Sunday, August 31, 2008

(not so)Relevance of School Work

Like I explained in a previous blog post, I had been having difficulty working out how writing sentences with words I already know will teach me anything. As an update on that, the teacher is going to check them in the near future and I have about 60 words to go, which I probably won't do.

Well other than that, we have been given our form to choose subjects for our senior years. That's all well and good but they have already worked out what times each of the classes are in before they worked out who wanted what class. Guess doing a poor job doesn't cut their paycheck, so it doesn't really matter to them if half the people aren't satisfied with the class options they have.

What I am talking about is that, there are 6 blocks, you have to choose one class for each. You have to do an English, and you have to do a Maths. So because they chose the classes for each times before knowing which students wanted what classes, you get a bunch of things you want in one block, and nothing you want in another block. You can't choose 2 from the same block. So, in one block you have to choose from Japanese, German, health education, physical education, agriculture, chemistry or ancient history. The only 2 I wouldn't cry if I was forced to do are chemistry an ancient history. That doesn't mean I want to do them.

So, for 2 years after this year I will be doing ancient history. I would rather ancient history because it is probably a lot easier, but either way neither subject will really help me. I'm not saying I don't want to learn chemistry, I just don't like the way science is done in school.

So, that means in another block there are 2 subjects I want, extension maths and one of the computer based subjects. There is another computer based subject, which I will do, but it is frustrating how they put a computer based subject and maths on at the same time. I guess they can never get it perfect, but it would have been a lot better if they worked out classes before times, then maybe *30% would be unhappy/don't care instead of *50% being unhappy/don't care.

The reason I say don't care is because it would be unfair to take a percentage of people who are happy with the subjects against those that aren't, because that's just it, a lot of people don't care that they have to do a few subjects they don't want. Therefore if they looked at it they would think its okay because only maybe *20% of people are actually unhappy, the rest just don't care. I do.

So now that I have one more subject that I don't want, and one less that I do want, if I want to get a good score for university(college) from grade 11 and 12, I have to do well at a subject I dislike. If I want a completely perfect score, I would now have a lot more work to do in ancient history to get it. Like with chemistry, I am not saying I dislike history, it is just one of those subjects I can do much better on my own.

So now that I have a burdened senior, what else involving school is there that I want to rant about?

Well we had to read Romeo and Juliet. I would be surprised if someone got through grade 10 without ever having to do it. A lot of people like Shakespeare and his works, and I am not going to argue that reading it is absolutely pointless. I just don't want to be forced into it.

It seems the only important reason we read it is because it was written 400 years ago. Sure you might say it depicts love but a lot of people my age I've talked to don't really think it is that important either. If you are an adult, you will probably say it is, and you were also probably bored of it when you were in high school. Why not wait until I am an adult to bother with it? because I was already forced to do it before I cared...

I also feel that with every generation people will become less and less interested in it.

Also with the early modern English, and that it is written like a poem, it doesn't particularly teach English. The older language is obsolete, and we shouldn't have to remotely learn it to get the gist of what the text means. I didn't have fun reading it, and I am glad it is over now all I have to do is the assignment. Writing a remake of a scene but in a different setting, a literary transformation.

Too bad I haven't thought of a good idea for that yet.

*Percentages are estimated based on who I have talked to

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Optimism is where someone usually expects a good outcome. Well Today I officially declare I am an optimist. I do expect the future to be "optimal"(I guess that is where they get optimist from).

I think everything is going to work out, once I leave school that is. Right now things are fairly still, I'm restricted with my age and money, so I am stuck at home or school most of the time.

But, when I am buying my own food, supplying myself with everything, I'll have a lot more choice and freedom. I seem to have one thing in mind all the time, maximising my life. I intend on living until I am at least 125, while sleeping polyphasically(see other blogs).

I also intend on living very healthily. Since I will be buying my own food, I can stop buying lots of junkfood. Right now I come home from school and eat stuff like cakes, icecream, biscuits or toasted sandwhiches, rarely do I come home and eat fruit or vegetables(who said you can't eat vegetables for an afternoon snack).

It sounds fairly simple to me, just don't buy all the stuff I shouldn't be eating, but I guess I am thinking a little far in the future, and I'll have to wait until it actually happens.

