Homework

This compound word starts off really good, as everybody likes to have a home, but work is a four-letter word.  When you are at home, this is your own time and you can relax and do things that you enjoy.  Work tends to consume your life, as it takes you away from the things that you like, robs you of sleep and make you grumpy, thus this is a really bad word and it should never be connected with home.  Homework was invented in 1905 by some A-hole teacher as a method to punish his students, but it caught on big time.  Homework became a method of learning by repetition and everyone thought that if things were repeated over and over, that was how people should learn, but I always viewed it as punishment.  When I chewed gum in class, I was told to stay after and write on the blackboard 100 times, “I shall not chew gum in class” and this punishment never taught me anything of value.

I was always good in Math, because I was able to see the patterns.  My Algebra teacher told me that I had the highest grades out on any of his students on all the tests, but he was going to give me a B on my report card, because I did not hand in any homework.  I figured that I did not need to do any homework, because I knew what I was doing and homework should be for the students that still need to learn, however my teacher felt different about this.  I really did not care that much about grades and I had no idea what the future had in store for me.  It was probably best that I waited to go to college, as I most likely would have just ended up flunking out because I was interested in partying.

I was an average student in High School graduating with a class rank of 154 out of 412 students.  I scored an 840 on my SAT’s, getting a 550 in Math, but only a 290 in English.  After graduating, I spent 7 years out of High School before I finally matriculated where I guess that I had between 15 to 20 different jobs.  I worked at a warehouse, a loading dock, a factory, a foundry, an assembly line, a car wash on a golf course and many other positions that were not well suited for me.  One day I knew that I was going nowhere and since my dad repaired TV sets and my brother was an electrician, I decided to study electrical engineering.

On my first day of college, I attended an orientation seminar, where the speaker said that for every hour that you spent in class, that you should go home and study for two hours, so that is what I did.  If I had five hours of class, I went home and studied for ten hours.  I was seven years older than all of the other students, so I kept to myself, went to class and then I went home and studied.  I had five courses that first semester and I got five A’s and I made the National Junior College honor roll.  The classes were easy for me, because I was studding all the time.

I took Trigonometry this first semester and my professor told me not to take the final exam and I told him that I did not mind taking it, but then he said that since he grades on a curve, that if I were to take this final exam, that all of the other students would get a lower grade.  He said that I had a 98 average in this class and that no matter what grade I got on the final, that he would have to give me an A.  I skipped the final because I did not want anyone else to get a lower grade.

I realize that practicing things, repeating stuff and doing things again can be good for some students, because this forces information to stick in their brains, but everyone needs to learn at their own pace and if you are not ready to learn then homework is futile.  I see the value in studying, but homework will always be a punishment for me and it seems to turn people into robots.  I think the education system should put more emphasis on teaching that inspires students, rather than trying to force them to do things that they don’t enjoy.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is to write about your least favorite word, something that really bugs you.

7 thoughts on “Homework

  1. I’ve read where in Japan they are trying to work with your strengths in high school…and smaller classes.

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