FYI, this post is going to be all over the place, because when you’re angry, it’s hard to edit and organize and angry blog post. Okay.
I am so frustrated how some of my peers are just incompetent… I don’t want to say dumb, but on some terms, these people I have classes with just can’t comprehend common sense!
I know it’s harsh. But if we don’t say it, it’s going to get ignored.
And when I say it, I mean standards of education.
I have no idea where the standards in public school are anymore! I have gone to public school here in California my entire life, and I loved it. I am so grateful that this opportunity was given to me and I took full advantage of it. I always thought it was a great system. I was able to go to school for free through high school, I was awarded financial aid to be able to pursue my Bachelor’s degree, and I am getting classes here at San Francisco State University that seem interesting, but when I really look at it, the standards are still lower than I expected!
Some classes definitely are challenging. These are the classes that push you to think, to theorize, to go a few steps further in analysis. This is what I was expecting. I was expecting lecturers and professors to ask us questions, to make us think, to tell us that we need to make ourselves work harder.
But when I attend classes where teachers still feel the need to remind us how to use the online system, to remind us about citation, to teach us how to write a simple essay, who have to read a goddamn syllabus to us word for word, to BABY us, I get so fed up.
Here are some things that have been really annoying me about the system and the lack of knowledge I’ve found in my peers.
Note: I am not mad at my peers. I do not want to think of them as stupid. That is not the point of this post. I am so frustrated that my peers don’t know some standards and basic grammar and arithmetic that I was taught and mastered in middle school and early high school! How have these low standards been okay in the CSU system. Here’s the list:
There are still remedial math classes here at my school. The lowest class is prepratory math. This comes before Algebra I. These classes do not count towards graduation. Because you should have passed Algebra II in high school to even be accepted into a CSU! I am so flabbergasted. How have these students not passed basic Algebra in high school? I was never ahead or behind or anything in my math studies in grade school. I took a more or less normal route because, as I later realized, I wasn’t being pushed. Part of it was that my parents didn’t understand the education system here, so I had to figure it all out by myself. I had to do all my own registration forms, had to figure out proper pathways to graduating, everything I taught myself. I was in pre-algebra in 7th grade, Algebra I in 8th, Geometry in 9th, Algebra II in 10th, and stats & trig in 11th. Sure, I could’ve done Pre-Calc/Calc. But I was never pushed! I was never told that this would get me ahead. I was only told what I could do to graduate.
This is probably one of my biggest issues: a lot of the k12-csu system here in California emphasize what you need to graduate. I don’t recall many times where they push you to go above and beyond. Sure, they say it. They say be smart! Go above and beyond and do what you can! But when you go to a counselor or ask anyone for some advice, I feel that all they tell you is to do what you can to just graduate. I am just so full of mixed emotions! I had great teachers that pushed me in my AP classes in high school, but in my regular college prep classes, I felt that I wasn’t pushed enough. I had taken for the most part normal english and math classes (I took regular english 9, regular english 10, and AP language & comp in jr yr, and regular english in 12), and unfortunately I wasn’t pushed enough and I didn’t push myself enough to do well on that AP exam to be able to earn credit for CSU english. I wasn’t all that heartbroken cause I looked forward to strengthening my writing. (I also had a really bad cold during AP exam week, I was pissed.)
So when I arrived in my CSU level English classes, I thought we were going to push harder into writing longer papers, a variety of papers. And let me first say, the 2 english classes I took here were by the same teacher, and he is probably my favorite teacher so far. Thanks Brian! :) BUT, we were still going over basic grammar??? Still going over homophones, synonyms, grammar and sentence structure? And there were still people who didn’t understand how it worked, who had English as their first language? I am just so amazed! Sure, I got a couple of things wrong here and there, but just the fact that some people did not know basic grammar and still had to learn how to write a non-5-paragraph essay amazed me. But then I realized that those reasons were why the classes were still being taught like this.
I think that high school standards are to be raised. Yes, teens don’t seem to care too much about school. But in fact, they do! If teachers and counselors and advisors and everyone else baby students, we don’t feel enough push to work harder and to go beyond our reaches. There are just so many things that I can’t comprehend weren’t taught/taught well in high school!
I have friends who are still in basic Algebra, who still have trouble writing essays, who still have trouble forming study habits. Hey, I’m not saying I’m the best at all of these either. But I do know algebra, I know some calc, I know how to write a fantastic essay and get an A on it, I know how to study even if I can procrastinate sometimes. But the fact is that I know these things. Some students don’t realize that they too can know these things without feeling badly.