But basically I just want to make life the best it can be, and I'm sure it will be, so therefore I am an optimist, and I like that title.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Recently, I have become increasingly aware of the population of schoolwork that we get which is busywork.

Busywork is work assigned which is intended to keep the person, in this case students, busy or it is work which is pointless and teaches nothing. This can also include homework. It is not limited to students and schoolwork but in this case it is.

So basically there are 4 terms at school, each about 10 weeks in length with time off seperating them. One term is generally used to focus on one part of the subject. Let's start off with English.

So close to the start of the term, term 3 it is now, we were given our spelling lists. Well I never thought one of the top grade 10 English classes would need spelling lists. Alright, that's not so bad, spelling lists.

It is when the majority of the words are no harder than "vault" or "balcony". Now that wouldn't be an issue, sure some easy spelling tests every week. But down the bottom of the page it says something like...

Each week students must write 10 different sentences for 10 spelling words on their list.

Now if at some stage at home, I have to stop what I'm doing, and write down 10 randomly generated sentences with words that I use every day I am not learning anything.

You may ask, "What's the big deal, its only 10 sentences once a week. You may aswell just do it." Let's say you are living with your parents, one comes to you while you are busy and says "Hey, go take the trash out to the bin, place it in the bin, get it back out of the bin and bring it back inside." It won't take you very long, go do it.

From taking the trash out and bringing it back in you learn nothing, it gets nothing done and it wastes time.

By writing 10 sentences with words I learnt how to spell at primary(elementary) school I learn nothing, it gets nothing done(well, except for some sentences, but what will that achieve) and it wastes time.

If it was an effective method of teaching they would make us write sentences at school, not at home, we have plenty of time in class.

Now you might say, well have the teacher give you harder words. Well giving me harder words won't help me pass the course because writing out 10 sentences a week, even if each has a new word, probably won't teach me new words very fast. As I just said before, it is not an effective method of teaching and that is so because it takes more than 1 sentence for a word to learn it, especially if attempting 10 words every week.

The best way to learn new words is to find synonyms for common words until you find ones you don't know, or to type in things that could sound like words into an online dictionary until it gives you words that are similiar that you don't yet know.

Of course trying to learn 10 at a time, by writing a sentence for each won't help much.

How about math

Well math isn't so pointless, appart from that more than half of the stuff we do we already completed in grade 8 and 9. We get a lot of work to do, many exercises. But when it gets to the point where you already know it and you don't need to keep writing out the same equation but with different numbers over and over, it does get pointless.

Some people need that bit of extra practice, so I can't really say that it is pointless to most people. But I would like to point out that all of this revision we do of previous years should not take aslong as it does and I really do not do much work in maths because I find it much more efficient to just revise a bit before the exam, rather than repeating exercises over and over for weeks in class.

Atleast our teacher doesn't get too annoyed if we don't do it.

I will conclude this saying that you do not need a lot of the work to get the top grades for the course and that more work does not equal more learning. Working hard at a pointless activity won't mean you do better at school.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The start of a new blog

This post marks the start of my new blog. Unlike past blogs this is not about polyphasic sleep. To view those visit my profile. This is a blog where I share my opinions, particularly to things which effect me.

Since I originally started my polyphasic sleep blog, I began liking blogging. Since then I have had many ideas so I wanted to create more of a general blog.

This is not so just a day recount of what happened. I am not going to come home from school and just plainly write what happened that day. I want to share my ideas, and write my own views on things.

The goal is to maintain a blog over an extended period of time, that, when I form a strong opinion about something which has happened to me, which is surprisingly a lot, I write about it. These will be mostly intelligent ideas, not just "Argh I hate x because its bad".

For example, something may occur one day which will cause me to think a lot about the topic, I may read about it on the internet, or someone may tell me about something, even a combination of those which will cause me to form my own view.

Other than just my opinions, I will also try to write about interesting stuff that has happened to me, when it happens. Without trying to give away personal details, that is, so of course I won't be able to write about some things.

Right now my monophasic sleep requires attention, so I shall come back probably tomorrow to add onto my blog.