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Guest Column

Make Education Your Own

Michael Wolak

Monday, April 7, 2014 • 10:59am

The bell rings. It’s 4th period. Unprepared, I walk in to my Honors Humanities class. Heller’s Catch-22 is on my mind, but I haven't retained the assigned chapters in the way teacher expected me to.

If you have ever read Catch-22, you know that Milo Minderbinder buys his eggs for 7 cents a piece and sells them for 5 cents, yet somehow he still makes a profit. I did not know this because I did not read the night before, I shmooped it.

Rather than assuming responsibility for my education, I rejected my opportunity to learn, to develop my vocabulary, and to draw my own conclusions from the text.

Sparknotes, Shmoop and other reading aids are broken crutches that have crippled students in secondary and primary education. The night before, I used these aids, like many of my fellow classmates have, and I memorized the basic plot of a segment of Catch-22. All students who do this know that it is wrong, yet they still do it. Why is this?

School has become a chore for those who have not made their education their own. Parental and teacher expectations overestimate not the ability of students, but their drive. Taking shortcuts is easier now with the integration of technology in school systems, and consequences for taking them have been lessened, if not disappeared.

I sat down in my seat, took out a piece of loose leaf paper and a pencil for a reading check and thought about what to do. I took a stand. I decided to own up to my actions and be honest with my teacher. I wrote a paragraph describing the ideology of making education my own, and how I fully believe that you reap what you sow. I was throwing bad seeds across my scholastic soil when I should have been delicately placing each one with the hope that it would become a fruit bearing tree.

It doesn't matter what kind of student you are or how much you love to read. If you value your education enough to read the material and draw your own conclusions, you surely will succeed. I have altered my educational pathway because of this experience. Now I value my education more, and take more pride in learning.

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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