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Do You Always Do What You're Told

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19 December 2013
Question of the Day: Do you do what you’re told even if what you’re told is idiotic?

I posed this question to myself as I reflected upon the events of today. Today has been terrible as a matter of fact. School today was rather unproductive and not very agreeable. I fail to understand the idiocies of my school. At my school we have a system of educational reinforcement over holiday breaks deemed the nefarious “break packets”. My problem lies not with the break packets themselves; rather, my problem begins with the decisions made around the break packets. For example, if students are assigned the break packets on a Thursday, why do my teachers seem to create lesson plans on that very same day, in which we do absolutely irrelevant “work”. Watching movies, solving cognition puzzles and sitting around sharing useless banter is not what I signed up for. If you are to assign these seemingly inhumane, novel length packets of class work, why not allow your students to begin the tedious work, since it’s a day before holiday break. I would rather work than sit around doing absolutely nothing of educational importance.

Another problem I faced, while silently fuming with anger at my daunting load of work, is that my teachers feel the need to downplay the length of the packets as if advertising a 10% off deal on a trillion dollar purchase. Sets of questions they say only require “15 minutes a day” is the usual subject of advertisement. What they fail to realize is that six page packets or five page essays for five, maybe six, subjects is not going to take me “15 minutes a day”. As an already emotionally stressed, perfectionist, straight-A student, this holiday break is one of my few chances to reward myself with Xbox, daily lethargy and coffee. Therefore, you can see why these dubious claims downplaying the length of such hell-borne packets offended me.

I later took my issue with my school system to my mother, a college graduate who works for Child Nutrition of Enfield Schools. These are direct quotes as I remember them.

“Yeah, I’m a little tired. School was dumb today. They give us five break packets and then we do absolutely nothing in class. We could be doing our break packets! When you want to work, they won’t let you work!”

“It’s called a ‘break packet’ for a reason. Just do what you’re told.”

This is when I took refuge in my room and reflected in solitude. I thought to myself for several minutes while playing Call of Duty: Ghosts. Then it hit me.

Why should I do what I’m told, if what I’m told is idiotic?

You may think my opinion is child-like and naïve, but you have to see it from my perspective. I go to school until five o’clock. I maintain at least a 3.9 GPA and I play sports. Sometimes my homework takes an hour or two. Even so, I must take care of normal things like hygiene, self-nourishment and home responsibilities. I have to do all of this while trying to find ways to enjoy life, fight depression, and actually have fun. As a student who will one day be very successful, I refuse to stand passively and endure near oppression while operating under a system with seemingly inconsiderate standards. I cannot and I will not be subject to ideas and codes that I do not agree with. I will change my world and I will fight the system until our needs as students are understood.




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