H.S. senior shares what she really learned her final year

Corinne Chin


Rob Gonyea/SXC.HU

Try to remember that elusive era; try to form your lips around the wispy words, as fleeting as the experience itself:

"High school."

Let me guess: your mind instantly conjures up images, perhaps of football games and homecoming dances, but more universally it summons images of you inside a classroom, learning (I'll also guess you don't remember any of that material -- I sure don't). Maybe you're in a classroom learning how to drive (seems ironic, no?). Or maybe you're in a classroom learning how to not have sex -- 38 out of 50 states require abstinence to be taught in high schools, after all.

But does teaching abstinence do any good? You'd know better than me -- I'm just an 18-year-old senior who still sometimes goes by the nickname "Cookie." Should classes like sex education and other "life skills" classes such as drivers education be required for a diploma? I can't say I know the answer.

Most states in the union think so though. Health class is a graduation requirement in 29 states, and more high schools impose additional requirements for health class and classroom driver's education as well.

But as a graduating senior, I have to say that I didn't take the concept of such overly-regulated classes too serious. During the second semester of my senior year, my grades were the lowest and my comprehension of the classes were the least, but ironically, I actually learned the most.

It's not really ironic, though. My low grades and high learning were directly connected. The cause of both was one and the same: outside the classroom, more happened in my life than ever.

Still, many insist on strapping us high schoolers to our seats and lecturing us, on how to lead a successful life, in health and drivers education class.


Driver's education doesn't accelerate learning

Column by Corinne Chin

: Driver's education doesn't accelerate learning

I sat in the back of the room, one seat behind the one in which I sat two years earlier. I had a clear view of the teacher, the students and, most of all, the lesson to be taught that day.

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