It’s always strange to me how little emphasis we put on learning grammar in the United States. Although American English is a new and evolving language, perhaps the lack of emphasis on understanding the structure and complexity of communicative system we use everyday is influencing Americans’ lack of proficiency in other languages and the devolution of our own.
I’m preparing for both the GRE general test and the subject test and I can’t believe that I’m back in this boat again. What is it about American culture and its obsession with telling people that they must perform well under timed circumstances or we cannot continue with what they want to be doing?
I hate, hate, hate them. I wonder if anyone has ever taken a count of how many standardized tests a person has to take before they enter their graves. I remember several times thinking, “hell yes, this is the last standardized test that I’ll ever take!”, laying my pencil flat on my desk and dreaming of the time when I will be able to think outside of the bubbles.
In high school, there’s really no escaping stereotyping. There are the typical ones—the nerd, the drama geek, the popular girl. More than anything else, though, people want to group you into a box so it’s easier for them to have expectations about what you’ll do with your life. These expectations aren’t always bad, but everyone—teachers, parents, fellow students—are much too quick to decide what people will be “when they grow up.”
Everyone in my high school was given a type. It was particularly easy to do in my high school—I graduated with a class of 40 members. Plus, everyone had attended the school since before they had solid identities (i.e. ages 3 and 4) so the school made their identities for them. But, now that most of us are a year out of our undergraduate experiences, it’s really interesting to see how these stereotypes have applied to the real world. Here are some of the stereotyped kids from my high school and what they’ve turned out to be: