Author: Mr.Masem

It's OK to say NO

Added on January 19, 2015 by Mr.Masem

It's OK to say NO

When I was in high school, I was in a special math and science program that pushed students to go as far ahead as they could. I'd already been a year or two ahead of most of my class thanks to my middle school math classes, but my Sophomore year of high school, I was pushed even farther.

A special independent study program was created for about 6 of us to finish Calculus by the end of the summer and begin Calculus 2 in our Junior year, then going to the local junior college our Senior year to take more advanced math classes.  Being someone who thought I'd be majoring in math, I said yes and began the program.  The problem became when the work got hard, and the independent study teacher didn't have time to explain it, and I started becoming interested in journalism.  I realized my Sophomore year that there was more to high school than just math.  I'd joined a sports team and was interested in joining the newspaper.  With so much else on my plate, I walked in on the last day of school and turned in my Calculus book that I'd barely been understanding as an independent study class and told my teacher I'd just take it again the next year.

What followed were meetings with the teacher and guidance counselor and my parents.  In the end, I kept playing sports, ended up being editor of the high school newspaper, and still finished two years of Calculus before graduation.  The writing knowledge and practice I got on the newspaper helped in writing my $36,000 college essay (as I called it because of the scholarship money it awarded).  The diversified program I ended up working out did far better for me than just a plain math education.  It even led me to double major in college in both Mathematics and Elementary Education.

Don't just let yourself be led through your school life by people telling you to do stuff just because you can or just because it's offered.  Take control of your education and branch out. You never know what you're going to end up doing, so experience as many things as possible now!  It's OK to say NO to some classes, experiences, clubs, etc.  Especially when it allows you to say YES to others!

Mr. Matt Masem

5th Grade Math Teacher

 

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