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  • Showing only topics with the tag "education". Back to normal view
    1. Optimizing for test scores

      I hate how much time school takes from me. The semester for me is just a period of un-productivity, of completing assignments that don't teach me anything, of studying materials for a test I'll do...

      I hate how much time school takes from me. The semester for me is just a period of un-productivity, of completing assignments that don't teach me anything, of studying materials for a test I'll do bad on, about knowledge I'll forget as soon as there are no more tests on it. School stresses me out, makes me anxious, destroys my ability to think and get into a flow and be active. School makes me lazy, it makes me tired, it makes me hate the world.

      I want to learn. I want to sit down at my desk and get into a flow and experiment and learn new things and become better as a result. Instead I'm optimizing for test scores.

      I'm not building things. I'm not even really studying. I'm a professional student, going for the points, and paying tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege.

      I hate tests. They are fundamentally flawed for the objective of teaching. Two of my classes are entirely test-based, and they're the classes from which I have learned nothing. My other two classes have included programming projects and essays as part of our grade. That's the knowledge I will retain, that is the information I have actually learned. But even still, those projects and essays in those classes count for a tiny percentage of their overall class grades. The majority of the grades still come from tests. From judging students based on their ability to memorize information, not to understand or practice or apply the knowledge of the class.

      Why? Why do we insist on testing students, on passing or failing them, on determining their future and institutional worth, on their ability to memorize information? Why do we give them these stressful impending tests with stressful impending due dates that cover a stressful, bloated number of topics? This is not learning. This is not education. This is gamified class-passing. Why do we structure things this way? Is it so administrations can quantify education and try to demonstrate progress? I don't get it. I fucking hate it.

      At the end of every semester. Every goddamn fucking semester, I'm exhausted, burnt out, and just so done with anything and everything that requires me to think. I end up having this stupid recovery period of about a month where I just laze about, playing video games and reflexively rejecting anything that requires thought. School inflicts upon me, mentally, the equivalent of breaking a bone.

      I fucking hate this. I want to make things and be creative and active especially during the precious months when I am not taking classes. I hate that school spoils this for me.

      9 votes
    2. What are you learning right now?

      Whether it be for school, work, a hobby, or personal interest, what are you learning right now? How are you learning it and what prompted you to start learning? What are some things that surprised...

      Whether it be for school, work, a hobby, or personal interest, what are you learning right now? How are you learning it and what prompted you to start learning? What are some things that surprised you about what you are learning? What advice would you give to someone who just started to learn about it?

      17 votes
    3. I just got accepted to do a Master's degree!

      I'm dead excited, and I just wanted to share somewhere! Since graduating from my Bachelor's I've been working in IT support, and it's slowly killing me. Progression is slow, the work is boring,...

      I'm dead excited, and I just wanted to share somewhere!
      Since graduating from my Bachelor's I've been working in IT support, and it's slowly killing me. Progression is slow, the work is boring, and at the end of the day all I have to show for my efforts is (hopefully) a slightly lower number of open tickets than at the start. It all feels incredibly pointless, and like I'm not making a difference in peoples' lives.

      I decided earlier this year to start looking into possible Master's degree programs, to help me enter a different field, and I'm happy to say that from next September I'll be returning to my alma mater to study Linguistics and English Language Teaching. From there, I'm hoping to go into teaching English as a foreign language, first abroad, and then to immigrants and refugees back here in the UK.

      I'm super excited, and also a little nervous. I coasted through my Bachelor's and the past few years of my working life, so it'll be a shock to the system to have a proper workload again. I've got to get through the next 8 months or so first, but that will be easier knowing that I have something different and exciting waiting for me at the end of this particular career path. I'm desperately saving up as much money as I can to cover my living expenses for the year (I don't intend to work during my degree), which is another thing to feel nervous about.

      But right now, I'm mostly just ecstatic, and wanted to share! In the interest of discussion, I'd love to hear about your experiences studying a Master's degree, and whether or not it helped you in your life after graduation.

      25 votes
    4. I just made my last ever student loan payment!

      I'm throwing myself a little party here -- digital drinks on me! Yes, I know my loans weren't accruing interest on account of COVID-19, but long before that all started I'd been aggressively...

      I'm throwing myself a little party here -- digital drinks on me!

      Yes, I know my loans weren't accruing interest on account of COVID-19, but long before that all started I'd been aggressively paying them down because I wanted them GONE. And now they ARE! (Or, they will be once the payment clears, which for some unknown reason takes my loan servicer like two full weeks).

      The quarantine actually helped me accelerate payments. I rolled over what I was saving in gas money and not eating out into my loan payments. Also, as a teacher I only get paid during the school year, but I have the option to reduce my regular paychecks and roll the difference into a lump sum that gets paid out at the beginning of the summer. I choose this option so that my budgeting is consistent year-round (rather than me having to squirrel away my own nest egg for the summer from my other paychecks). The payoff amount on my loan would have been done around August had I kept with my regular schedule of payments, so I went ahead and treated myself to making the final payment in full, now, as I had the money for it upfront.

      I cannot tell you how good it feels to finally be free of them. I paid off my undergrad loans in under 10 years and felt super proud of myself, only to immediately have to turn around and start the process all over again for grad school. Months after I finished my undergrad loan payments I was again accepting tens of thousands of dollars in debt so that I could get a master's degree to qualify myself for a job that I'd already been doing for years. It was not a great feeling, nor something I was very happy about, but you do what you have to do, right?

      BUT NOW IT'S OVER. NO MORE STUDENT LOANS. I'VE WON THAT AMERICAN MILLENNIAL BOSS FIGHT.

      It honestly feels like I just got a big raise, as, come August, once my timeline for paying the loans is done, all the money that I was putting towards them is now mine to do whatever I want with. I'm not saying this to gloat (and I know that I'm financially very privileged even in light of my debt), but simply because I'm reveling in the feeling of being out from under the suffocating thumb of a difficult financial pressure, and it feels wonderful.

      EDIT: If anyone's wanting to join in my festivities remotely, participating is easy! All you need to do is pour yourself a tasty drink of your choosing, grab a delicious snack you love, and throw Carly Rae Jepsen's discography on shuffle.

      43 votes
    5. PSA for parents/guardians of school-age kids: Many distance/online learning tools are currently available for free through your child's teacher

      For anyone who's caring for school-age children, I want to let you know that nearly every single online education platform/tool is currently offering up their normally premium paid services for...

      For anyone who's caring for school-age children, I want to let you know that nearly every single online education platform/tool is currently offering up their normally premium paid services for free on account of school closures. While some will offer these directly to parents/students, most of them require a teacher to sign up and then have the student account exist underneath them.

      If there is a resource that you or your children would like to access, please email your child's teacher and ask if they'll sign up for it. It'll likely take only two minutes on their end (and they'll be happy to do it! trust me!), but it'll open up a ton of resources for you and your child.

      7 votes