I Wish My Teacher Knew …

I recently saw an article online where a teacher passed out notes and asked her students to finish the sentence, “I wish my teacher knew..”

The students are all younger, but the meaning is pretty clear. Students have struggles inside and outside of the classroom that they rarely get the chance to talk about. Teachers are often unaware of the happenings in their students’ lives. So, today, I decided I would complete the sentence.

I wish my teacher knew that I work an average of 32 hours a week. I wish my teacher knew that I asked for less hours and actually ended up with more. This week I am working 42 hours. I wish my teacher knew that I cared so much about her class and my grades, but that when I get off work at 10:30 I only have energy to crawl into bed and hope to sleep. I wish my teacher knew that I get an average of 5 hours of sleep each night. I wish my teacher knew that I am trying my best to stay awake in school, but that sometimes my eyelids feel like anvils. I wish my teacher knew that I am falling behind on my school assignments because of the amount of homework I am receiving from 7 different classes each day. I wish my teacher knew that I love reading, writing, playing with dogs, and running, but that I no longer have time for these things. I wish my teacher knew that I wish I had time for the things I love to do because without them, life sucks. I wish my teacher knew that I never get to see the one person who makes it all better. I wish my teacher knew that sometimes I spend her class period dreaming about driving to a different state and starting over. I wish my teacher knew that I’m really not trying to add to her mountain of stress, but that I can’t help it. I wish my teacher knew that I am not trying to be rude when I say I can’t come in after school. I wish my teacher knew that I would prefer to come in after school over going to work because it would mean I would finally have a break.

I wish my teacher knew that I am not prepared for what life will be after May 13th.

The Value(or lack of value) College Holds

I keep hearing people say that we need college graduates now more than ever. The statement is vague. Who do we need? English majors? Biology? Architecture? I find it hard to believe that we needed the 365,000 business majors of the 1.7 million total grads of 2011. Are all of them working in their intended field? Statistics would say most of them are working jobs they are overqualified for i.e. Got a BA in Business but working at McDonald’s flipping a burger.

Furthermore, I find it pointless to have so many graduates when some are attending school just ‘because’. A lot of students go to college to get in, get out, and make more money. They go to get the education out of the way but education is not a final destination. It is not about regurgitating lessons to pass a test only to forget it the next day. Education is not about partying. It is not about taking what comes easy. Education is also not about high school or college. Education occurs everywhere.

“Education is not something you do for twelve years so you can get into a university, and then something you do for four more years so you can get a job sitting at a desk forty hours per week. Learning is a lifelong process. It happens all the time. It starts before we are born and continues until the day we die.” Dale Stephens

If your goal is to go to college to get a degree to work for someone else, you’re doing it wrong. Seriously. What is the point of higher education if your aspirations don’t motivate you to be your own boss? I don’t think the value of a degree is to help someone else build their dreams on your watch.

You could do everything listed above without a degree. You can push paper and obey orders from someone else without a $40,000 framed piece of paper that you may one day use as a coaster.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste. The best education in life is falling on the ground and getting a few scrapes. You don’t get that by putting in face time on the ‘quad.’ You get it by learning the value of money, and occasionally having it robbed from you. Just don’t get robbed for four straight years.” James Altucher

I am not shaming higher education. I believe in the raw power that is being educated. I don’t believe in the standards we hold on students. Most of my intelligent conversations come from how I educate myself. I research a lot in my free time and often put off school work to learn about things that interest me more than worksheets. I love education but I hate school.

Word Vomit

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Ask any young adolescent and you’re likely to hear a response like ‘doctor’ or ‘race car driver’. You see, it’s curious to me how the responses change with age and it’s curiouser how they become geared toward money rather than passion. Social status rather than happiness. A size of a house rather than the size of heart. I see and hear too many people chasing degrees that don’t make them happy. Degrees that don’t motivate them to learn. Degrees that promise a large salary but a small self-worth.

I really want to say I know where I’m going with this blog, but I don’t. I have too many opinions to voice that they can’t simply be welded together to make perfect sense. I apologize if I jump around here. I’m just passionate.

