Gap in Education: High School and College English

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English 150
Due: September 13, 2011

After my second week in college, I’m finding that high school has not taught me as much about college English as I thought it would. When I took the English placement test upon enter at the College of the Redwoods, I thought I did fairly well. I had not been in high school for thirty years so when I received the test results, spoke with an academic advisor, and learned that I would need to take English 150: Pre-collegiate Reading and Writing class I thought that meant I had retained some shred of knowledge from high school. Now I’m finding that high school hasn’t even prepared me for a remedial class!

When I went to high school years ago, I did not think I would be in college at the age of forty-five. However, I do remember that in our year-round school we had a choice of four different tracks (Track A, Track B, Track C, and Track D) that coincided with four different nine week semesters and a three week vacation after each semester. Anyone who just wanted to skate by easily so they could focus their attention more on extracurricular activities, such as sports and band, selected Track C. Track C had a reputation for being more lenient with its students; for me this was especially true in my English class. Not much effort or thought was required of me in my English class. All they focused on was attendance and whether or not the student had a “productive day” or an “unproductive day”. It had little to do with knowledge of spelling, grammar, or sentence structure.

The high school I attended also severely lacked structure. We did not have a set class list and therefore English was often times completely omitted from my weekly schedule. I would sometimes just take multiple physical education classes rather than attend my more academic courses such as math and English. This was not only affirmed by the administration but seen as a system of college preparation in that the students could decide what classes...
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