AcDec not a Wreck | Teen Ink

AcDec not a Wreck

February 1, 2009
By SareyZ GOLD, Lakehills, Texas
SareyZ GOLD, Lakehills, Texas
14 articles 20 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -Douglas Noel Adams

It was towards the end of my second semester of sophomore year, and I was looking forward to finally being in Academic Decathlon the following year. The talk of that particular course was centered on who would be our teacher. I was saddened upon the discovery that a favorite teacher who's done it in the past would be in charge no more, and also, I was scared of what I had heard. There was so much negative talk about who was to be the instructor. I heard her name was Mrs. Smith, and that she was quite a difficult teacher, not fun, etc' For some reason, I imagined a short, white-haired woman whose displeasure originated from fun. Still, AcDec was something I had wanted to do, so I worried and stuck with it. The following year came around, and I was surprised to find out a couple things. One, that my AP History teacher was also my AcDec teacher, and also that the teacher for both those courses, the one whom had formed frightening images in my mind, turned out to be nothing like what I had imagined. The real Mrs. Smith didn't even have white hair. She has turned out to be one of the greatest teachers I've ever had, loving fun, loving her students, and loving to strive for and accomplish excellence, which is greatly necessary for a productive AcDec team. In her History class, she tries to mix up what we do, as opposed to a typical teacher's day of a list of criteria that gets repeated the very next day, as well as every day after that. I must admit that I truly despise the Cornell note-taking system she has taught us, but I must say it is proving more effective than note-taking systems I've never learned in the past. Though history has never been my best subject, nor is it seemingly apparent this year especially, it is only because she wants us to excel on the AP test. I definitely don't despise that class as much as others, but it's most surely not my favorite. What I can't wait for every day is 6th period, also known as Academic Decathlon. For me, there must some criteria for determining if I enjoy a class thoroughly or not. That list consists of friends, a caring teacher, a subject I enjoy, and an occasion of fun every now and then. Our AcDec class definitely has all of that, and I can only thank Mrs. Smith. Though food in one incentive in that class, that's merely an extra plus. She makes us work hard, but never lets us forget our incentive. Mrs. Smith has taken our team, (no matter what size), to District Meets on perfectly good Saturday mornings quite early, helping us the entire time.
If AcDec is perplexing, allow me to explain. Academic Decathlon is a course in which students base all their knowledge on a specific topic only for that school year. We study ten different subject areas, centered primarily on that one topic. The subjects vary little from year to year, and are as followed: Math, Economics, Social Science, Art, Music, Language and Literature, Essay, Interview, Speech and Impromptu, and Super Quiz (which is either Social Studies or Science-related). Any student signed up for this class must be dedicated, and prepared to work very hard. Any teacher in charge also must be prepared for covering so many different subject areas, with so much information to teach and very little time to cover it all.
After a whole semester of covering what we could fit in our inferior brains, it was time for the Region AcDec meet. She, along with our co-teacher, drove two vans of hopeful students several hours away from home, having us study the whole way there. We are never enthused about studying, but we know our instructors know best. At the meet, we studied, visited, had fun, prayed, and took the tests which proved as determinants for our fate in advancing or not. The final scores were tallied, and announced. Our team was the 2nd top school overall. We were ecstatic, coming home with an abundance of medals, and even a couple plaques. Now we can only await the other district results to know if we advance to State or not, but we have a clear shot.

It was the students that took the tests and pulled off scores high enough to place as well as we did, but no doubt about it, all due gratitude goes to our teachers, Mrs. McKinney, and Mrs. Smith, a wonderful teacher who has not only used her own earnings to purchase our team effective study materials, but has pushed us and taken us further than I, for one, had ever expected. Calling my parents right after the awards ceremony to let them know how we did, I couldn't stop exclaiming how much I love AcDec, and just how much I realized our teacher's efforts go oftentimes unappreciated. I must admit I am grateful those rumors I heard last year turned out incorrect, but more especially I am glad that I had stuck with my choice of taking this class. It was definitely one of the first choices I put down for my schedule for next year's classes. Mrs. Smith is amazing, and her efforts will never go unappreciated by me

The author's comments:
I am an Academic Decathlon student, and until this year and this specific teacher had inspired me, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. Now I am reasurred. I love my teacher and I love AcDec!

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This article has 1 comment.

on Feb. 9 2009 at 12:09 pm
this poem is great i loved it but the funny thing is i hate school.