Thursday, June 17, 2010


Five Academic Regrets I Possess
1. I wish I had had a different third grade teacher. Don't get me wrong, Mrs. Kent was an extremely nice woman, but I don't feel I learned all that much during third grade, beyond how to spell mountain and bacteria, cursive handwriting (mine has never been pretty), and multiplication tables. I was in a very fortunate position at my elementary school in that not only did I have an older sister who served as the guinea pig for the teachers, but also because my mother was able to request which class I was placed in. For two years in a row though, I was placed in the less challenging of the two classes. In second grade she made the right decision, even though I was terribly bored in Mrs. Smith's class. (The next year she went on to teach kindergarten). I laugh to imagine the chaos and scenes that would have ensued had I been in Mrs. Stedham's class though. The first time she told one of my classmates that the question he/she had asked was stupid I would have been up in arms, raising Cain. However, I think my mom missed the mark in third grade as I got on really well with Ms. Green when three years later she was my social studies teacher. I know my sister hated being in her class, but Bird went on to major in art, while I did not. We have very different personalities, and I think I would have been fine. Although, my childhood nemesis was in that class.....hmm....third, sixth, and tenth grade were the only years I had a break from him. Maybe Mom made the right decision after all.
2. I wish I had not taken GT English in 7th grade. Seems counter- intuitive that I would express a desire to have been in a less challenging class in 7th grade when I just expressed a desire to have been more challenged in third. The thing is, that English class wasn't very challenging, nor were the assignments especially clever. I disliked the teacher, particularly after she told me that "feline is the word for female dog," and being in that class meant I was forced to take pre-algebra with the absolutely worst teacher I have ever encountered as a student. Ever. In my entire educational experience. Had I been in a regular English class, I would have taken pre-algebra with Mrs. Mehal, who wound up being my teacher for regular 7th grade math for the second half of the year after I switched out of the class from hell. Of course, that would have meant I missed out on one of my all time favorite teachers, Ms. Hartley in 9th grade. Oh well.
3. I wish I had studied Latin. The more I learn about it, the more I feel cheated that I didn't study Latin. Not because of the extra boost my verbal scores on standardized tests would have received, but because it is the primary origin of our language. Also, had I studied Latin I could have majored in Classical Civilizations, which brings us to number four.
4. I wish I had majored in Classical Civilizations. I ended up with a minor in the program because of how many of the courses I took to fulfill my elective and feminist studies requirements. I was inducted into their honor society my senior year, three of my favorite classes in college were in that department (Hellenistic Greece and Republican Rome, Greek and Roman Myth, and The Classical Tradition), and I had a great relationship with three of the professors, as compared to one in the department for what I actually majored in.
5. I wish I had taken the opportunity to study abroad during college. I honestly never even looked into studying abroad because I was a Speech and Communication major and the two didn't seem to make sense together. I felt you needed to be majoring in something international to justify it. Had I only known! Still, if I had studied Latin and therefore had a different major I could have gone to Italy or Greece.

Five Academic Joys I Have
1. I am so happy I studied French. I know that in this day and age that Spanish is far more practical, but I adore French and I'm glad I took so many years of it. Sunshine and I really wish we could afford Rosetta Stone for French so that I can refresh my memory and he can learn it.
2. I am so happy I took creative writing in 8th grade. Not only did it give me an opportunity to become friends with the person who would be my closet friend for the next three years, but that is also where I met Sunshine! (No, we haven't been together since that time, but we are getting married on the 20th anniversary of when we first met.)
3. I am so happy that I took AP English in high school. As I stated in my last post, this course was as hard or harder than anything I took in college until I was a junior. I think I would have had a much harder time in my classes had I not had this experience. Thanks Mrs. Rennar!
4. I am so happy that I had a difficult instructor for Core in college. Core was this hideous course in college that all incoming freshman were required to take. At the time of my enrollment the teachers were allowed to teach it however they saw fit, as long as they had us read all of the same books. Therefore you had the art instructor who allowed his students to make clay pinch pots (you know, like you did in elementary school) as their final, and the philosophy instructor who gave everyone A's because he resented being forced to teach the course. My professor taught Russian and he had us write papers (bare minimum of two pages) for everything we read, and we read a lot! At the time, I really disliked him, but he really made us think and for that I thank him. Here's to you Joe! (I can't remember how to spell his last name. I wonder if he still teaches there? I will look him up.)*
5. I am so happy that I have parents who not only valued education, but encouraged me to take classes on other things besides academics, such as art and dance. Do I need to elaborate more? They made me a life long learner and for that I am eternally grateful.

*Troncale! And he still teaches there.


amnbsdad said...

Wow, you regret stuff from the third grade? Wow. I won't do a 5x5 in a comment on your blog but the two things I regret most from my school days are not trying, I coasted through school, and not taking any shop classes. I mean did I really need all that drama and chorus? Oh and I may be wrong on this but I believe that while we've derived many words from Latin that English is actually a Germanic language.

Librarian Who said...

Well, it is mainly that I think that I would have had a better foundation for certain things if I had been in the other third grade class. I really had three years in a row where I was not challenged much at all during elementary school. In fourth grade I was in a combination class and while I had the better of the two fourth grade teachers there were so few of us in the class that she focused more on the third graders and left us to our own devices a lot.
You're right, English did start out as a Germanic language. But English is such big hybrid linguistically speaking. We don't qualify as one of the romance languages, but in 1066 when William the Conqueror took over Anglo-Norman French became the dominant language and stayed that way for quite some time. That's what I was thinking about when I wrote this. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that English is the bastard of languages since it incorporates elements and phrases from so many others.

amnbsdad said...
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