Ever ask yourself why you are still bothering with going to school? Still, doing what everybody tells you to do?
Ever wonder why you are still studying biology and mathematics when you want to be an actor? Or studying AP European History when you want to go to Mars?
Sometimes we feel that the world is crumbling down around us and we no longer understand why we are studying subjects we don’t like. Sometimes, English class tops that list; but why?
English and writing are easily one of the most important subjects you will study from middle school through college. So why are most kids unhappy studying such things?
Is it the boresome William Shakespeare or the long process of analyzing rhetoric to the tedious amount of reading and figurative language? What even is figurative language? Those are questions that often run through the minds of young teenagers studying the world of rhetoric and creative writing.
“I think English is definitely one of the most important core subjects,” sophomore Sage Montgomery states.
Yet the question remains, how is that so? Mathematics and sciences apply to enormous areas of our lives. We can learn the explanation for how life itself works or the architecture of vehicles, households, and skyscrapers.
Montgomery continues, “We use elements from English class every day, from the way we talk, to how we present ourselves to others. Most importantly, it teaches us to see the world through many eyes and not just our own, which in my opinion is one of the greatest skills to acquire.”
However, AP English teacher David Miles adds, “I think English is equally important as other core subjects. Although I always struggled in math, I use it every day, whether it is balancing my checkbook or dividing a Socratic seminar evenly into two groups.”
Even though mathematics and sciences do play a large role in our society, English comes out on top for one main reason. The art behind writing and understanding it is crucial for our understanding of life. Stories are at the center of our culture and our universe. Our own history and lives are a story and every culture and ethnicity revolves around stories.
Apart from that, where does mathematics come from? After all, you are writing down equations and explanations for your solutions to why (y=2x+5).
In Biology, aren’t you writing down notes, observations, explanations, analysis, or mathematical expressions almost half the time?
During AP US History, are you not writing long SAQs (Short Answer Questions) and responses to why the American Colonists rebelled against Britain?
Writing is interconnected between all these subjects and stands at the foundation of them. What are novels, movies, and TV shows based on? Writings and stories are their foundation as well.
“English helps us communicate effectively in our everyday lives, whether it is written or spoken,” Miles agrees. “Active listening helps us not only understand what someone is saying, but it also helps us empathize with others and develop patience and mindfulness.”
In the end, it is up to you to decide if writing truly is one of the most important subjects of them all. The art of writing stories is what keeps us together, from being entertained to standing united for a greater cause.
“Being able to think critically is essential to maintaining our individualism and character,” Montgomery explains.
Individualism is a part of what makes us unique and gives us our identity. It’s how we present ourselves as Montgomery stated previously.
“The one big takeaway I would like my AP Literature and Composition students to have is to foster a lifelong love of reading a diversity of authors and literary genres, to realize that literature has a universality that speaks to all of us as human beings, and that you need a good head and a good heart to be a good reader,” Miles concludes.
If writing and English, which connect us all as one people and helps create our identities, isn’t the most important subject above all else, then I don’t know what is.