Tidal wave of dissatisfaction: 11,890 minutes remaining


M. Docter, Journalism 1 Writer

Amidst a sea of forget and lack of care, my creative writing and government classes stood out boldly among the rest like a lighthouse on the shore. I was consistently invested in the topics we were taught and methods in which we were taught them, miraculously managing to stay attentive throughout the course of the semester. This was a feat that was astonishingly rare for almost any class I’d been part of.

Most of what I “learned” behind these drab cinderblock walls (likely painted white in a desperate attempt to fruitlessly inspire some kind of positivity and ambition) went in one ear and out the other, never ceasing to bore me and enlist a relentless hatred for whatever subject material I was constantly force-fed every year.

I was given numbers and problems without understanding the theory behind it, causing my grade to deteriorate progressively, despite the questions I was asking my teachers and tutoring I was forced into. I’ve never had a math teacher or tutor who properly assisted me, as most of them were too busy ignoring the fact that some kids had old homework assignments out on their desk for the teacher to blindly check for completion or trying to use similar language and slang with the kids to make them seem “hip” and “cool”.

Every week, I start off my mornings with constant nagging for verbal participation and ridiculously shallow discussions in which each of my classmates are mutually disinterested in, myself included.

Within my art classes, the painful irony shined the brightest: I was told that I couldn’t draw in the style I typically did because it “wasn’t original” (no art style is original, everybody takes inspiration from somewhere else). While leaving your comfort zone is great and all, it’s also a huge deal to recognize your skills and what kinds of techniques you do enjoy and embrace them as a source of comfort when needing to take a break from experimentation. I’ve taken seven visual arts classes, and I can’t express how much they have driven me to resent my once-beloved talent and hobby. I was desperate to reach AP studio art, but once I did, I realized I wasn’t prepared in the slightest. It felt as though I was under such unbearably close scrutiny that the world would crumble to pieces if I didn’t step entirely out of my comfort zone, and as result of that pressure, what I created was, in my personal opinion, a shameful display of the lowest of my skill.

I don’t mean to say the teachers that taught those aforementioned classes fanned the flames of my academic setbacks, as they had no idea—it was only now that I was first give an outlet to freely express these criticisms. If I’d been taught how to properly solve mathematical equations, how different economic models work in other countries, and how to embrace my art style to create something original with it, maybe it would have lessened the blow of the outrageously cataclysmic realization that set in when I fully comprehended the fact that my graduation date is drawing closer every day.

Sometimes the feeling that I’ve helplessly wasted my teenage years washes over me in a drowning tsunami of dread, and I begin to regret not having graduated early like my initial plan had stated.

I stayed behind partially for my friends, so I could see them in the midst of the misery I’ve experienced in the passing school days. I’ve come to understand that that’s not the main reason I’m somewhat glad I stayed behind. About now, if I had graduated, I’d probably be getting ready to head out to a miserable 9-hour retail job, one of the few places that sucks creativity out of a human being more extensively than school.

This school has done nothing but stifle my creative ventures and big-thinking. Having taken both creative writing and government, I came to discover that they’re two of the only courses I’d ever taken that helped me convey my creative aspects in the form of written content and indulged in my curious nature and hunger for a fine-tuned intuition.

I applaud Mr. Boruff and Mr. Gordon’s skills as educators, as they were two of the few teachers that gave me basic respect as a creative and a student. They equally challenged my thinking through the form of creative and opinion-based bellringers in my English and creative writing classes and in-class discussions and debates in my government class. Their ability to lead a vibrant discussion brimming with energy and perspective is unmatched by any other teacher I’ve had, and through them, I was shown that new ideas and creativity are the backbone of society.

As each new day of high school comes and goes, my own metaphorical backbone has been progressively cracking ever so slightly, waiting for the day that I either graduate to no longer need to fear and suffer through the constant suppression I have to muddle through every day or give out completely.