister, asking me, and perhaps the world, "Why even go to high school!?".

Why does she ask this question you say? Well I was doing some of my assignments in her room, and she was astonished by my lab assignment.

"Scientific Method? Guess the hypothesis? Probability? This is all stuff I learned 2 years ago!" 

Mind you that this is an Intro to Biology Class, a course for non-science majors, the only science needed for an English degree (do you catch how I'm trying to defend my class), but she was astonished that the material I was reading was stuff she had already done and was doing right now. She took a look at my Computer Class project, and again she exclaimed,

"Are you serious?? Make a flyer Word!?" 

Granted, that was a little too easy, I've been doing that since I first logged onto Windows 95, but to her it was unfathomable.

My sister has always been a big studier and is quick to learn everything, and as I reviewed my assignments, I did start to think about it. Why even go to high school? I mean that's ridiculous question, what I mean is why not start college early and earn credit at the same time? That is what AP classes are for in high school, the classes that my sister is in, and that is why things looked all too familiar to her.

After a couple of years of school, I've also noticed how repetitive and how actually unnecessary some of my classes have been. Sure the "knowledge" is irreplaceable, but I have walked away from a class with a perfectly good grade, and not retaining a thing. I think that's one of the reasons why most people don't finish college. A lot of the classes seem unrelatable to the degree they are actually seeking, and seem like a waste of time.

So I finished my modest assignments in her room, as she huffed and puffed through reading the rest of Macbeth for her English class. Nodding her head, and ticking her tongue at how easy I had it. I knew most of these assignments were silly, but if it will get me my English degree, I think it's okay to suffer through a couple of more easy A's...


  1. Haha I totally feel you on all accounts. I'm taking online classes right now at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (in my 4th yr- was going in person til DS was born in aug) and I swear out of all four years I have probably had TWO useful classes- and I take five a semester, plus 2 every summer.
    & with the whole high school thing- my high school was structured so that you could actually graduate in 3 years instead of 4 if you worked your butt off, so I did that because I felt like I was wasting my time. I knew I'd just have to do the same stuff all over again so why do it now for no credit?
    However, tell your sister to suck it up because Macbeth is great. :)

  2. The best advice my dad ever gave me is that school is not about WHAT you learn... it's about learning how to learn.

    Two advanced degrees later, I am still left with this impression that more education (in any form) is better... but it's more about getting really good at the process vs. acquiring "stuff" in my head.

    Enjoy the process!

  3. I basically completed my masters through on line classes. It's so not easy to work, be a mommy, and go to school.

  4. I was just talking to another friend about this very topic. I have spent SO much money on college, taking classes that have NOTHING to do with LIFE! Frankly, I LEARNED how to LEARN between K-12 so WHY should I have to attend college with THE SAME process? I wish there were colleges/universities that allowed you to jump right into your major instead of forcing you to pay for 2-4 years of classes that in no way focus on your major.

  5. Susie: I did tell her! Macbeth is awesome!

    Charlene: I definitely agree. Even though some of them are a waste of time, it is better to learn anyway and just push through them.

    Eclipsed: It's VERY hard, Congrats on the Masters!!

    Assertive Wit: I also battle with the content and the price your paying for. It just doesn't make sense!

  6. What about taking classes that give dual credit? A lot of colleges offer classes that allow you to count them for high school credit and college credit.