Below is guest post from Van Meter junior Katie B. This post has not been edited or tweaked by me in anyway. Please read and post your comments below. Katie looks forward to your responses. Enjoy.
I still remember my very first day of school at Van Meter. Coincidentally, it was my very first day of kindergarten. I had barretts in my hair and a backpack decorated with cat stickers slung over my shoulders. Most memorably though were the butterflies that were flying around my stomach at what felt like 65 miles per hour, give or take. I skipped, not walked, into my very first classroom so excited to be there that not even the kid beside me who insisted on flinging his boogers could wipe the smile off my face.
That was almost 12 years ago and somewhere during that time the allure of school wore off. Maybe it was the removal of nap time or the awkward stage known only as junior high. Either way, attending school turned into a thing that we students HAD to do instead of something we wanted to do; much like taking out the trash or staying home on a Friday night.
But this year, my junior year, that all changed. No, Van Meter Community High School didn’t get a new lunch menu. It began the one to one program and entrusted its students with their own personal MAC laptops. More importantly though, our teachers and administrators gave us the opportunity to be apart of what has become the beginning of an educational movement! Similar to a tidal wave to the face or a nice cold Coca Cola on a hot, Iowa summer day, students at Van Meter felt the refreshing impact that the computers had on us. Suddenly, I was excited to come to school again. I wanted to see what our teachers could do with the new technology handed to them and I was eager to learn something. What a crazy thought! No longer was I dragging my feet and wondering when oh when would that bell finally ring to signal it was 3:15.
The opinions concerning the laptops vary, but one thing is for sure: these laptops have made us students more responsible then ever. If you miss a day of class, there is really no excuse for not having the homework assigned the day before turned in since all the teachers at Van Meter have a very simplistic email address already programmed into your contact book. In addition, the laptops are not indestructible and no one wants to bring their damage report (complete with charges) home to the parents.
The introduction of the one to one program has made students regard time management in a whole new way. With the Internet and the games it provides just a click away, students have been forced to make the decision between homework and mind-numbing video games. It is now our decision as to what we accomplish during the spare time that we have. With so many distractions, said decision can be tough for some.
In the same way that a casino dealer hands out poker chips to the player, the administrators and teachers at Van Meter have given us the tools needed to be successful. What we do with our chips is up to us. We can play them wisely or frivolously. We can think our actions threw or make decisions on gut feeling alone. Or we can be smart or just downright stupid. Our future is in our hands and the impact it is felt now more then ever! The teachers at Van Meter Community High School have always been and always will be here to guide, support, and teach us, but now more then ever our chances for success lie solely on our decisions and work ethic. We only have ourselves to applaud for our success or to blame for our failures. It’s a scary thought but also an exciting one, just like the introduction of the computers themselves.