The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Hau I See It: My Full-Time Job

I have noticed something rather alarming in the mornings: the contrast between my life and my dad’s working life. At 6:30, I’m rushing to zero period while my dad is in his pajamas, watching the news while he makes breakfast. “Maybe I’ll go to the gym now,” he says, contemplating his morning activities as I run out.

School is a place where students learn. In this habitat, they are given classwork to finish in class, homework to finish at home and tests to assess what they have learned. The student life might be harder than an adult’s work life.

While school starts at 8:15, my dad doesn’t leave until 9. With slow traffic and donut stops, it seems like adults hardly have time to work and finish their morning coffee before they begin their commute home again.

On a bike, all of that traffic is avoided, and I’m forced to arrive at school on time for some fun institutionalized learning—no food allowed.

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Our food selection at school is nowhere near comparable to that at a job. Our fine dining is served by the taco truck, and the vending machine gives only short satisfaction. At my parents’ workplaces, secretaries hand out chocolate truffles and the vending machines give free sodas (all perks listed in the benefits).

Students have tests every week covering chapters of new material for at least five different subjects. At some jobs, adults are assessed maybe once a year on something they’ve had a career in for their whole lives. When students do well, we get a pat on the back, not raises or stock options.

After work, my mom cooks dinner while my dad watches “Chuck” or “House.” He complains about how work was so exhausting, having to go to meetings or replying to emails. Typing could be surprisingly tiring. Me? I just studied for seven hours, ran track for two and did homework for three. Parents also seem to go to bed before the sun sets after finishing their after-hour work. Is it because all students procrastinate until midnight, or because they have less work than us?

Students work long hours, doing both physically and mentally exhausting work. They are pressured to achieve certain grades and be accepted by certain colleges. Plus, they have to live up these expectations without an annual salary or free truffles. At least I know that after putting up with these long hours at school I, too, can live the lavish work life of going to the gym in the mornings, eating donuts on the drive to work and watching “House” before bedtime.

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