Breaking the Rules of Boarding School, Classrooms, and Blog Posts

I have never been one for following the rules. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some wild graffiti artist, teenage rebel, doing whatever I want (though I am a fan of Banksy). I go to an all girls boarding school in rural southern Virginia and sometimes ‘breaking the rules’ is simply not agreeing to go with the status quo and fighting for a little more. Now, a little background, at our school if you take World History II you are not allowed to take AP European History because they are too similar. And that is exactly how I ended up taking this online government class.  In my junior year I took APUS history and at the end of the year I met with our academic adviser to discuss my senior year class, more specifically, what history class I would be taking. And because I had already taken World History II everyone had been telling me that I would never be able to weasel my way into a spot in AP European History. Well, being me, I was hearing none of it. So, I went into my meeting with our academic dean BOUND and DETERMINED to be placed into a AP European History. I put up a fight until this poor academic dean through her hands up in the air and told me I could do whatever I wanted, but consider looking at something no one at my school had ever done; taking AP Government online. Well that’s just about as far from the norm as I could get so I dropped my case for AP Euro and registered that day for AP Government with Online School for Girls.

The reason I lead with this story is because I think my reasoning for picking this class reflects how unconventional this class is. I had never experienced online classes besides a summer geometry course (and I am here to tell you Geometry online is NOT a good idea) before Online School for Girls, but this course has showed me how online learning can be amazing! I have found that while online courses are by no means a normal classroom setting they allow for a new modern kind of class. I am learning to work with girls across the county; which is the kind of skill my mom always says she wished she had learned young because her work involves people all over the world.  Learning to manage my time was a struggle at first because I did not have a teacher to face every day, but Online School for Girls keeps us in close contact with our teachers and I have learned to reach out when I need to like I would for a regular teacher. This is a skill I know I will carry with me through all my higher education when I am in classes with 300 people and need to be contacting my professor.  There are many other lessons I will learn on the way to the AP test in May, but there is one thing I know I will always be able to take away from this online class; breaking the rules is sometimes the best thing you can do. Whether it is challenging the system at your school or destroying the idea of a “normal” classroom or writing a blog post dedicated to the idea that breaking the rules can be a good thing; the status quo is just WAITING for some powerful, young  women to break it.

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3 comments

  1. I loved reading your post about standing up for what you wanted and how you worked that hard to get into the class you wanted to take. I attend the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama and am currently taking EDM310 and all of our work is online through our blogs and I also love it! I have learned so much from this course as I know you can say the same with your course that is online. Keep up the great work and great blog!

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  2. My name is Lisa Smith and I am a student at The University of South Alabama majoring in elementary education. I am currently take a course in technology and it is called EDM310. I have been assigned to read your blog this week and to leave a comment. I really enjoyed reading your blog post and found it very refreshing. You seem like a fighter and a person that is willing to go above and beyond to reach your goals. I hope that this attitude sticks with you throughout your life. Reach for the stars and sore! Have a great week. Lisa Smith

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  3. My name is Brantley Spillman, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama majoring in education. Throughout this semester, we have been assigned various students throughout the world and asked to comment on their individual blog posts. I usually find myself learning something new with every post I have been assigned. Your post introduced me to the artist, Banksy. Until reading your thoughts, I was unaware of Banksy as an artist, activist or director. His work is incredible. I admire your attitude regarding bending the rules. In particular, your thoughts about “destroying” the idea of a normal classroom were motivating. However, remember that when you maintain this mentality of ‘breaking the rules’, you must grow tough skin. This was a great post and good luck with the rest of your school year.

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