www.whyville.net Mar 15, 2007 Weekly Issue

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Stranger Down the Block

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Worlds of difference just down the street . . . what is this little-known difference right under our noses?

Alarm goes off. Smack it into submission. Go back to sleep. It goes off again. Repeat.

Sound familiar?

You get up, shuffle into the shower and sit for an unwise amount of time in the hot water. Once you get out, and after muttering several well-phrased insults at the cold air, you return to your room. There you either dig blindly through the dirty clothes pile for something to wear, or you retrieve your neatly laid-out clothing from where it's hung on the bookshelf, depending on your neatness level. Stuff last minute homework into your backpack, plus a few extra gym clothes, make sure you have money for lunch, and off you go.

The day is filled with yawning through your boring classes and laughing through your fun ones. Saying a quick "Hi" and sharing a bit of gossip in the halls, running to catch the bell, pouting at the fact that your teacher didn't sit you next to that cute guy . . . all part of a day's work, right?

I mean, it's natural. Second nature. You hardly think about it anymore; nothing anyone does surprises you, unless it's Jake asking Melissa out to the dance. Really. It's part of your life.

But what about the people who don't go to school? Who have been home schooled their entire lives? What you take as "normal" is an entirely different world for those kids.

The difference is very drastic - going to public school and being home schooled are two entirely different worlds. It affects your outlook and your actions an incredible amount; far more than would be thought.

I began going to public school just this semester; I entered as a fourteen-year-old sophomore (and am currently the youngest in all my classes.) Let me begin with a bit of history.

I was raised as a home schooler. All my friends were either part of my home school group or went to my church. I was two grades ahead throughout elementary school, placed very well in the SAT's, and was an active member in my church club, through which I got a scholarship without even knowing it. (Interesting story.)

So then, after my first year of home schooled high school, my parents wanted me to try public school. Why? The main reason was that I needed physical education, and the secondary reason was that I needed to find out what the world was like.

I thought I already knew. Boy was I wrong.

There were many things that I found shocking, strange, and bizarre - things that regular high-schoolers took for granted. Let me list them here:

1. The Profanity

My View:
Yes, profanity. I heard more profanity during my first day of school than I'd heard my entire life, and I'm not exaggerating. It was everywhere, and I was simply amazed. I never knew that people actually said those things nowadays! I never knew that people used profanity that often! The first day practically traumatized me.

Their View:
Regular school-goers must think that I'm absolutely bizarre for being shocked at their use of profanity. It's normal for them to hear it and to say it.

2. The Bell

My View:
Yes, the bell. As a home schooler I was naturally on a very self-disciplined schedule, yet going to high school and hearing the bell even pushed that. Five minutes between classes? That's not even enough for a bathroom break! I never knew that high-schoolers were run on such little time, and to this day the five-minute rule still annoys me.

Their View:
Regular schoolers must not realize that, at home, (in general, I stress here!) kids have more trust and are allowed to do as they please more often.

3. The Classes

My View:
The transition from home schooling education to public school education was drastic. In high school I found that the classes are drawn out for much, much longer, yet the amount of learning is the same, if not lesser, than the education in a half-hour "class" of home schooling. And it's far easier to get a higher grade as well - I could practically sleep through my Multimedia class and still get an A, while doing home schooling I strained to get even B's.

Their View:
Regular schoolers must be entirely used to the easy level of their classes; really, they probably hardly realize that home schooling is more difficult.

4. The Dating

My View:
Now, I was not all that "sheltered" of a home schooler. I did watch TV occasionally, and I did watch the cheesy school shows where kids tried to get "hooked up" or went through these terrible soap opera dating lives. (I personally am not going to date at all through high school, partly due to reason 5.) Now I didn't really think school was like that. I thought it was all for the drama, that people weren't that stupid. Boy was I wrong.

Their View:
Dating, for high schoolers, is a natural part of their lives. Crushing, asking out, dances, etc. And to think that there are people their age who exist who don't even so much think about romance, it must be astonishing.

5. The Immaturity

My View:
I might offend some people with this one. Hehe, don't hurt me. But I found that school-going kids have a much higher level of immaturity than the kids who are home schooled. I mean, it just shocked me to see people acting like they were ten. Or, at least, what I thought ten-year-olds behaved like. I personally prefer the company of adults over kids, even fellow home schooled kids, and when it came to public school, I was simply floored.

Their View:
They probably see "my kind" as stuck up and haughty to think we're "better" or something. I'm not entirely sure. Maybe we are - maybe we have a problem in that area. Let me know what you think.

But, as a final note, let me say that I am extremely glad I started going to public school. Why?

Simple: It's easier.

This is Pixiefeet, going to finish that crossword puzzle for Speech class that actually affects my grade. *Astounded*


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