I know what you're thinking. I must be some kind of insane nerd, some kid with no life, some dork, some dweeb. And okay, maybe you're sort of right. But you're also pretty wrong.
Yes, school is stressful. It's frustrating and feels pointless and it takes up all your free time. I really don't like most of the kids there, some of the teachers make me feel dumb and small, and the pressure it forces me to put on myself is enough to drive me criminally insane. School sucks.
But really, does it?
Maybe I'm a loser for enjoying school. If so, so what? I love learning. It makes me feel intelligent and useful, I like knowing things. Even if they're pointless things like how to find logarithms and every detail of the Cold War and the geometry of a double carbon bond. I like knowing. I like working to get good grades, I like feeling smart, and yes, I like showing off to people who have no idea what I'm talking about.
Now, that's not to say that I think it's all sunshine and rainbows. You should see how out-of-my-mind stressed I get around exams. You should hear the way I complain about how I have hours of homework and rugby four days a week. Oh, and mornings. 7:00 am is not my favorite time. But I see the positive side of school that I think a lot of people miss.
And the best part? The teachers.
Now don't get me wrong. A lot of the teachers at my high school are bad, bad, bad. They're either boring, or they don't teach, or they wait until the end of the term to grade papers, or they're just plain mean. But let me tell you about the diamonds in the rough.
I had this amazing Honors English teacher in freshman year. I mean, her class was the hardest one I've ever taken. If you did all her homework, it was easily two hours a night, if not more. I spent more than one Sunday doing her homework for ten hours. Ten. For one class. Not to mention, it was my first semester of high school and I had two other honors classes at the same time.
But I learned so much! Not just the class material either. I learned really good study habits, I learned how to judge what homework I have to do and what homework I can skip, I learned how to take a test with 45 multiple choice questions and two essays in 50 minutes. I still use what I learned from her to this day.
I also had this super cool 20th Century American History teacher last year. He was my first block, and I hate mornings. Like I really, really hate them. But he'd play a different band every day, and a few weeks in, he played Fall Out Boy. They're by far my favorite band, and it made my whole day. I was so happy that I emailed him that night to tell him how much it meant to me. We were bros after that, really. I went to a FOB concert and brought him back a bracelet, and he wore it every day. He was super funny, and he taught the material in a way that really stuck with me. He made my mornings fun for possibly the first time since I started school. The rest of the day was always better because it started out so well.
My health teacher in sophomore year was really something as well. She was really easy to talk to, and super accepting. I had a girlfriend at the time, and she was in that class with me. That teacher treated us like we were totally normal. She taught tolerance and acceptance, and she actually discussed mental illness instead of sweeping it under the rug. She even stopped me in the hall today to tell me she loved the article I wrote about suicide about two months ago.
Teachers who care make school worth going to. Teachers who try make me want to try. The teachers who've taught me to love learning mean so much to me.
Teachers can change lives, and I don't think they get enough credit. There's a teacher that's changed your life, too. I'm sure that there is. And even with all the crappy ones that are out there, the teachers are why I’m happy to be back at school.