Articles of Interest

Never Give Up
By Abby, TrekNorth Student

At this very moment, I feel very frustrated. There is a fly buzzing around my face, my head is pulsing with pain, and I have many things to do in a very short amount of time. If this were the year 2002, I would have given up by now; my car would be running and I would have raced out of the icy Bemidji High School parking lot. Actually, I would have left two hours ago. But, as we all know, it is the year 2003 and I am actually in school, though a different school, but I have yet to give up.

I was asked to write about why I decided to attend a charter school. Well that would take a long period of time and I also need to write a paper on the expansion of capitalism in the next forty minutes. Sure, it'll happen, I swear! Needless to say, I decided to focus on one specific reason I stay in this charter school. That reason is my attendence in school, or to put it another way, the fact that I have yet to give up. Last year, about half way through the year, I simply gave up on school. I would attend my first hour class, then more often than not, I would get in my car and drive away. This doesn't mean I didn't learn the things I was suppose to learn, I did. I chose to study at home. I didn't give up on learning. I gave up on the actual school. The administration, the teachers, the books, the reports, and all the red tape. Finally, I gave up on all of it.  The system I was put in treated me solely as a number; a statistic on a computer print out. But as soon as something stopped fitting the mold, my statistic seemed to be erased.

The problem I had with my former school was the fact that the school gave up on me. And this was not due to my failure to produce the grades needed to give the school a good name. In fact, I have gotten straight A's since the day I entered kindergarten. Their failure was due to my medical problems. Okay, I realize that pseudo-seizures are "weird." Trust me, it's strange enough to have them, not to mention having to explain to the district school district nurse that A) no, I do not have epilepsy, and B) yes, I still have seizures. This does not give anyone the right to make me feel that I have no purpose in the educational community. I was told that I was "disturbing" the other students. I was told that I "should consider alternative forms of education." I was told that I should leave. So I did.

Because the school never gave me any answers as to where I should go, I decided to simply go home. So I went home everyday and worked on math or Spanish or sleeping skills. This seems like a student's dream, but it's not. It's lonely and depressing.

After working this way for a couple months, I found out that a charter school was opening. I figured that anything would be better than feeling like I was worthless, so I decided to attend. As soon as I started school, I knew it would be different this year. The teachers all wanted to teach, the hierarchy of administration was nonexistent, and the first time I had a seizure, no one told me I was disturbing. Finally I have been accepted for what I am, what I am capable of, and what I cannot help. To put it simply, I haven't given up at TrekNorth because no one who works here has given up on me. There is no need to hide and no need to be afraid that I might be a liabilty. In fact, the only reason I wrote this is because Dan McKeon thought enough of me to ask me to do it, to even guilt me into it. It's nice to know that I am useful. That has never happened before.


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