Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Need a Do-Over

Call me crazy - I'd love to do High School again.

*I forgot my camera (D'oh!) - these photos are borrowed from the school's website.
We just got back from DD's school's open house, and I'm in love.  It's a shiny new school--the current jewel in the district's crown--and man it is it snazzy.  Very modern layout, furnishings, and design.  Many classes have glass walls that look into the open areas of the school.  Every classroom has a whole wall that's a whiteboard for drawing, working out problems, or expressing thoughts artistically.  The library looks like a Barnes and Noble, with a tenth as many books.  The hallways look like the mall, only more intimate.


The teachers are young and hip (for the most part) and promote a curriculum and a style of learning that encourage critical thinking and cross-disciplinary synthesis.  And they do cool projects.  The chair of the math department tonight looked nineteen.  She wore converse sneakers, a skirt, and a denim jacket.  And she's very jazzed about Algebra.  Holy cow.  What I wouldn't have given for a math teacher like that?


What is it about all this that has me drooling at the idea of spending hours a day giving my brain a challenging workout--learning for learning's sake?

I have several theories:

First, I think I've totally embraced the Information Age.  I'm a card carrying Information Junkie.  That's why it's so hard for me to be without the internet or to push away from the computer - there's always something I need to look up and research.  Tons more information than I could ever take in, is available in nano seconds through search engines.  Yes, sometimes it's too much and my brain totally shorts out.  But still.

Second, I'm in a place in life where I could actually appreciate school on its own merits.  I could exchange ideas with the teachers as peers, and tailor the projects and homework to suit my own practical needs.  I'm a grown woman running a business, a farm and a household, and some of this stuff can actually make a difference in my daily life.  When I was fifteen, that was a bit harder to grasp and apply.  "When am I ever going to need to know how to write essays????"  Um.... nearly every day, Foolish Teenager.

And speaking of NOT being fifteen - think about all the time and energy I'd have for learning, that wouldn't have to be spent worrying about dating, or snippy girlfriends, or student government politics, or pimples ruining my weekend.  That would change everything from the first time around.

And finally, maybe my longing for another chance is just my way of wishing for that supposedly simpler time of my life when I wasn't worried about paying bills, meeting deadlines, raising children or burying loved ones.  I didn't think it was simple then, but boy, do I now.

And really, I look around, and my opportunities to learn new things keep popping up in my life every day.  They are just dressed differently.  Now they look like committee assignments, software manuals and parenting challenges.  I just don't have a shiny new classroom surrounding me while I learn.

But I wonder if they'd let me sit in on World History.  I so want to make a yurt for the Genghis Khan unit.

 

1 comment:

  1. Gail Goodhand10:55 PM

    This isn't as strange as you think, I have dreams (or nightmares ??) all the time about some how having ended up back in highschool (even though I grad'd many an enon ago). I've taked to friends and many of them have had similar dreams. It seems to be some thing rather common for people to dream of that do over, lol. Not sure I'd really want to try it though, college seems a lot easier these days than highschool was.

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