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I'm back!! Not that you'd actually remember me... It's been over a year. Anyhow, I was talking with my friend, Nina, the other day, and we decided to make a newsletter for the hell of it and try to sell copies to people. Cash is good. She wanted me to do a column for it, and hey, I remembered about this thing. I must say that the site is looking quite nice. Very spiffy! I haven't been here in a good while. I was surprised to find my stuff still here. So, with that said, here we go! Issue number seven...

"My School is a Cult"

Ahem. I'd like to start out with a few quotes from our new principal...
- "This is MY school. You will act as I wish in MY school."
- "When you're in that testing room, the test is your life. You WILL perform well on this test to make our school look good."
- "When you enter here, it needs to be dead silent. Your back must be straight and you must be attentive."

My school, as well as other schools in this nation for all I know, is a cult. We don't have to wear yellow robes, eat rice, or say little chants in-between periods or anything, but all the same, my school is a cult.

In school, we are expected to act a certain way. During assemblies, we have to sit with our backs straight, and we can't talk at all. If there is even the littlest whisper, the teachers go insane. There was an assembly Friday, and most of us were pretty loud because we'd just finished lunch. The vice principal got really angry and screamed at us before the principal gave us a talk about the standardized testing. Of course, the talk was extremely stupid and wasn't anything I haven't heard before. I mostly just rolled my eyes while the person sitting next to me tried to trip him (which worked because we were in the front row). When I went to my next class after the assembly, my social studies teacher went absolutely berserk. She forced us to write apologies to the principal and write letters to the lower grades about how you should behave at an assembly.

What these adults don't seem to understand is that we're just a bunch of teenagers, and while we should respect authority, we shouldn't have to act like robots. We are normal human beings. We like to socially interact with others. We don't like to have to be good little students in our seats during class, especially after we've finished all the day's work. It's no wonder we don't respect authority because they don't respect us at all. They don't care about our needs.

Another thing in our school is the fear of individuality. Most people in our school wear a similar, preppy to casual type of clothing. Then, when other people, such as myself, come along wearing combat boots or have their hair dyed funky colors, the teachers lose it. I can't help but notice how the principal thinks I'm some kind of freak when I go to the peer mentoring meetings. (I'm a peer mentor.) I hate how they try to get us to all act and look the same.

There is also a lot of encouragement to get involved in sports and other extracurricular activities. I don't really mind the encouragement, but I do mind when the teachers make you feel inferior because you don't participate in anything. Sports, academics, and community service are the big things pushed in my school because they get a lot of their money and recognition through awards. Of course, all the money that we get for them is usually put towards sports. We still don't have decent supplies in the art room, and after all the money we've earned, I really don't see why we couldn't afford it. Oh yes, that's right! We bought a weight gym for the football players and wrestlers.

Schools need to be more open to differences. They need to give us some leeway behavior-wise because they can't expect us to be good little students all the time. We are human beings, just like them, after all. They should be a little kinder to us and not be so forceful. Being forceful only makes us want to rebel against them more. Academics and community service are good things to encourage, but school officials shouldn't put so much pressure on us to get involved with sports. Not everyone is an athlete, so they shouldn't only spend money on athletics. Some of us are artists or performers, too! Don't pretend we aren't there.

My school is a cult. I hope someday it will change, but I don't know if it ever will. Nazi boot-camp gym class will always be the same, but I really do hope the school officials will open their eyes one of these days. If they'd just give us a little respect and accept differences, things could be a lot better at school for everyone. They were teenagers once, too. Why can't they understand the way our minds work?

- Jen (October 9, 2002 - Happy (would be 57th) Birthday John Entwistle!)

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The following comments are for "Jen-i-Vision #7 - My School is a Cult"
by PolkaDot*

Awesome! You should be a journalist, hun! I agree with you, there is little room for individuality--but can we really blame that on the teachers? I would say that the students play a bigger role--we spend so much time criticizing each other. But anyway, there is too much sports emphasis (take that, Gerbil man!)More power to the music/arts/whatever programs!

( Posted by: Rachel [Member] On: October 12, 2002 )

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