Broken Chalkboards

(Why chalkboards and not the current, quintessential whiteboard? I’m not sure; I think it has something to do with this odd love affair with nostalgia. )

Our schools are broken.

Even if you see the gleaming white city upon a hill, backed by wonderful and miraculous test scores and graduation rates, you still have to admit.

Our schools are broken.

And I don’t mean just a small crack in the soft exterior, or a clean break through a noncritical component. I mean a real mess of mistakes, spiderwebbing throughout the very foundation of education as we know today.

There are so many things wrong with our school that I’m not sure where to start, but in all hopes of full disclosure, I’ll try to just “start from the beginning, and keep going until [I] reach the end.”

Divided into parts because it became too long to handle. Hopefully I’ll have all of these thoughts onto paper before I die on May 1st.

Part 1: Tests.

Part 2: Rant.

Part 3: What Next?

Part 4: Teaching

Part 5: Score Shaming

Part 6: Get Smart

Part 7: Gift. Ed.

Standardized Tests

{Part 1 of a series on Broken Chalkboards}

The school system of test taking is messed up.

Now I’m not saying that just because I have 6 AP’s breathing down my neck. I mean that in the sense that our very belief in education, based on the merit of standardized tests, is becoming more and more flawed, if not outright delusional.

State standard tests, such as the Washington WASL/EOC or whatever odd name they are giving it now, or even the TCAPs, the CATs, or even the Regents, are all flawed. (full list here) there have been so much raw corruption in the making of these tests, not to mention the other poor strategies about the administration of the tests.

And you know about the tests original goals, to get students at a level of proficiency? Well, that isn’t happening much any more.

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Immigrants

Each person’s heritage is very important. Or perhaps not exactly their heritage, because that is a cry broad subject, but the individual roots of each person.

If you trace a person back to the places that they have been to, back to the experiences that they have experienced, you would understand so much more about them.

This is a small section of my story.

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Starry Night

Staring, mesmerized by the night sky
Gazing as the twinkling stars go by when
Suddenly a pinprick turns into a blazing hole and I
Fall up
And up
And up into the abyss
Of a new beginning.

 

Waking up on stranger tides
To the sound of birds chirping
To the feel of hands pulling
To the push of minds begging
To start an adventure into a brave new world
And to begin anew.

 

Pulled through the cosmos of time and space
To a land fresh and new
Untainted by the clawing sin
Unremembered with those bitter, bittersweet memories
Of how life as we knew it was changing.

 

Leaving behind an overwhelming cup
That pushed and spilled into all those around it
Leaving behind only spilled milk and
Heartache for everyone.

 

Divorced from those distant earthly events
And finally piercing the fog of mind
To see the pains of those who have seen it coming,
Seen it coming for the longest time
And yet immobilized by fear
To use the past to change the future

 

But now the divorce
Of once lovers but now just guardians
Was underway and inevitable
So what could one do but escape
Into a land of mystery and adventure?

 

But life ain’t a fairy tale
And even if you escape the thoughts, no, the memories
Will be with me
Forever
So what can I do
But to pick up the pieces
Scattered like the stars in the sky
And move on
On past the roaring tides
On past the stardust in the heavens.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay before anyone worries NO my parents are not getting divorced thank goodness. The poem was influenced by some other things I’ve seen in my larger group of friends and family. I am very much lucky to live with a living mom and a caring dad, regardless of how distinction all our relationship can become at times.

on another note I’ve been feeling really emotionally drained lately. It’s been going on for a while, and even though intellectually or even materialistic ally I’ve been doing fine, really some part inside me is sorta screaming with he faintest shout. Not entirely sure what to do.

hope this week will end better.

Beautiful Weekend

I actually have had an oddly invigorating weekend! Might as well summarize the high points of it. I’ve heard that there has been studies where people who wrote the ten best moments of their past day tended to have a more positive outlook of their lives for weeks afterwards.
Might as well give it a shot!

