Week 9

Hello everyone!

The leaves are changing and my front yard is BEAUTIFUL! It makes me so happy that fall is here. This is my favorite time of the year, fall going into Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although it will look different this year, I’m excited to see how our traditions hold up.

I know I say this every week, but yes, this one was busy too. More stressful, though, because I crowned the end of the week with the ACT (my final one!!) and an interview with an alum of the school I hope to go to. My ACT went well, but it was the conversation the kids in my room had with the proctor, Mr. Slack, during one of the breaks that stuck with me. He mentioned that some schools were doing away with AP classes, and some even GPAs, to help colleges focus less on the grades and more on the individual. This couldn’t have come at a more fitting time because I’m learning that taking four AP classes is really hard, especially with classes that require you to submit to the exact format that they want. This week, I struggled with my AP Stat course, and I’ll admit, I was really frustrated. I work so hard in the class, and I felt defeated that I wasn’t seeing results from my effort. The thing about Statistics is that everyone forms their words and answers differently, but they are looking for specific answers when you analyze your data. I was worried that my ED school would see my not-so-impressive grade in the class, and think poorly of me, but Mr. Slack and the alum’s insight gave me a new perspective. When I met with the alum, she talked about the school wanting to form a cohesive, tolerant, and supportive community. That school is one of the only schools that offer interviews with prospective students. This really stands out to me and is one of the reasons I love the school so much. They’re not only interested in the student, but they are interested in the person that the student is. They can put a face to the application and get a sense for the person beyond their accolades on paper.

Believe it or not, this DOES relate to my Independent Study (aka what this blog is actually about). It’s taught me how to do something I’ve always tried to do, but due to the society we live in, I’ve never been able to fully embrace it: how to learn for the sake of learning. I know I’ve talked about it earlier on this blog, but with the absence of grades, I’ve really been able to dive into what I’m interested in stress-free. Of course, I work hard in this study, but for some reason, I think the absence of grades has made me more motivated and excited to learn. My point is, this study has taught me how to learn for the love of it again. It’s reminded me that I don’t need to focus so hard on the grade to glean valuable information and experiences from the class. It has really been invaluable, especially with me going into college.

A short update: last week, I met with my advisors about my second survey. We’ve decided to postpone the statistical analysis so that I can get this next one out in a timely manner. We also talked about possible outcomes for this study. This week, I plan to draft the second survey using the DSM 5, and schedule meetings to go through the same process I did with the last survey.

This week’s quote will be what my dad told me when I was stressing over Stat: “Hard work pays off,” which seems simple, but it really calmed me, and in the end he was right. What a surprise.

–kathleen

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