Saturday, May 24, 2008

Remembering everything you ever learned in elementary school one multiple choice question at a time...

Quick, what are the laws of thermodynamics? The difference between a metaphor and a simile? The difference between mRNA and tRNA? The purpose of the 6th amendment? What does this painting signify? Which vitamin does this? What war made that happen? How do you go shopping? Invest money? Work well with others? Hygiene? Children's literature? Ecosystems? Everything you ever learned?

Feel overwhelmed? Well, I sure do. Liberal arts are just that, liberal, and they prepare you to live in a box as a starving artist or join the ranks of graduate school students with loans growing by the minute. I chose the path less taken by my classmates, teaching, and not that progressive education I was spoon fed but hard and fast public school education. No extra charge for a side of government bred standards and my own multiple choice tests to get in the door. Oh dear. The last time I picked up a science text book was my senior year in high school (unless the sociology of computer science counts) and my social studies skills tend to revolve around South African politics and education policy. I couldn't name the layers of the sun off the top of my head right now, but I will be able to soon. I'm reviewing about 20 years of education in a compact study guide hoping that come test day I will remember the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, the difference between onset and rime, and a variety of other facts that have eluded me in the years of essay writing.

I have an urge to shake my fist at this test. It is doubtful that I will teach all of this material to my young students as I did not learn thermodynamics in lower elementary school. But rules are rules and I continue making flash cards and studying material I will surely forget again later. I might have graduated yesterday, but as I prepare to become a teacher I guess the learning never ends. So here I go down the rabbit hole of memory hopefully ending up with a passing score.

(p.s. As much as I have been blogging about this test my excitement for the actual classroom has not waned)

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