One thing that really amazes me is how a student cannot pass a class that they’ve taken at least 3 times?? Where is the problem here? Yes, the student may lack initiative, and may tell themselves they aren’t smart enough to learn a certain topic, but I think there is something wrong with the system. How can you not learn something that you’ve spent at least a year on (if we’re talking semesters)? And I’m talking about with or without any learning issues. EVERYONE has some sort of outstanding learning issue. Whether it’s in your genes or in your lifestyle, you should be pushed to learn these basic things. If many other people can do it, why can’t you?
I know at this point I’m getting a little ridiculous, but I’m just so frustrated! How are we letting this happen?
Now here’s more things that get me frustrated:
How some of my peers don’t read a syllabus, don’t understand the purpose of it, who ask the most basic questions! HOW. HOW are you asking every week what chapters we have to read. How are you asking if there is a midterm when it so clearly states that there are only minitests and a final exam in the syllabus? Did you not read it? Did you think it was going to be easy work? Syllabi are written in an easy reading level. Using the excuse that you are an ESL student isn’t going to work for me. I’m sorry. I know other languages, and I know it’s hard to learn. But if you have to ask over and over about the simplest things, it makes me wonder whether or not your really care about your education or if you’re just trying to make it by.
Some of peers still don’t understand how to use computer technology. They don’t know Word, they don’t know email, I’ve even seen people who don’t know copy + paste. Now, this is a small fraction of the people I interact with, but how is this possible? I was taught computer basics in GRADE school. I was adorable little 10 year old Sophie who had been using a computer since I was about 4. There were computers all over my education and it was important that we learn how to use it.
Some of my peers still don’t understand how to cite.
One of my biggest issues is that there is no motivation. I’ve found myself being group leaders many times already because I know how to complete a project or cause I know how to use a certain program or cause I know how to form documentation. I’m a little tired with having all this responsibility. We are being taught Excel in my Information System classes. We were taught this last semester, and in high school. It was a requirement for graduation. But some students just don’t want to learn it??? How are you going to be in business and not know how to use Excel? I’m sick and tired of people just barely wanting to get by, to copy work from others, to not know these things! I’m so tired of it. I really need to not let this get me down. I have to focus on myself and my studies.
I guess I’m mostly annoyed with my online Marketing intro class. The online version has about 800 students, the lecture has about 200. They are all on the same course in the online system we use here at SFSU, iLearn. There are MULTIPLE FORUM DISCUSSIONS ON WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MINI TEST AND A REVIEW TEST IS, AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY COUNT FOR GRADES. Can you first comprehend what MINI and REVIEW is??? It clearly states in the syllabus that review tests don’t count for a grade, but they show up in the gradebook. He says it in lecture all the time. And people are still asking about it!! We’ve been in school for more almost 2 months now! So stupid.
People don’t have the common sense to know which chapters align with which minitest. There is a table that shows which chapters are covered in which lectures, and then which lectures are used for which minitests. You just have to use both tables to understand it. Some people just didn’t understand this until I and a few others had to build a fucking table in their faces. I am so annoyed. IT IS COMMON SENSE. How are you going to work in the real world if you can’t understand how to do that?
There are so many other things I can talk about…
But I’ll stop here before I get much more offensive/offended.
But I will go on to the more official things to talk about. How the new leader for the CSU is being paid more than $400k a year and getting $30k in something or other. How the CSU tuition fees have been and are continuing being raised every semester I’ve attended. How some of the teachers aren’t real teachers that want to teach, but are just working professionals. How some of the teachers don’t know how to use the basic technology. How there are still teachers being laid off. How the leader is making so much money and teachers are barely making it by they that they have to do professional work and teach on the side. That students who want a good education but have to go to public school may feel cheated, I know I do, because they don’t have the money to go through with it. That the community college system isn’t as strong as we all want it to be. I’m so frustrated at how this society is becoming. I know I would make an excellent teacher, but unfortunately, I chose not to go that route because of how difficult it will be to get a stable job after.
But the more and more concerned about the system I become, the stronger urge I have in becoming a teacher. A professor. Someone who is willing to push students and to get this public school system fixed.
I’ll try not to go too much into the politics.
I think the national standards should be raised. Specifically, I don’t know how. But I have this overwhelming feeling that they are a lot lower than we think.
Okay the end. That made me feel a lot better. And wow, props to you if you read this all. I know a lot of this is better said in a debate, so have a conversation with me. I want to learn everyone’s ideas on the public education system.