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On the Teen Scene

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Is all this homework really necessary?

Here we go again, another painful and annoying nine months of pure torture. As the new school year begins I can’t help but dread those late nights of the utterly confusing and often seemingly pointless homework assignments. That homework just happens to come from eight classes that aren’t necessarily the classes you want to take, but that have been chosen for you, based on your grades and the availability of classes.

As an average 11th grade student at Clark Fork, I get no choice of any P.E. class because of schedule conflicts; also there is not one art class offered to any high school students. Generally those types of classes are free of homework. So you guessed it, I am completely stomped with homework from, basically, every class.

A few years back I remember coming to this high school for the first time was fun, I had the chance to join P.E. and home economics, and my social life was booming. Life was all about living in the moment and taking full advantage of the joys of being a kid. Then, as the fun and exciting days fizzled down to the dreary days of high school hell, I started to ask the teachers why certain things were even worth the time of learning, I usually got a simple reply: “This particular lesson is mandated by the department of education.” Eventually, I gave up on all hopes of getting out of any annoying and time-consuming homework assignments and just did them with little effort, hoping to get them in on time.

Just the other day I was talking with my mom, and she was listening to me complain about school and how intolerable it is. Then she told me that back in her day, school was just something you did and nobody really complained too much, they just got through it. I started to question my complaining. Was I just an abnormal child that hates school?

Then I realized no, that wasn’t it because we have a whole school full of kids counting the minutes until that savior (the lunch bell) rings. Maybe it is the teachers. Have they lost the passion for the job, and just come to school every morning to make their living? I honestly don’t have the answer to that question and if I did it would probably help a little bit, and then create more questions.

But then something else hit me. Maybe, as the generations trickle on a lack of interest sparks up, and also just pure laziness—this makes for less hard work and more video games. All of this leads to young adults not leaving the nest. In the 2000 census there were 4 million American people between the ages of 25 and 34 that still lived at home, with their parents. On average, over 60 percent of college seniors say they expect to move home after graduation.

Isn’t that astonishing? Why would a person want to go back home after having that lovely taste of freedom? But with the economy with the way it is I am just hoping that I don’t have to move back into that same bedroom that I have spent most of all my nights in.

All that I really have to do is hope that maybe there will be a positive change after I get through these last two years. And for the rest of you kids entering the harsh reality of life, good luck, because we all know that you will need it. Parents, good luck as well—hopefully now you’re getting to that point in life where you get to enjoy yourselves and not have to worry about setting that extra place a the dinner table for your adult “child.”

Maybe that’s the best reason of all for doing your homework—the knowledge that better grades and a good work attitude will help move you forward into a self-sufficient life of your own.

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Author info

Shaina Gustafson Shaina Gustafson was a junior at Clark Fork High School and an outstanding four-sport athlete when she wrote for the River Journal. She is now attending college.

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