I remember walking into my grandma’s kitchen one Easter. I believe it was my junior year. Her granite counter top was hidden under the overwhelming array of food. I was catching up with my uncle who lives in Seattle. Suddenly, he stopped talking and seemed to be calculating how to ask the question I fear most. “What are you doing in college?” Dear God. Run. Melt into the floorboards. Maybe throw up. I felt every emotion possible but the one that caused the stuttering mess that fell out of my mouth next was anxiety. “I…I…uh…don’t know.” Smooth, Devon. Great use of the three years of Honors English you have under your belt.

He stared at me blankly, kind of smiled awkwardly after a few breaths, and then walked away. Walked. Away. That’s it. My uncle is a very intelligent man. He is my father’s only brother in a family with 5 children. My father is a very intelligent man. The difference between them is their hair color, age, and level of education. You would never know the third if I hadn’t told you. My uncle is the only relative of mine that went to college. The only relative of mine that sees it as a priority. The relative of mine that might look down on someone for not going.


I’m going to college. Do I want to? Interesting query. Possibly worse than the one previously stated. My mind feels as if it has come unhinged in the past few months. So many pressure packed questions forced into my thoughts by adults. “Where are you going to college?” “What scholarships did you apply for?” “What are you going to study?” “Where are you going to live?” “How are you going to pay for it all?” This and that. A rather painful tug-of-war.

I can’t pick one career because I want to do more than what one degree qualifies me for. I want to sing. I want to dance. I want to write. I want to nurse people back to health. I want to rescue animals. I want to learn French. I’m in my fourth year of spanish and todo lo que sé es cómo pedir el baño. I want to teach. I want to serve as law enforcement. I want to mediate a legal case. I want to be a mother. I want to travel and become seasoned in the cultures of the world.

I am a good student and I try to be a good learner, and yes, there is a difference between the two. A good student knows how to show up to class, pay attention, regurgitate their lessons and pass said class. A good learner is one who truly enjoys learning and takes it upon themselves to learn about what interests them in their free time. Well…if their daily lessons don’t hoard their free time.

I feel less than prepared to be responsible for so much when I’m currently responsible for so little. I have spent so many hours in a brick building wondering what I should do next with my education and how it was state mandated but left something to be desired.

The current education system mass produces good students and suffocates good learners.

Circadian Rhythm

We all know we hate waking up early and having to go to work or school. What we have assumed for years is that we can’t possibly be productive at certain hours of the day. We start feeling sluggish, want to take a nap and maybe even shed a few tears at the amount of work we have to do but the little energy we have to do said pile of work. Never experienced this? I encourage you to step foot in a high school and listen to the amount of students mumbling that they “can’t even” or are “too tired to function”; maybe even that they “ain’t got time for dis”. Grammar is a topic for another day, however.

In the article I read, it outlines the times in a day that humans are most productive. It turns out that these times are noon and 6 p.m. From the moment you wake up, your brain is slowly stretching itself awake and preparing for the day but it does not hit it’s peak of productivity until around lunch time. The peak doesn’t last long either. Your productivity is likely to decrease throughout the day until 3 p.m. where you will hit your lowest point of productivity all day. After this point, you will begin to climb back up that proverbial productivity mountain and then hit another great peak at 6 p.m. As you can guess, your alertness decreases substantially after that time.

What does this mean and why is it important to us? Well, for one, if you have some important work to be doing, plan around your circadian rhythm. A giant project that you might have, okay.. more than likely, procrastinated on has it’s best chance of getting done at around 6 o’clock. Of course, there are slight differences in everyone’s rhythm but it’s relatively the same. If you are an early bird who gets the worm, your peaks most likely occur earlier in the day. If you are a night owl then your peaks occur later in the day.

If you missed a productivity peak, take a nap. The study showed that a nap at 3 p.m. when you are in your slug state can give you a boost of energy and provide brain food to be alert.

I loved reading this article because it finally gives a back bone to the argument of when work should begin and when kids should be in school. I am someone who stays up later than I should trying to accomplish some big tasks and this article provided me with some great insight into the human mind. I now strive to get my big tasks done immediately after school when I am more likely to get them done.

Link to the story by Harvard Business Review:


Link to more on your Circadian Rhythm: