Thursday, June 2, 2011

Granite School District Failed Me

I thought about calling this post, I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader.

I like to consider myself a smart person. I mean, I know things. I’m college educated. I can have a conversation about ideas and books and sometimes even politics. My conversations aren't based around fashion, celebrity gossip or reality shows so I think that already gives me a little bit of credibility. But I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not actually as smart as I lead everyone to believe I am.

But I’d like to think it’s not my fault. I've done all that I could with what I was given. I’m fairly sure I was failed early on in my education.

Por Ejemplo (look folks, I know Spanish)

Things I didn’t learn K-12 that I am SURE were supposed to have been taught…

- It wasn’t until my first semester of college that I learned how to structure a paragraph. How in the world was I allowed to pass High School English without this knowledge?

- I was making cookies the other day and I struggled with ¾ + ¾ = 1½. I really think I should know this

- The only classic book we were assigned to read was Les Miserables and that was my senior year. I’m positive there should have been a much higher expectation for my reading material. Again, it wasn’t until college (on my own) that I read any quality books.

- Geography what? I STILL don’t know exactly what the “Soviet Union” reffers to.

- I am unclear as to anything involving physics, chemistry or biology. (In my school’s defense, I do remember biology class, but I was too busy trying to impress Jay McMillan and his stunning, bleached, bowl cut to have retained any information)

- Rutherford B. Hayes was, like, what, one of the 12 appostles in the bible?

- I don’t know the state capitals. None of them.

- I don’t really know what these words mean; osmosis, adverb, marsupial, or geologic.

- I cannot convert any measurements.

- I don’t know the difference between affect and effect.

Now, I AM willing to admit that I was the child that saved pencil shavings and pierced my ear during sewing class so my attention to the lessons was mediocre. If anyone I went to school with would like to argue that Granit School District was, in fact, an amazing and challenging school system, I will concede immediately.

I wrote my first chapter book in 5th grade and I’m pretty sure it took a whole week to do so; a whole week that I was not doing anything but writing. I know I stared out of plenty of windows and slept through countless classes. Alright, so my lack of knowledge may be entirely my fault, but seriously, I would have remembered if I was supposed to have been reading The Great Gatsby. The fact that I graduated without any of this knowledge is scary!

Am I the only one who feels my school seriously let me down? In college I had a roommate from Tennessee (thank troll for spell check because I didn't know how to spell that word on my own) she said that her high school was, by far, more challenging than the college we were attending. Someone else, please tell me I'm not alone. Does anyone else feel like they didn't learn anything in high school? Does anyone else struggle to convert measurments? Does anyone know who Rutherford B. Hayes is?!!

Oh well, at least I’m pretty.


Anonymous said...

It goes to show you - kids only learn when they are interested. If we haven't got them interested we're wasting our time. So what to do to inspire kids to learn . . .


James said...

I was there with you through all of it, and I wholeheartedly agree. Something to do with low intellectual expectations of Utah students. Apparently the teachers are clueless about it, too. If I hadn't been so neurotic, and my average person schedule not switched with Ryan Davis' in 8th grade, I'd be just another fool married with kids and stuck in Utah. Lucky for you, you're rad and atypical, which automatically sets u appart.

Oh, and pretty.

james said...

Savvy pants. I love your blog! Yes granite school district failed us all. And yes I was distracted by Jay MacMillans blonde streaked bowl cut too, but that does not excuse the fact that A LOT of people that received diplomas should not have. ( I was one of them)

Anyway, my son is now going to the same elementary that I attended and it is hands down WAY better, and more challenging than the school he was going to in Scott county Iowa. Hands down. Now that's a scary thought to think that there are schools out there that are worse, and there are. I guess dumbed down people are easier to persuade than us more edjumacated peoples.

Angela said...


Oh how I relate to you.. This is my exact experience. Right down to the part about Jay McMillan. Also, Por Ejemplo pops into my brain all of the time, compliments of Mrs. Klonizos (The hottest woman teacher at Eisenhower.)Seriously though. I still struggle with Fractions and I can't name 1 book that I was required to read and I was in honors English! We did however watch a lot of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I never really understood why. And damn right. You are pretty!

Savvy Pants said...

Becky, You pose a very interesting question! I wasn't inspired to learn until college. Thaaaaaat seems a little late...

Angela, Ms. Klonizos ws SO hot!! Every boy and girl had a crush on her.

James and james, this is why having parents that care about education is important... I mean, mine didn't but some people's did I'm sure.

At least we're all such pretty people!

Savvy Pants said...

Ps, great use of Troll Angela!

Kristie said...

I actually got a really great high school education in MA. Salt Lake Community College is a whole different story. I could get a 4.0 at SLCC if I were a rock.

Angela said...

Everyone DID have a crush on Ms. Klonizos!!! Including me... I was more fixated on James Nagel and Andrew Olson though.. Although, Jay McMillan was a cutie for sure.. Thank you for the kudos (I just googled kudos to make sure it only had one 'D')on my use of Troll. I appreciate that..

Celestie said...

Yes. Even after all of your examples Savvy Pants, I still think that Arkansas has worse academia (is that a word?). When I was in high school in AR:

A) Arkansas was ranked #49 in academics. We were in the top 10 for high school pregnanices though.

2) I never ONCE read any sort of classical work. My English teachers ideas of studying the classics like The Great Gatsby, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Les Miser-whatever was to skim over the Cliffs Notes with us - which took about 8 minutes - and then we'd spend the next several class periods watching the movie. Our test was over the movie, which is obviously always different from the book.

D) My drama teacher had smoke breaks during school hours out in her fugly purple truck. She often invited students with her.

7) The principal stepped outside one morning, slipped in the inch of snow, hurt himself and cancelled school.

PS - Rutherford Hayes - isn't he an actor??

Lara said...

Everyone knows that the Utah public education system sucks big time. We are ranked in the bottom of the nation in quality of education, and the county I come from is ranked in the bottom in the state of Utah. That being said, how on earth did I get to be the smart one????