The new school year, which was comfortably far away, is now frighteningly close. I will be a senior. I will be facing four IB tests. I will be taking an HL Chemistry test in the first week. (Because it’s not fun if you don’t have a chance to fail by day three.) Some people ask me why I signed up for this thing. I ask myself why I signed up for this thing. So before despair sinks its claws into me and pulls me down into the land of mental breakdowns, I’m going to reflect on what IB has taught me over the last year.
Math Studies SL: Um… not much. Mostly that any math over Algebra II is pretty much useless to the general public. Sure, if you’re a math teacher or an architect or something, trig might come in handy. But however much my math major father snorts at my opinion, in real life your boss isn’t going to say “Hey Kat – find the derivative of this quadriatic function, will you?”
History 20th Century Topics SL: This class was totally useful, even if I’ve had second thoughts about SLing. I can feel like a true member of the 21st century now that I know who Mao Zedong is and what the heck went on in Cuba. I’ve forgotten all the dates, but I have the general gist of it. I also learned why the Cold War was a huge waste of time, and am pretty sure that the US is going along the same road of total collapse as the USSR. Isn’t that great?
English Language HL 1: Spanish… literature… *bangs head against wall*. I have had too much of this. If anyone wants to be severely confused, I suggest reading Pedro Paramo. You’ve got to love a book our teacher introduced by saying, “It’s like a big LSD trip we all take together!” Fun. This class also cured me of perfectionism. I was happy if the stupid essay was done. There was no way I was going over it five times to make everything ‘perfect’.
French HL1: My school doesn’t even offer this class, so I ended up taking French 4 with non-IB students. This was… fun. Two dropped out, two never showed up, several slept, and one smelled like pot. The only students who were doing well were me, the foreign exchange student, a sophomore from Germany, and a guy who was half French. Nevertheless, I did learn lots of fun French history. I even know why William the Conqueror was so determined to take over England – he needed some way to change his name. ‘Guillame le Bâtard’ isn’t very flattering.
Chemistry HL1: Medicine is bad, PVC pipes will kill you, and the answer to every question on the exam is either margarine or coma, death. Seriously. Oh yeah – I also learned that this is the class most likely to cost me my diploma. Why did I sign up for it? Not sure. I plead temporary insanity.
Looking back, I realize that it doesn’t look like I learned a whole lot. However, I really did, and I’ll argue IB superiority with an AP student any day. This year, I’ll keep the beacon of fat scholarships in my mind’s eye as I struggle through senior year. College is almost here, and the hardest two years of my education are halfway over.