Caroline Perkins, Website Editor

Since the beginning of my schooling, I’ve had the privilege of being told that I have to attend to be successful. It’s not a choice I received but a demand by both the education system and society. If someone wants to pass then attendance is mandatory. These two things are believed to go hand in hand.

Even though this may turn out to be true later in life, while having to deal with a job or trying to receive a college education. Those two endeavors would have been my choice, and I would have willingly proceeded into the rules that accommodate them.

The point is this style of education wasn’t my choice. I started as a child and am now being told I have to finish to have a fulfilled life. Meaning I have to follow and behave inside the guidelines that have been drawn up– the ones I never got the chance to disagree with. The school system had me sign on the dotted line while I was still drinking out of a sippy cup.

My sophomore year is probably the hardest year I’ve had to push through. My second semester has been a compilation of about 36 missed days and endless conversations with teachers over said absences. It has made the end of this year a living hell, and almost impossible to enjoy.

One of the issues my teachers have is the fact that I’m passing and that I do not have to attend their classes to earn a decent grade.

Instead of teachers offering me positive reinforcement, making me want to come back to class, I’ve received mostly negative reinforcement.  This style of teaching may work with your dog, when teaching it not to pee on the carpet, but positive reinforcement tends to leave a long term effect on people.

Rebel. That’s the one word that comes to mind when thinking of breaking the social norm while still being able to function in that society. I can’t fix the fact that I’ve been sick and haven’t been able to attend school; I can hope to change the idea that one needs to attend to be successful.