Was your school/uni a quality place (no matter whether you liked it!) - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Was your school/uni a quality place (no matter whether you liked it!)


This is a bit different from the other school thread. Just because you personally may not have liked your school/university does not mean it was fundamentally a bad institution, it may just not have suited you. I very nearly went to a local non-church primary school which was perhaps a bit substandard (don't remember facts). Instead, I was lucky to get a place at what was basically the second best rated by parents, Church of England primary school in the area. It was basically a good, friendly school. One problem was that they didn't teach foreign languages, which annoyed my mother.

The other issue was that they didn't really push kids for the exams to get into academically selective state or private secondary schools, which was what I personally needed. I had some private tuition and did some organised mock exams etc, but it just wasn't enough and I didn't pass any of the several entrance exams I did. Sometimes wish my parents had been able to afford a private primary school, which they wanted to.

My mother looked at so many different secondary schools, including various not hyper-selective ones I think. Have never really forgiven the choice of boarding school I went to. It did suit some people for sure, though absolutely not me, really. Basically it was in such a remote (if beautifully scenic) location, not academic enough with too many iffy teachers, had pretty terrible discipline (I got bullied, even in the sixth form where I should not have stayed anyway, FFS). Far too small as well, would rather have gone to a somewhat bigger school where you can be more anonymous and there are a greater variety of types of people. Though they did a lot of hill-walking and all the games used to keep me very fit (many if not most private schools, are very sporty). But I don't think it was a good place overall, and it closed many years ago now.

As for my Uni, it was certainly good academically and nice in many other ways even though I maybe didn't really make the most of it and had significant problems there. The city where it is, is often unattractive, but it got badly bombed in WW2. A somewhat class-divided uni though with a reputation for that, perhaps unpleasantly so. I may have gone to boarding school, but was absolutely not part of the wealthy/snobbish private school set there! Do wonder if it's really as academically superb as it claims to be nowadays. And I don't really like the sound of the place at all now, the campus and so on seem to have changed quite massively, not in a good way.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 04:03 PM
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I think just 1 out of the 5 schools I went to was ok. That one I at least got one on one help with math and it made things so much better for me.

The other schools were garbage. Too many students, teachers who handed you a book or paper and you had to pretty much teach yourself.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 07:29 PM
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You shop around or qualify for schools, they aren't assigned based on where you live?

My elementary school was poor but alright. Middle school was in a rich neighborhood and was an above average school. High school was a mix of poor, middle and rich students and was mildly famous as a good school for smart kids which made it to the finals of several national academic competitions... but I wasn't in many of those smart kid classes so I didn't gain much from it. My university was run of the mill and I just went there because it was local.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 08:53 PM
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No my school wasn't good (teachers varied but many of the teachers I had were very bad,) it was probably better than some of the others in town but that's saying nothing. I had a better experience at university, but I don't think that was highly rated either. Sixth form (different place to secondary school for me,) was better, better maths teacher at least when I retook GCSE Maths. There were other bad teachers though.

Some stand out points from secondary school:

science teacher who taught physics modules was very hands off and barely taught anything. Think they might have looked into him after my entire class basically failed mock exams for those modules despite being the joint highest set. A girl tried to create a petition or something about him and how terrible he was (would just sit their doing crosswords too,) but another teacher put a stop to that.

maths teacher who couldn't control a class, she would basically not teach and just instruct us to follow text books. Sometimes would go off topic entirely and at least once started ranting about homophobic ****.

Teachers like maths teachers who weren't trained in that subject but were filling in for others due to a shortage.

An IT teacher who quit (or retired maybe,) after our first year at GCSE IT, and basically everything we did under her was wrong so the teacher that replaced her had to basically instruct us in our second plus first year and we all had to come in on weekends to redo all our first year coursework (when I think about it now it's really insane lol how bad it is. I mean I guess it's legal because it happened I don't even know.)

There was also a teacher who I didn't have because I wasn't in top set English although he did sometimes cover the lessons we had to do in the library. He was very touchy feely and basically known by everyone as a pervert. No concept of personal space think Joe Biden. I can't comment on his teaching ability since I wasn't in his class for that.

One time I had a science lesson that was covered by this guy who I never had as a teacher besides this (think he might have been infamous too can't remember,) think he taught history. He used it to basically rant about the environment for an entire hour lol just went completely off syllabus. But since that was a one off I don't really care.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 09:27 PM
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It was indeed an excellent atmosphere and setting for a university. Middle class income rural suburb, but not far from a major city. Excellent outdoor weather most of the year, very pedestrian friendly and well planned town. Very safe crime wise. Ethnic wise, it is diverse. Not much to do, but it's a college town, so. A good selection of restaurants, retail, businesses and bars and such. I actually really like the town, but my abhor of school in general supersedes this.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
You shop around or qualify for schools, they aren't assigned based on where you live?

