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School, a chance to explore or a chance to conform?

I am currently a high school junior and growing up everyone always said the high school years are the best of your life. However, I could not disagree more with that. In school, I have one class that I actually learn something in and the rest is just review for me and I'm simply bored out of my mind I just want to get out of the four walls of school and learn outside of when the civil war happened or the present tense conjugation of leer or read Robert Frost for the millionth time. Personally, when I get bored I selectively choose not to do anything I'm not forced to do and of course that lands me in heaps of trouble because I turn around and I'm failing a class that I'm "good in". Let's take the current English example, we start a new semester and we're not learning anything we just sit there until the idiots and fools understand (a problem with having the honors and regular kids in the same class). When they finally do understand we sit as the teacher goes over something I learned years ago but has never even been mentioned seemingly to anyone else. So my question is what am I exploring, what is so wonderful about it? My feelings are that the production of C students is on the rise because no one cares enough to produce anything better therefore you just have kids fitting a mold instead of breaking it. While I recognize something like K12 as an option, most parents don't and refuse to let their child participate in something like that besides the fact that they are literally suffering in school, this could be because they are super artsy, want to explore, are bored or are just too smart or like me are a deadly combo of all of those things. Every parent gives their own reasons for example, socializing or my dad's favorite "online school isn't perfected yet".

Thoughts and experiences encouraged.


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    Jan 29 2013: There are many gifted kids in your position. Are there others at your school with whom you could collaborate in pursuing independent, supplementary learning and projects? I have worked with groups of kids like you, both through the university (drawing kids from the region) and within the school district for many years.

    What city/town do you live in?
    • Jan 30 2013: I live in Los Angeles. Unfortunately there are no others at my school with whom I could collaborate with, however many days I wish there was.
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        Jan 30 2013: I grew up and went to high school in Los Angeles. At that time we had several levels of gifted programming in public school. I guess things have changed.

        Are you in the Los Angeles Unified School District? The only reason I am asking is that I am going to try to figure out the best resources available where you are for someone who is already a junior in high school. The online resources (EPGY and CTY) that are tailored to gifted high school kids I have already shared and are worth a peek.

        Because programming for gifted adolescents and teens is an area in which I am a specialist, I can typically find things quickly that would take much longer for people not in the field.
        Here is a first link to look at. http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/lausd/offices/GATE/prog-opt-2.html If after you look at this page, you click the link near the top that says Program Options, you can see what the menu of offerings is that may be available to you with the LA schools. The big IF is whether these are still options for someone already in 11th grade. Most kids will have accessed much earlier.

        Here is a link for what UCLA offers gifted kids, and others as well, in k12: http://www.k12outreach.ucla.edu/

        You probably know that UCLA is a world class university.

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