Experience That Changed My LIfe

September 30, 2009
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Until this, my sophomore year, I had been going to a private school for my entire education. My parents believed that a good, sound Christian foundation would better prepare me for the years ahead. This past summer I had decided to make the change from going to a private school to a public school, one of the most important decisions of my life. Because my mother had also gone to private schools in New York for her early education, she knew some of the adjustments I would have to make when changing from a private Christian environment to a public one. For example, my wardrobe has doubled! I’ve been wearing uniforms since I was in Pre-K and this summer I, for the first time, experienced school shopping and it was great!
I went to two different private schools up until the sixth grade. The first ended after the 2nd grade and the second ended after 5th. When I was twelve years old in the 6th grade my parents enrolled me in a school that went from Pre-K through the 12th grade, and I had never been to a school that large before. Temple Christian Academy (TCA) had over 200 students and was the largest school I had ever attended, which is ironic now that I am enrolled in a school with over 2,000 students! I was excited about being in junior high, but passing high schoolers in the halls. It made me feel older and because of my height, people have always thought I was older than I actually am anyway.
Up until my freshman year of high school, my years at TCA had been. . . .okay. Nothing to write home about, but I didn’t have any real complaints either. My freshman year, however, was an eye opening experience. The school was small enough so everybody knew everybody and everybody knew everybody’s business. The kids were very nice, but could be quite obnoxious at times. The teachers were cordial, the coaches were pleasant, the principal was friendly, and everyone was nice. In fact, they were almost too nice. So much so it was like the “Stepford Wives” where everyone was just like everyone with no deviation of personality. It was almost as if they were faking and not being real.
You weren’t allowed to talk about anything besides school work, God or religion. I’m sure there were students who had issues, I mean, we are teenagers and we all have issues, but we couldn’t talk about anything serious with people at school because it was considered inappropriate. The school was void of personality. We were not allowed to do book reports unless the book had something to do with God and had to be pre-approved and skimmed over by a teacher prior to the student reading the book. Conversations that were overheard by a teacher that were not “Christian” topics were forbidden. There was even a situation where my parents had to talk to the principal regarding a comment to me made by a teacher. I’ve always enjoyed reading and my parents have always encouraged me to do so. I had just become interested in the “Twilight” series and was reading during my free time at lunch when a teacher took the book from me and responded that she would never let any of her children read a book like that, and promptly confiscated it. My parents were insulted and felt that if they approve of the books that they purchase, as my parents that is their prerogative. They agreed that I would not bring the book to school, but asked that they refrain from passing judgment on the choices they make as parents.
I had a few “friends” at TCA, but not anyone special that I’d really want to hang out with outside of school. All of my real friends lived in my neighborhood and went to Marcus High School. They would always tell me about their day, sports, boys, friends and crazy teachers. It was as if they didn’t mind waking up and going to school, whereas I on the other hand, hated it. I had thought about asking my parents to send me to Marcus before, but I never thought they’d allow it. My mother went to a public high school in New York and had very vivid memories of her past and wanted to shelter me from some of her bad experiences.
This past summer as I was entering my sophomore year I finally asked my parents to enroll me at Marcus and much to my surprise they agreed, so here I am! So far my life changing decision has been enlightening to say the least. I’ve never before experienced homecoming, changing classes, lockers or bells ringing to signify the end of a class. I’ve never been able to wear jeans or sneakers to school and I’ve never been in a class that taught evolution instead of creation. I still haven’t had the opportunity to meet many friends or play a sport, but for the first time the possibilities are endless and I am looking forward to new encounters and am embracing change.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Hajra A. said...
Dec. 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm
I think your opinions of puplic schools are wrong. Maybe I think like this because I've always been in puplic school.
Alex K. said...
Nov. 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm
Wow. It must've been really weird for you to go to a place so different from where you had been before.
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