My elementary school was poor but alright. Middle school was in a rich neighborhood and was an above average school. High school was a mix of poor, middle and rich students and was mildly famous as a good school for smart kids which made it to the finals of several national academic competitions... but I wasn't in many of those smart kid classes so I didn't gain much from it. My university was run of the mill and I just went there because it was local.
They changed this at some point but when I was growing up it was based on location/catchment area too (with the exception of some religious schools that also filtered based on whether you went to a religious primary school.) Actually I think they changed this ages ago like before my dad entered secondary school, but I looked it up and apparently some areas still have this huh:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_modern_school

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammar_school

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleven-plus

(I don't actually know is this is what the OP is talking about though.)

Quote:
Secondary modern schools were far less inclined than grammar schools to encourage aspirations of student progression to advanced post-secondary and university education. While some secondary modern schools hoped that a proportion of students in their top classes might obtain reasonable results in GCE O Levels, there was rarely, if ever, a notion that a student might progress to A Levels. Further, for a student to profess a desire to undertake university studies would have been considered unrealistic and pretentious.
This is interesting to me because by the time I went to school this had morphed into 'thinking you can get into Oxbridge would be ridiculous/unrealistic/pretentious.' Since I actually had a sixth form teacher who explicitly stated that nobody in the class would be accepted if we tried (not that I ever thought that would be an option, and besides what I ended up studying wasn't a subject there) because we were taking an A-level equivalent course (clearly not equivalent lol.) I ended up taking that because I was late enrolling and didn't have a lot of options that wouldn't mean waiting another year, which they also suggested would not be an option... So I did a BTEC in software development + fine art AS/A level.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 10:53 PM
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Even in that way any of schools was good...

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 11:05 PM
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The university I attended was and is a top-ranked public university.



I had a marvelous time there, despite not engaging much in the way of social activities. I enjoyed the class discussions, most of the books I read, and most of the classes I completed. I also enjoyed the overall atmosphere, campus architecture, campus landscaping, etc. I also enjoyed its location being in a safe city.


Many of the students were open-minded, and the professors made sure to respect and earnestly address the variety of viewpoints contended for by students. Luckily, I graduated before diversity of viewpoints was ostensibly supplanted in favor of diversity of identity groups/stereotypes.




In regards to the high school I attended -- I really don't care. I didn't take high school seriously, and I don't look back upon my experiences favorably, mostly due to the anxiety and depression I suffered especially acutely during that time.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 11:17 PM
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The high school I went to was decent, but not spectacular. Good for a small town. Half the teachers hated me (one kicked me out of his class on the last day of school, costing me the credit) and half of them liked me (my drama teacher dressed up as me for Halloween one year). It was cow-tipping country, so most of the kids hated me because I've always been a bit queer. Bullying was a big issue. (Written about that too much already).

I went to uni for a year on a scholarship but couldn't hack it, didn't qualify for another scholarship, and couldn't go back because I couldn't get a student loan.

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2020, 01:09 AM
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My school was okay - it was a private school my father wanted us to go to to make my mother happy. I think I was sort of a mixture of a normal kid and a bit of an egg-head. I liked the library and despised sports. I left at the start of year 11 though because I think I started having a few problems.

I didn't go to Uni until I was about 37. It was sort of a mid-range place. Nice lecturers although mine were a bit eccentric, probably says more about what I studied though. They were really nice people.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-31-2020, 01:29 AM
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By prison standards the first one was ok, old style, minimum security, daily trip to the exercise yard, teachers armed only with rulers, victorian era inkwells good for hiding contraband.

I was moved to a bigger pri... I mean school for more hardened offenders in the summer of 96 & I was passed around like a piece of candy. 😞






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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2020, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
You shop around or qualify for schools, they aren't assigned based on where you live?

My elementary school was poor but alright. Middle school was in a rich neighborhood and was an above average school. High school was a mix of poor, middle and rich students and was mildly famous as a good school for smart kids which made it to the finals of several national academic competitions... but I wasn't in many of those smart kid classes so I didn't gain much from it. My university was run of the mill and I just went there because it was local.
Well Persephone already kind of explained this above. Basically, most UK kids go to their local comprehensive, some go to one well out of area. Some areas still have academically selective state schools with entrance controlled by an exam, but only in England/Northern Ireland (not in Wales or Scotland any more). In NI, incidentally, most schools are still (notoriously) segregrated for Protestants or Catholics. There are many private schools throughout the country which charge pretty high fees unless you get a scholarship, but only 6-7% of British kids go to one. That's controversial (like academic selection in general), with the left, because private schools are often seen as a major reason for inequality/snobbishness in society. Not all private schools are academically selective, though many are. A private school, at least famous ones like Eton, is often traditionally called a public school in the UK, for weird historical reasons. Think I am glad I was able to go to boarding school, because my dad was becoming an alcoholic by then and he caused many problems at home. But it was also because boarding was the done thing for a certain social class in my mum's generation (working class/middle class etc are more culturally distinct from each other, and mean different things than in America).

