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Surviving Diff: Voices Column

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So you want to be one of the smart kids of the school?  One of the elite masterminds with their heads buried in Calc books and AP Literature?  Well, here you go, the four stages of becoming a differentiated student.

Stage #1: Grades

Of course grades are a vital part of the differentiated class.  Being of the most “elite” minds, the grade reflection is the heart of the machine.  The lowest score allowed is a B, anything lower will bring on questioning of whether or not you belong. Along with grades come the expectations of Honor Roll, which will include a letter, and several pins, because you must show them your academic achievements.  Yet we must remember grades don’t make us who we are, however don’t let that stop you from pulling an all nighter just to achieve that 95% or more. Which leads us to our second stage.

Stage #2: Never sleep  

Differentiated students, the kids with the least amount of sleep.  And the very first to complain about the lack of sleep, which comes with one-upping. If one claims five hours, another will turn up with three.  It’s seen as you’re not working hard enough if you’re getting over seven hours. So make sure you keep that calculus book open until three in the morning, and we’ll see you all up and energetic in two hours, deal?  

Now you’re getting into the big leads, your grades are exceptional, I’d even say enviable.  Also I can tell by that big thermos of coffee you’re not getting much sleep, just some advice, tea has more caffeine.  I think you may be ready for the next rule.

Stage #3: Like-minded people

You are now required to drop your nondifferentiated friends due to their inability of intellectual conversation, as well as the chance of them pulling you away from your goal, your final destination.  Which is well…we’ll get to that.  So like I was prattling on, nondifferentiated students aggravate you especially when you have to sign up for classes that a diff or AP level course is not offered.  The thing that will really aggravate you about these students is when they suddenly decide that they can be one of you.  One of the elite intellectual ones.  How dare they?  Which will lead us to the last rule.

Stage #4: Intellectual arrogance

You have proven yourself to be an intelligent kiddo, a little on the sleepy side, but your friends are overall carbon copies of your intellectual abilities.  Well let’s remember we are superior to all those who travel down these halls.  Be bold enough to even correct your teachers, and always, at all times argue for any point back on a test.  Even if you’re clearly wrong.

So now that you know the four basic stages of being a differentiated student, you have the full ability to succeed.

I’ve watched fellow friends truly go through these stages, and I had found myself doing the exact same thing.   Colleges look for the grades, and in the process, you start to truly differentiate yourself from others.  School becomes a stark competition, and takes a lot of time and focus.  The satirical stages above are a representation of my experience with this competition, and it’s also the representation of why I stopped being around many of those people.  Grades, even school itself isn’t everything. Take it easy, and enjoy high school, you don’t get to come back.

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Surviving Diff: Voices Column