School Daze

As a seventh-year student at Hogwarts, this term finds me taking classes in Transfiguration, Potions, Defense Against The Dark Arts, Astronomy, and Muggle Studies. (The easiest class by far, as I was Muggle-born!) And let’s not forget the Nastily Exhausting Wizard Tests, or NEWTS…

Sorry, but I needed to indulge in that fantasy for a little while. It’s bizarre to think that when I began reading the Harry Potter books I was young enough to think eleven-year-old Harry was super mature, and now I’m old enough to be in my last year! Of course, I didn’t get my acceptance letter because Hogwarts isn’t real. Oh, the disappointment. Such is life.

This fall marks the start of my junior year in high school and it is shaping up to be the best start I’ve had yet. Of course, I say that every year. I feel more independent than I did this time last year because a larger percentage of my schoolwork is not facilitated by my parents, or even done at home. This semester, my brother and I are taking not one but two dual-credit classes at a local university. Three mornings and one afternoon a week, Nevillegirl-With-A-Driver’s-License gets herself to school. (And when classes let out she asks her little brother, “Where’d we park? I never remember.”) Although I’m studying far fewer subjects now than previously, the workload has definitely increased. Two weeks of school have already gone by so I thought it was time to write about what I’m studying, as I did last year!



Favorite subject first!

Unfortunately, ENG102 in college isn’t quite what I expected. I did ENG101 over the summer and that teacher was fabulous but my new one is booooring. Of course I don’t mind that he assigns readings from the textbook – that’s to be expected. What I do mind is that he spends his lectures going over very basic material that anyone should know if they’ve bothered to do the readings (which I have). Also, he doesn’t even lecture, not really. He just reads straight out of the book. Ugh. Mostly, I sit in class and figure out how to doodle various things. I can’t wait for the first real assignment, an argument in the liberal arts.

On my own, I’m writing / outlining a handful of short stories in addition to doing posts for this blog. I don’t have any reading besides textbook stuff for 102 so I’m also reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg. And something else, but I can’t remember what it is.


I can’t remember what I’m doing in math; let me check. Ah yes, logarithmic functions. The section before that was exponential functions, so it would appear that I’m doing a chapter about functions.

Sometimes I hate math but I’m actually in a rather good mood about it at the moment because I got an A on my latest test. I fluctuate between breezing through my assignments and having mathematical hissy fits because I can’t remember a concept for longer than ten minutes.

I took the PSAT last October for practice but I have to take it again that month for actual scholarship purpose, so pretty soon I’ll start reviewing math for it. (I’m not doing any kind of special preparation for the reading and writing sections because I got perfect scores there. Yippee!)


My mom says CHM111 is for people who have never studied chemistry before but I prefer to call it ‘chemistry for idiots’. That’s how I sometimes feel when the teacher starts talking about significant figures and I get lost.

Two aspects of this class are new to me. Firstly, I’m in a big class with about seventy other students. OK, there were seventy at the beginning, but now loads of people have dropped out when we’re only two weeks in! Anyway, it feels very different because in my other college classes there have been about ten or fifteen other students. Secondly, there is a lab component to my class. I’d never been in a real lab before! The first one was last Thursday and I had fun. It was pretty basic; we did a lot of measuring. I’m not having so much fun writing the lab report, though.

I predict that this subject will be the enemy of my writing, because the homework already takes up a bunch of my time. I’m enjoying the subject so far because my teacher is enthusiastic and helpful, but I do worry about what will happen later on. I like science but chemistry and physics are difficult for me because I like to visualize the concepts I learn about in any subject, and I can’t do that with those two. I can’t actually see how molecules are attached to one another and it’s tricky for me to imagine that as well.

U.S. History

In middle school I studied this subject very thoroughly – spending an entire year on World War II – but I need to have it listed on my high school transcript as well. Because I already know the facts and figures, my assignments are more about analyzing and types of sources (primary, secondary, etc).

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is my main text and as it focuses on history from the point of view of the “Other”, it fits right in with what I’m doing. For example, the first chapter tells about how white explorers and colonists are portrayed as being these perfect people who struggled against the terrible Indians. In reality the settlers did many horrible things such as provoking the Indians, ignoring Indian laws and customs, and just generally being jerks.

The follow-up assignment involved analyzing versions of the Pocahontas-and-John-Smith story, including Smith’s original and later accounts, historians’ interpretations, and the Disney movie.

