Monday, September 29, 2008

Hazy Eyes

Sorry for the lack of updates, school has definately been busy this year. My schedule itself is awesome, and so are most of my classes, but the first third of the week is painfully long due to a conflicting schedule with my girlfriend. So most days require getting up at 5am and being at school until 9:30pm, definately not the greatest thing. Next semester is not the same thankfully! So classes are going good, a lot of review from classes previously taken, but we are really starting to dive into the new material now. With midterms only two weeks away, preparations have begun as I am hoping to keep my marks up this year. This would definately not be a problem if I would actually be home this weekend, but no I have to go on a silly field trip to watch the possible migration of various species of birds. My Ornithology class is definately not what I had hoped it to be, it is less of a true indepth study of ornithology and instead a focus on the memorization of local birds. That does not really help me considering I am planning to leave the country when I am done with school. I am have been keeping busy with a variety of clubs this year. I have the Biology Society as always, the Environmental Action Commitee (EAC), and hopefully the Zombie Defence Club when it gets all set up :D. As well I am going to be taking part in some other school activities run by friends such as Trick or Eat. It is nice to get out and meet all these different people whom may end up becoming a good group of friends :). I have also been hired by Dr. Weeks as a research assistant for his lab which is pretty awesome! We are starting up training tomorow and I have scheduled with Dr. Chowela to be trained on the schools confocal microscope and will be the NRU's go to man when it comes to teaching others how to use it for neural research. This definately gives me a huge advantage for applying to graduate school which is great. It is nice when everything slowly comes together exactly how you hoped they would.

In other news, WoTLK release date is now out! It is sooner then I thought so I have begun making preparations. I feel like Fraffy will be retired, he became quite the legend during BC for his performance, but I just have a feeling I will probably get his holy brother finished before the release and stick with him. I guess in reality both could be active but I just do not think I would have the time for that right now. Illidan will no longer feel the wrath of that little guy.

Final thing for this post is regarding the education system right now. This is completely in terms of Elementary and Secondary school. So I work at the Kumon Learning Centre and have been since like grade 9 so I have been able to watch many kids go from being unable to do subtraction to reaching advanced calculus at the university level. I have a couple of students who one is in grade 5, the other in grade 8, and both are working on Grade 11-12 math. It really shows how working at just 2-3 pages of math a day, 7 days a week, can truly improve your math skills. Now I write this because there is an overwhelmingly large amount of people who are leaving the educational system with almost no skills in math at all, and last I checked you needed a certain level of math to graduate. So how is it that they are getting by? Is it that the teachers mistakenly let them slip through, or is it that the teachers would rather "pass-the-buck" to someone else? I would say its the latter. Just last week I was tutoring a girl in Biochemistry and she could not even do simple addition or subtraction. 7+6, 1-1, 5+8, etc. And for most correct responses the use of 'finger counting' was required. I am sorry but that should have been caught within the first few grades and corrected. And I know for a fact that the problem is starting in the elementary system. I have had a few people when growing up who during Grade 5 and 6 would get a level R on several subjects and yet would be allowed to pass onto the next level. That is garbage. By the way the reason my school system would use an R instead of an F was because they felt it was too mean to tell a child they failed. This is the problem right there, the teachers are too afraid to hurt a kids feelings or get yelled at by a parent for telling them their child should be kept back. So then the problem only becomes worse as the child grows into a teen and reaches highschool. Now the highschool teachers should instantly see the problems that have built up and take action, yet it doesn't. They let you fail and then you go to summer school and get the credit free, and yes I mean free. My brother had found out they pretty much give you the credit free in summer school and would deliberately fail 2 classes so that he can get them free in summer school, and only would be required to go to school for 3-4 weeks to get the credit. How does a system like this make sense? I would have more confidence that the teachers actually know what they are doing but when I can go through my entire highschool science career knowing more about the subjects of chemistry and biology then the teachers then I know there is a problem. Or when you see the Education students in the hallway shooting marshmellows from a homemade catapult. The constant passing a student before they are ready have been an issue for schools for quite a few years now and the other day I read an article of a University of Guelph proffessor who had to run extra classes on weekends to teach his introductory calculus class all of the things they should have learned from highschool math. Should a University professor be required to run extra classes for something that should have already been taught? No. The student should not be even allowed in the class if they do not know material suppose to be taught. The highschool teachers should be doing this. Even Nipissing University give classes on several subjects that should have been taught in highschool where you can get more caught up. It should not be needed but they do it.

I am thankful that I have some friends going into the B.Ed program who are solely doing it so they can teach there field of study correctly unlike how it is now. As well I definately think every teacher should hold nothing lower then a Masters degree to be able to teach highschool. I am glad the school system in Norway is actally logical otherwise I would be 100% making sure my children were homeschooled in the future.

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