The first time I saw Two Million Minutes, it had a great impact on me. It inspired me to work as hard as I could to ensure a great future for myself. So naturally I dropped Honors Communications a week later…? While English had always been my favorite, I wanted to succeed. Up until my second semester of my sophomore year, I believed that the only way I was going to succeed was if I went into math and science. I mean look at the Indian and Asian students in Two Million Minutes. Math and Science were their life.
My decision to drop Honors Comm was impacted by my belief that math and science were going to be more important to me in the long run. Even then I knew that was a lie. I have thought about it over and over again since the day I switched. At the time I felt like a complete failure. I felt like the kids they described in “For Once, Blame the Student,” that lacked ambition and motivation. Academically, I think I made the wrong decision. Personally, I think I made the best decision of my life.
I ended up getting a B+ and a B in math; grades that would have caused the Asian boy in Two Million Minutes to crawl up in a ball in his room. But I had one of the most inspirational math teachers I had ever had in my life. I wasn’t aware one could teach about math and life in the same course. My Communications teacher, Mrs. McIlmoyle, was one of the most incredible story tellers I had ever met in my life.
They were teachers that inspired me change not how high the bar was set, but where the bar was set. I have always cared about school. (Take that Patrick Welsh, this time you can’t “Blame it on the student.”) I have always had the motivation, but I lacked the understanding of what it takes to get somewhere in life. I should be honest: I am not sure I know where I am going to end up in life. But like Mike Rose, “I Don’t Just Wanna Be Average,” and I have come a long way. He describes many people in “I Just Wanna Be Average” that really didn’t give a shit in Voc. Ed. This reminds me of some of the kids in my regular Comm class. Like Mike, I thought “Fuck this Bullshit, I don’t wanna be a Common Joe.” Ok maybe I didn’t use those words, but I had similar frustrations. Maybe we were in the wrong place at the time, but in both situations I feel it was necessary for where we ended up.
As also shown in “I Just Wanna be Average,” teachers can sometimes be as big of role models as parents. We do spend Two Million Minutes with you guys…. That is enough to impact us and I don’t think Patrick Welsh takes that in to account. Two Million Minutes only speaks with the students and the parents. We NEVER once hear from their teachers. Don’t you think that says something? Teachers spend hours and hours out of their day to shape who we become, academically and sometimes otherwise.
I know I’m not the only American who cares. Our high schools are filled with students loading up on AP classes and devoting their life to getting into a respectable college. There are students in our AP Comp class that spend their ENTIRE day in AP Classes. I wouldn’t call that slacking… Maybe we aren’t spending every last second studying like the Asian and Indian students. But we are living our lives. With only short amount of time on this Earth we are striving to make an impact on this world, while enjoying the time we have here.
I completely agree with all of you! Especially the part about Mrs. Mcilmoyle, she was truly inspirational! I especially like your end! We may not be studying all the time but we are enjoying our lives. Isn't that what it should be about at the end of the day?
Yes! Taylor, I agree with you (and everyone else who is commenting on this) so much! I thought it was interesting when the documentary showed the Chinese teachers as being strict and always at the front of the classroom, and it showed the American teacher interacting with his students and making them laugh. I feel like (well as this vid. portrayed it) our teachers are more personal, which can benefit us because when we get a good teacher that we know really cares about us we won't want to let them down. and yeah. I think I may have gotten stupider in Honors Comm. It really was an awful class.
Taylor, this blog post made me laugh! I love your title.You are very insightful by noticing that the teachers of the students in 2 Million Minutes weren't included. That is one of the ways this documentary is skewing the facts! The documentary totally made hasty generalizations. There definitely are Americans who care about school, and take all AP classes. I know that in China, and probably everywhere in the world, there are students who do not do well, or drop out of school. So it is not just here in America. It is so important that we spend time to live our lives!
You make a great point about how much time we spend with our teachers. I never thought about that aspect. Did you have Mr. Wilson for math last year? He was a phenomenal teacher; I agree with you (if that's the teacher you're talking about,) that he changed perspectives on math. And don't worry about dropping Honors Comm. The curriculum wasn't even good. I'm sure you got more out of your class, since you said you had a great teacher.
I would have loved to hear what some of the teachers said too! I didn't even think about that as I was watching the movie, but teachers impact our two million minutes so much, they should be able to tell us what they think!Also, 100% agreement on your “living life” point.