Saturday morning’s breakfast might have been one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had, as it was breaking the 30 hours of fasting I’ve done previously. It really is true that you don’t know how much you miss something until it has been taken away from you. Or intentionally deprived from yourself in the name of a good cause.

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30 Hour Famine

Hey guys!

I know it’s getting pretty late, but most procrastinators don’t sleep till 1. Maybe a couple of people would see this as they troll through facebook.

Tomorrow, I will be doing the 30 Hour Famine within my church, which as you can tell by the title, is basically a mini-famine that lasts for 30 hours. It basically shows how I am symbolically remembering the people who are not as fortunate enough to have access to food like I do.

And man, are there a lot of people.

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Flight of the Bumblebee

This is pretty much what’s been going through my head the past couple of days: [Youtube ]

Well, not really. I haven’t been that busy, but it’s sort of been stacking between competitions and homeworks.

Eh, in times like these I find that it is super hard to appreciate anything in life. Everything is just GOGOGOGOGO DO IT DO IT FINISH THAT HOMEWORK AWW YEAH and all. You don’t get any piece of your mind at peace, and your entire body is racked with worry. Even when you finish something, you are still scared because of all the rest that you have to do.

It probably doesn’t help that my parents have bought a carton of dark chocolate covered coffee beans and that I’ve been eating them obsessively.

But it seems like this weight of homework is going to be around for a while, or at least until after May. It’s going to be a tough month and a half, but we might as well make the best of it!

…that being said only sporadic updates for a while. Yeah, I’m pretty much done with NaPoWriMo; I would write more, but I”m just too exhausted. if only i had a time turner… Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m just going to stare at AP review books for the rest of the month, no. If inspiration does strike, I’ll do my best to jot it down.

 

Reunion

Stepping through the threshold
brushing off the gently fallen dew of heaven
setting down the world-weary, weathered briefcase
looking towards the quiet room and the crackling fire before
rushing into the arms of loved ones.
Father is home once more.

in other news my dad is home from another multinational business trip! and i managed to bake a cake! i’ve never baked a cake before! i’m not sure what i should be more excited about!

Community

when i was a young kid
we would always learn to play
with those around
us
who weren’t the same
who thought differently
and because we were young
and foolish and naive
we intermingled and laughed and fought
only when we disagreed over what color was better
or what cartoon was more captivating

but as we grew older we saw
less
and
less
of each other
like two continents drifting
or
two like charges repelling
keeping each other apart
by the hobbies we have.

why do we form these
hateful cliques
excluding outsiders and
accepting only those like minded
into our little circle of trust
when really
all things are connected
in one direction
or another?

why are online communities
separated
by such harsh defining lines
to keep poets away from the learned,
the geeks away from the thoughtful?

can’t we just all be together as one,
facing the perils of the world
In joined hands rather than
On our own?

——————-
Oh my gosh a early poem yay and in other news I’ve been sleeping like 3/4ths of everyday I swear I’m becoming like Paul or Jade argh.
Not that they aren’t like the coolest real world/homestuck land people’s ever.

Extro and Intro

Inspired by a certain midnight conversation before that monster of a DBQ :P

People put on their displays
Of grandeur and of power
As if to prove to the world
(and themselves)
One does not need to fear
And one easily overcomes the oceans.

Accidental extroverts
Roaming the Earth twice over
Remove their real selves
From the scene of the crime
Creating a persona, an alter ego,
From an introverted shell

because isn’t it easier,
not just for me but for you
if we just all closed our eyes
and pretended
that we were all supermen in our own special way
Swooping down and saving the world?

Even heroes have a right to dream.

Even people have a right to be
Their old, shameful, confused
but
beautiful, sensitive, caring
introverted selves
because who knows?

All it takes is a simple intro
To make an introvert
Into a real, not just faking
extrovert.

——————–
somehow I fell asleep and then woke up at 5 to finish the poem. man, reminds you of those great days in school where you had to do that with homework, right?
haha, good thing *I* never, ever do that … *shifts around eyes nervously*