While in high school, I had absolutely no interest in history. Nope. Ew. Not at all. And why would I? Spending a countless amount of time studying for exams and hours upon hours writing thematic and DBQ essays is enough to make you dislike any subject. It just all seemed so useless, annoying, and most of all, boring.
Fast-forward to now. I haven’t taken a history class in over a year, and, would you believe it – I couldn’t have more of an interest (in United States history, specifically). Isn’t it funny how things work?
No matter how fun and amazing something is, if you’re forced to do it, you’re automatically not going to want to. The other day I read a PHENOMENAL book, Killing Kennedy, by Bill O’Reilly. As the title insinuates, it’s about John F. Kennedy and his time in office, leading up to his assassination. It covered things like the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs, and so many other incidents that sound boring, but really aren’t. Of course I learned about all this stuff in high school, but because I studied it simply to memorize information and spit it back out on a test, I completely forget everything. When I read this book, however, since I wasn’t being forced to memorize copious amounts of information, I truly did absorb it all and feel as though I’ll know this information forever.
I don’t know. The issue with school is that while kids are learning so much, they’re really learning nothing. Obviously that’s a bit of an exaggeration, as there is so much I learned from school, such as how to even read and write. However, I also learned that you can cheat on a test and get the same score as someone who spent hours studying or read spark notes instead of actually reading novels. School taught me all about shortcuts in life and to always take the easy way out, as it did for basically every single student. I suppose now that I am out of high school I can truly look back and form a perspective, and I’m just realizing how flawed the system is. However, there is literally no solution. If there are no tests or assessments, then students just won’t study. And if there are, then they will either (a) simply memorize the information and then forget all of it shortly or (b) cheat their little hearts out. (For the record – I wasn’t a cheater in high school. Not even because I thought it was wrong, to be honest, but because I was afraid of getting caught. Lol.)
I feel one saying in particular accurately sums up this little problem:
You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.