A letter to the 8th graders
BY GARRETT HILL ON JANUARY 24, 2014
This copy of Rampant Lines is special because it will be in the hands of not only current Rose students, but also eighth graders who might be at Rose next year. This article is intended for all of you that may be nervous about what to expect. At some point sometime soon you will begin selecting classes you want to take next year here at Rose, and I’m sure just like eighth grade me, many of you don’t have a clue what to sign up for. I want to make a few short suggestions to you guys based my experience over my four years at this school.
First of all, Paideia courses are very good choices, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Taking Paideia rather than taking English and history separately makes the classes a whole lot easier to understand. This is because Paideia classes work together on things and do things that connect to one another around the same time. For example, if your English class is studying Romeo and Juliet, you might be talking about Shakespeare and medieval English life in history near that same time. It’s much easier to do well in both classes when the material is in the same category. If you take them separately, you could be studying Romeo and Juliet in English, but talking about ancient Chinese military tactics in history, which have no connection whatsoever. Paideia also allows you to work together with the other Paideia English and history classes to do projects, homework, and sometimes classwork. I strongly recommend Paideia and almost everyone who has taken it will tell you the same.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to push yourself a little bit. Now if you know you can’t handle honors or AP classes then that’s certainly okay, but if you’re unsure about those types of classes I say give them a shot. You might be surprised how well you can do when you put in the work and listen in class, and it also might surprise you that honors and AP classes are a lot less scary than you think they are. Plus taking AP classes lets you take an AP exam at the end of the course, and if you pass with a certain grade you get college credit, which is great for both saving money in college and being one step ahead of the game when you get there. Also, don’t be afraid to take some courses that are more on the fun side. Having a less work intensive class during the day is great for relieving stress and enjoying time with your friends, all while still getting to learn. Journalism is a perfect example. You are expected to complete your stories on time and to meet deadlines appropriately, but we all get to have leisure time at one point or another. We get to make some really close friends in that class because there is ample time to socialize, plus the teacher is pretty much the bomb.
Finally, when thinking about coming to Rose next year, don’t be scared about not fitting in. There are numerous clubs, organizations, honor societies, sports teams and after-school activities not sports related that you can participate in. I myself have never been good at any sports, and I’m interested in becoming a lawyer later in life, so I joined the Rose mock trial team. We are given a fake court case and get to act as real attorneys and witnesses in a competition that takes place in real court rooms. My point in telling you this is that there really is something here for everyone to take part in. High school isn’t as scary as most people make it sound. Sure the hallways are bigger, with many more people to dodge as you move from class to class, but these are just more people you can meet, and more possible friend groups you can have. Come to Rose next year with a positive attitude and an open mind, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you feel right at home. Go Rampants.