When I was 8 years old, my mother handed me a gift. It was like no other gift that I have seen before. The shiny cover enticed me to open “Coding for Dummies.” And even 8 years in the past now, the cover calls to me. I open the cover to double check my Advanced Placement Computer Science homework, which takes two hours a day because it takes time trying to pull up an online course and communicating with your teacher. But what an advantage to be able to learn this way!
Other textbooks that I have been forced to fall in love with include Advanced Placement World History, Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Calculus BC…you get the point. I have a love-hate relationship with the vast seas of photosynthesis to Napoleon. Wait a second, I have to practice my viola too. There goes another two hours to Beethoven. Who knew a dead man could take one hour of my life every day?
But wait, let’s see, what else…OH the SAT is next week! Gotta send those practice essays to “Bottom Down Tutoring” and “H2O” and online servers to grade them. Before I go to bed at 12 AM tonight, can someone please remind me to put my alarm for 5 AM in the morning? I have to make sure I’m not a hot mess before I present my Chemistry paper on properties of water to my peers.
I’m not complaining. I’ve been told – and seen – that it’ll lead to great things (and college admissions) in the long run. However, I do see many families such as mine pressuring children to stop pursuing their passions and following the plastic model to make it to the finish line called graduation, just to repeat the same process for another 4 years. I do want to attend a good school, and I want to accomplish my dreams after I graduate. At the same time, I believe it’s time for a new perspective on education. Personally, I don’t know what that is. Maybe that chemistry paper isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. But allowing children to focus on doing what they love, whether it be computer science or writing for a local magainze, will mold a generation so profound that they will be able to solve tomorrow’s problems once their turn arrives.