Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pieces of Eight

Shawna at The Homeschool Experiment tagged me for yet another meme. Eight facts, or eight habits, or eight somethings. Then tag eight other people.

I'll spare the eight other people , but here are the eight. After thinking about how much I sometimes didn't like high school, I also thought of a bunch of things I did like.

1. Inter-school Christian Fellowship planning weekends each fall. A big sleepover with a bunch of really fun people.
2. Grade 13 German class, especially making gingerbread men to sell in the cafeteria during Oktoberfest.
3. Grade 13 English class. Joseph Conrad and Northrop Frye (no, those weren't boys in my class, they were the authors we were reading).
4. The time my homeroom teacher wore her '60's cats-eye glasses for a joke, just to see how polite we'd be about her "new look."
5. The district-wide choral concert our choir sang in when I was in grade 9, with a really famous conductor. Awesome.
6. The spare periods when I volunteered with a special-needs class.
7. Not having to take phys.ed. after grade 9.
8. Unexpected friendships, even those that were cut short afterwards by geography or just by life.


Unknown said...

pardon my extreme dumbness here. What is grade 13?

Mama Squirrel said...

Up until 1989, students in Ontario could do a fifth year of high school; after the "normal" four years you got an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and you could apply to community college (not the same as community colleges in the U.S.--these are more technically oriented, they don't usually offer liberal arts majors). If you stayed for the fifth year (aimed at those heading for university) you got an Honour Graduation Diploma. You couldn't get into an Ontario university without the specific grade 13 credits in math or English or whatever you were going into (unless you were an adult going back later or something).

They officially phased Grade 13 out but kept the credits for awhile (which was really the same thing), and then reworked everything to supposedly be done in four years like the rest of the country and the U.S. Some students still stick around for an extra year to get extra credits or boost the ones they already have, but they don't get an extra diploma for it!

Some of the things that are taken for granted in the U.S. system, such as A.P. courses and SAT tests are not as common here. There are no "final leaving exams" from high school, other than the exams in the specific courses you're taking; so if you're applying to university right out of high school, you're admitted based on your grade point average (plus auditions or whatever).

The reason Grade 13 was pretty cool was that the classes were much smaller (a lot of people left with their OSSD) and, since most of us were eighteen years old, we were treated more like adults and given some privileges that the other students didn't have, like being able to write our own absence notes! We also had to buy all our own books, which was a bummer...but there was a lot of used-curriculum dealing going on! (Good preparation for hsing...;-))

There, more than you wanted to know?