My school was an unusual kind of place really, on a big loch (lake), not so nice because that part of the shore suffered from mud/the school's sewage output. There was a nice natural rock pool up the stream with a rope swing, though. The place was too closely surrounded by forest for me, so claustrophobic. It had some really nasty shabby/poorly constructed buildings, especially most of the pupils' living quarters. I once got an electric shock in the biology lab (before they moved biology to a refurbished lab), because a disused electric socket was still live (near a water tap I think!). The swimming pool was bizarre, built in a former log pit of a sawmill and heated by turbines from the stream, so much colder when it hadn't rained enough. It's unsurprising the school went bankrupt really, most of it is derelict now.

I got to do a French exchange to a day school near Paris where I stayed with a family, that was really socially tough and I think the girl who was my exchange partner didn't like me much. The German one was easier, because we all stayed as a class at a boarding school in southern Germany. Lots of kids here do similar exchanges, it's not really a privileged thing.
I also studied for year at a uni, again in southern Germany because of my degree subject. That was in quite a nice small city on a large river, in an attractive region, but it was dreadfully bombed (by the British) in the war, so mostly rather boring modern buildings with a few historic landmarks like the cathedral. The German university system is nothing like anything in the English-speaking world, very intellectual. I foolishly tried theology classes there (because used to be a churchgoer), but was totally out of my depth and embarassed. There was a great discotheque there, in a boat on the river. And the city had really nice open-air swimming pools. But it was a boring, provincial kind of place really, I wasn't the only one who thought that.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2020, 04:34 AM
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My high school was a former grammar school turned private school in a good area so I guess it was/is fairly prestigious. Since it specialised in sports it has had a few Olympians and international rugby players go there. I was never much of an athlete so that was never really my focus. I just went there because my parents thought I needed more academic support.

Most people in my hometown are surprised that I went there and seem to believe I lived in a mansion (when in reality I lived in a three bed semi-detached house in a quiet suburb). A lot of people have this strange misconception that private school = Eton/Harrow when that's really not the case at all.

I did well in high school and luckily could stay at home to attend a top university so I kept my debt and living costs low. If I could change anything I wouldn't have studied my degree subject. While it is extremely interesting it is too general and really needs to add a specialism to it. I can't help shake the fact that university is just one big debt scam so I'm avoiding doing a post-grad.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2020, 05:41 AM
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My school was a private, Islamic language school.

"Private" doesn't really mean much though. It was a box of concrete and sand. Everything was extremely ugly and rundown. The desks were disgusting and broken. I guess private just meant we got 30 students per class instead of 50 or 60, and "some" of the teachers were okay. Also, I've heard some wild tales about what goes on in public schools. I'm not really sure I would've survived, lol.

"Islamic" doesn't mean much either. I'm trying to remember anything specific we did that wasn't in other schools. I think it's just a sales pitch for gullible religious parents. All I can think of is that we didn't have any Christians. Which kind of sucks, I had to wait till I went to uni to see the first Christian. It also meant that after fifth grade it was boys only. So that kind of sucked too.

"language" was okay I guess. But I think it was just having a good English teacher [though my pronunciation is bad because I never really practiced spoken English or anything, it was mostly just reading and writing].

There were some good teachers maybe I remember a few, but the whole place just depressed me it was so ugly. Even the "playground" for Kindergarten was all tiles (which is kind of dangerous if you think about it) and for all other grades just sand, disgusting sand that got in your eyes and clothes. Ugh! Also, I remember at one point, our class "gathered enough money" to buy our own white board instead of the old disgusting chalk ones [white boards were considered the 'cool new thing' for some reason].

Also, anything artistic or fun was very low priority or non-existent (e.g. art, music, etc). Every art or music "teacher" was so unmotivated and grumpy it was literally just a waste of time.

There were also some crazy teachers (especially in secondary school "high school") who liked to beat up students. It seemed like a game to some of them to just waste time. That is sort of the norm here sadly, so I wasn't traumatized or anything. I just have these weird memories of guys laughing while being beaten up by a teacher as they make lame masturbation jokes or whatever.

I think I was even beat by one of those teachers a couple of times when sometimes they decide to "punish the whole class" for whatever reason. I donno.

---

Uni was a little different. It was much more crowded and equally run down (it was a public university). I got to meet different types of people, and honestly, even though the buildings were generally disgusting, I just loved them, because the building itself is very old and repurposed a couple of times, so they had some kind of spirit to them.

The professors were generally very grumpy, old and aggressive, but you got used to them after a while. Also, uni was practically free (I can't really recall how much exactly, but definitely less than 100$ a year). It was generally considered that public uni would give better 'education' than private uni. So, I'm not really complaining.

None
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2020, 05:46 AM
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@LydeaCharlotte Your school would make a good spooky setting for a book.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-11-2020, 03:19 PM
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My primary, middle school and highschool were kinda dumpy old buildings from the 50's or 60's, two of them have been since torn down. It wasn't anything real bad like a cockroach infestation or anything though. The College I went to had older parts that were cinderblock walls with little prison windows while other areas were more modern and pleasant to be in. I didn't find the quality of the education in any of the schools to be much of an issue, mostly just average I guess.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 12:54 PM
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 12:07 PM
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my schools both primary and secondary i was badly bullied and during that time i was being abused at home
I never want to go back there
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