By Grace Stewart
School: an institution where instruction is given, especially to persons under college age. School is school, students hate Mondays and yearn for Fridays, and by nature will procrastinate to the extreme. While I was thinking about a topic for this week’s article, I had to gear up and put my thinking cap on a day early because my week didn’t start until Tuesday, thanks to President’s Day. Who really wants to do work when there is no school tomorrow? Somehow I gathered up my intrinsic motivation because isn’t that really the ultimate theme of attending school, to do that which will prepare us for an indefinite reward in the future with very little immediate gratification?
So what really motivates us to get up on a Monday morning, pack that heavy backpack and get ready for that long seven hour day ahead of us? The fact remains that every little calculus problem, memorization of war dates and biology experiment allow us to get to senior year and be able to look back on kindergarten and reminisce on how far we have come since learning how to neatly print our names.
As a senior, it is hard to relate to underclassmen (especially middle-schoolers) the importance of being earnest in studies in order to be able to graduate successfully so as to have the ability to choose a desired future path. Through these words of guidance, seniors are just trying to show how learning the basics will be needed to learn more abstract concepts in years to come. Whether their future lies in freshman year algebra or biostatistics in medical school, one plus one is always going to equal two.
So what am I trying to say about school? About life? No matter what, we all need the internal motivation to go to our first period class, that early work meeting, or that 5:45 a.m. spin class because we all know that it will reward us sometime in the future. I doubt I knew that in eighth grade going to school each day and learning with my fellow classmates about algebra or World War II would eventually shape who I am, my bonds with friends and teachers, and help contribute to the accumulated knowledge that I will pack with me on that ever-approaching road to college.
Finally, just to give everyone something to think about, a man by the name of Tom Bodett once wrote, “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
Well said, Bodett, well said.