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The calendar for the new school year arrived yesterday and it brought with it the realization that school starts in just three weeks. I’m not the least bit saddened by the news. I’m over the hot weather and sitting around doing nothing; I’m ready to learn and create. I enjoy the feeling that comes with being enlightened and gaining knowledge. But now I have read a certain speech by a certain valedictorian, Erica Goldson, during her graduation ceremony at Coxsackie-Athens High School this year, and to say the least it changed my perspective.
She goes into depth about how the American school system focuses too much on goals and creating a brainwashed work force. People always talk about the glory of being top of the class and these people are known as the smartest. I really appreciate how she admits to just succeeding in the system and regretfully says she does not feel she truly learned more than others. She says she doesn’t even know what she wants to do with her life because she never even let herself figure out what she’s interested in. All in all, it scares me. For as long as I can remember in my school career I have always aimed to get A’s. I have not made it my goal to learn and embrace knowledge. Until now. I am saying it here and now that I will be focusing on learning all that I can, not on grades or just getting into a good college. I will aim to take the gifts that we call teachers and let them do their job and teach. It is officially my goal to embrace an educated experience as opposed to getting swept up in the educational system.

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