By Mandy Kwan
We are in school for all the wrong reasons.
In schools, we have remedial classes to improve our WASL scores, SAT scores, and grades.
You name the subject — there is a remedial course out there for it. The school system is set up to focus on improving flaws, and because of that, students have a hard time finding their strengths and passions. This is because we are so limited to what we can learn. Everything in school is about grades and testing. We only learn things to get good grades on a semester final.
But the thing is, we only grasp content that we are truly interested in. When it comes to having to learn something and wanting to learn something, the having to is what we need to succeed in school. But with having to learn things that we may not necessarily want to learn, do we go to school for ourselves, then?
Too often, we do things we do not necessarily want to in order to get to where we want to be. Many students do not like homework, but we do it anyway so we can get to where we want to be.
For some, it may be a college where one can choose what he or she wants to major in. Education right now is similar to an adult working at a job that he or she does not enjoy, but he or she does it anyway because it will provide something later. For example, it could be money or health insurance.
We all know that when we do what we love, we are happy, so why is it so hard to learn what we want and be happy? Is it because when one is happy, one is not successful?
What we need is an education system where people can learn for the joy of learning, where tests and grades do not dictate what we learn.
One of my new friends in SYLP could not have put it better when she said, “I’ve learned more these three weeks than I have learned in school,” as we sat in a community circle for the last time, saying whatever we felt impelled to say before these three golden weeks ended. ♦
Mandy Kwan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The stories in this issue are written by SYLP students, not Northwest Asian Weekly staff. Opinions herein do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the newspaper.)