I Want to Learn, not just Memorize…

By: Alondra Gonzalez

When I’m at school, I look around and see a lot of wasted potential. I look around and see children that are truly smart, but their report cards say otherwise. I have had incredibly deep conversations with people who get all F’s. In fact, I have often learned more from somebody who is “failing” than from some of my teachers that studied 4+ years to teach me. These are students that skip every day, behave ‘bad,’ but have such a next level of thinking.

So I am left confused and continuously asking myself, “How?”. How can these kids know so much and think so deeply, but still be failing? I believe the educational system is jacked. I don’t completely know why, but here’s what I think. In my experience as a student, my education has been set up in a way where it’s more based on memorization than actual knowledge.

I have spent countless nights memorizing material, but at the end of the day, I really don’t know it. They give me flashcards, tests, and textbooks. Then, I work to memorize all those cards, memorize every word in those textbooks, yet, at the end of the day, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Not a clue. I may pass the test and get a good grade, but I couldn’t explain any of it. So what does that mean for people who aren’t really good at memorization? Everybody’s mind works differently, so why should our intelligence — if you can call it that, be measured on the same scale? What am I being set up to do?