I Am A Product Of A Public School, And I Will ALWAYS Promote Public Education

I Am A Product Of A Public School, And I Will ALWAYS Promote Public Education

The state's funding may be lacking, but it only makes those students work harder.

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I live in the state of Illinois. If you know anything about the state, you know that Illinois is the most broke state in the U.S. and that we went years without passing a budget due to a conflicting legislature, corrupt politicians, or whatever the heck is going on in Springfield, our state capital. Either way, our education system is suffering. This is not to say public schools are failing our future doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. That is not true. We are here and we are thriving.

The state's funding may be lacking, but it only makes those students work harder. In my hometown, students of my school district made their voices heard at the polls when adding a 10 cent increase in property taxes would make or break students education. Sports would diminish, arts programs would be cut, resources for students would no longer exist. This has a huge impact on students and their will to go to school. Without a steady rate of tuition following, we were forced to fight for our education. It made us stronger, we campaigned for ourselves to show that it isn't just about a tax increase, but it's about the future of our excellent school district.

Public schools offer different perspectives. They show that it is okay to disagree with the person next to you. Most of the time, you will find multiple people around you who all have separate opinions. It is encouraged to have conversations in peaceful ways. Ways that encourage the idea that we can "agree to disagree," that just because your opinion is different than mine does not make you a bad person.

Public school offers a lot of diversity.

There are lots of factors as to why that is, But this also means those kids are exposed to different cultures, different ideas, and different lifestyles. For example, I was exposed to the LGBTQ community in high school. I learned more about it from people who were in my classes and who I hung out with at school. Some people never understand what that lifestyle is like, at least maybe not until college.

Public school kids meet people from all walks of life which only helps us understand the lifestyle better.

Public schools often don't require school uniforms. This promotes self-expression. That you wear what you want to wear (within the rules of dress code). There are of course exceptions. There are the schools that will call out students, girls in particular, for showing too much shoulder, being a distraction to other students, etc. Besides those incidents, wear what you are most comfortable in. If that is sweatpants? Sure. Leggings that don't cover your butt? Go for it! There is a difference in being conservative and being confident with yourself. Be sure it's school appropriate and just go learn something.

There are lots of kids that find their passion at school, even at a public school. The teachers are not lazy or "good for nothing." Public schools may be big and we may have our own cliques, but we all have on goal in common: graduation. We experience the same things in a way. The first day of high school, all the homecomings, finals week, pep rallies, football games, all the dances, and for the final hoorah, graduation. We all experience different things as we go through, but it's our school spirit that makes us one. We belong to a school that prides itself on our mascot.

I am a public school kid. I started in kindergarten and walked across the stage as a proud graduate of a school district I grew up in. I am a product of a public school. My mind is not warped. I am not better than anyone else, but I am not below average. I am a former public school, and that's okay. I will forever promote the work that is public education. I am a public school graduate. I am here and I am thriving at my public university.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

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Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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