Hi. My name is Marisa. I am 14. I was born deaf and I have cochlear implants to help me hear. I started K12 in the 2nd half of 4th grade. I went back to a regular school in the 2nd half of 6th grade with a high GPA. My parents were getting a divorce. It was decided that I had to be put in a regular school. I learned some bad stuff at school; I was treated and taught poorly. People made fun of my hearing loss. I also had trouble focusing and listening because other students were a distraction, and it was hard to hear. I finished 6th grade with a 2.8. I started CAVA again in 7th grade. I resisted because I wanted to hang out with my “friends,” but I also want a good education. I want to get a degree in both veterinarian medicine and business. I thank CAVA, because I have learned a lot and again have a 4.0. I wrote the following speech about loving to learn and encouraging each other: FREE TO LEARN
What happened to the love of learning? Many people hide their real self, but in this speech, I want to get beyond that. I want to talk to the real you. Students, do you have dreams for your future? Do you wish to waste all the childhood memories you had with your parents just to be cool? Why do you let other kids take over your self-esteem, your dreams, and your love of learning? Do you want give up the opportunity that you have now to develop your talents just to fit in?
Five score and two years ago, “Mother” Jones stood up for children. She worked hard to accomplish the right for children to go to school. Back then, children worked 12 to 14 hours a day leaving the rest for food, sleep, and school. How did children have the opportunity to learn? Many children were happy to have the opportunity to learn when child labor laws were passed. But many children still couldn't go to school, because it cost money. Horace Mann and John Dewey are the “founding fathers of public schools.” They fought to get child labor laws passed so all children could learn.
Today, many of us students are disrespectful to our teachers. Why? What happened to our excitement to learn? What happened to the smiles on our faces when we went to school? What happened to our pride of learning? Many of us have learned to rebel against our teachers and compete against our classmates. It seems to have become the survival of the fittest. Bullying, popularity, and peer pressure are being used to survive. Those three imaginary things drug our minds and put a heavier burden on us than learning does. Yes, social is important, but it shouldn't inhibit our learning. The bad social is not good for us. We need good friends and a good model of a family. We have chosen to make learning uncool. But, what really matters after school is character and what we have learned. Good grades give a us a wide variety of choices in adulthood, and poor grades limit the gallery of choices. We need to learn in order to get the jobs we want.
I believe we need to make a revolutionary change. The focus should not just be about getting good grades; it should be about us having the love to learn and teachers encouraging our creativity. We should encourage each other so we can show what our talents are and develop some new ones. We should be able to be confident to reach our potential. Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing interfering with my learning is my education.” Awaken the real you and overcome the ways things have been. Be a pioneer in self-esteem, confidence, and internal strength.
We should be free to learn. Join hands with mine and all of the children who want this change. We should love and learn without anguish. Let freedom ring through ourselves. Let us be able to say “Free at last!” Let us show our self-esteem and make school cool. Encourage your children to teach their children to love to learn. “I have a dream” that we will join hands, appreciate our “Mother,” thank our “founding fathers,” and respect our teachers; but above all, we will learn to love and love to learn.