I love history this year.


I’d like to thank my parents for giving me so much freedom in this subject. Yes, I have to practice the piano, and yes, it has to be for twenty minutes each weekday. But I also get to choose what I play, which I couldn’t do when I still took lessons a few years ago. No longer do I have to play stupid Chopin pieces! Right now I am working on film score music: “Healing Katniss” from The Hunger Games and “In Dreams” from The Fellowship of the Ring. P.S. As I watch Doctor Who, I am falling in love with the music and want to learn it. If anyone has links to medium-difficulty piano sheet music for said score (preferably series one through four), could they post them in the comments, please?


My dad says he wants to do some carpentry stuff with my brother and I, but we haven’t started it yet. I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, if it involves building shelves. I’ve run out of room for my books again…


I’m, uh, very slowly working on the letter J in the A B See Photo Challenge. Additionally, I’ve been reading an old art textbook that my mom used in college: What Is Art? by John Canaday. I wasn’t required to read it, but am doing so anyway because I like reading about the subject even if I can barely draw stick figures.


I’d like to thank my readers for the sudden increase in comments over the past week or so! This may actually be school-related as I’m wondering if people are spending more time on the computer due to assignments. I can’t remember if this happened last year, though. At any rate, thanks!

How are your school days going?


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Homeschooling, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to School Daze

  1. Tori says:

    Um, my social life, not so good (which is most of what happens in my grade anyway), some brat tried to bully me last week by saying mean things and stuff, but then, as always, they try but they never succeed because I am a fearless, arrogant, awesome… and a total jerk to most of the people (if you don’t know, I’m “Socially Challenged” here, I don’t know if there’s such a phrase, but I don’t like to talk with people (AKA anyone who’s not my best friend) because all they talk about is SOCCER, BASKETBALL and how I suck at running and I should practice…HELLOOOOO?! WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT PEOPLE BUT SPORTS PEOPLE ARE JUST MORE MAINSTREAM HERE!). Other than that, I had a terrific time ever since the library opened. Which was yesterday… (I have two books already :]) YAY! I’m finally not bored!

  2. Lydia says:

    My brother and I both were homeschooled and graduated early, so we’ve been going to community college for the last two years. Had to laugh at the bit about your little brother having to tell you where you parked the car. That’s totally the sort of thing that MY little brother is useful for 😛

    I’ve already done English Composition I and II, and I was pretty disappointed with both of them. One of my teachers was mediocre and one was perfectly awful. She didn’t know how to write. She literally did not know how. She gave us a paper she had written as an example and I just about cried. Attending her class wounded and traumatized me. Ha! On the bright side, she did make us write a paper every two or three weeks, so I just made the best of it and got some practice in. Taught myself like I always have. (Homeschooler powers, am I right?)

    I didn’t do Chemistry in highschool, so I took a “chemistry for idiots” sort of class as well. Hated the subject, but my teacher rocked!

    • nevillegirl says:

      So what grade would you be in now, if you still were in high school?

      It seems like my teacher knows what he’s doing, but maybe not how to teach it. He takes five minutes to explain something that he could have said in one minute.

  3. Taylor Lynn says:

    Wow, lotta coursework going on here, NevilleGirl! I hope you’re enjoying yourself, even though it sounds like you’ve got quite a bit on your plate. I have to say, your approach to history this year–the analyzing from the POV of the “other”–sounds incredibly fascinating; I’m a big fan of history in general, and I imagine you’re getting some really unique perspectives this way! 🙂

    We haven’t actually started school hereabouts, at least not yet; my family decided to do what we did last year and wait until October to start back up again. Once we do, though, I’ll be embarking on my last year of schoolwork at home–next fall I plan to start taking courses at my local community college. I’m both excited and nervous for that, as I’ve been homeschooled my whole life and haven’t had any classroom experience, so it’s good that I’ve got one more year of school at home to enjoy before I tackle that, haha! Hope you’re enjoying your college courses!

  4. MOHE says:

    Ooo! I’m reading Openly Straight too! And I loved The Secret Life of Bees.

    Also, no getting old on me. 😦

    • nevillegirl says:

      I adore Rafe; he’s so funny. I wish I could meet him.
      …wait, did I just say I wanted a gay best friend? Oh no, I’m turning into a straight girl! O_o
      Although, that might actually work out well because then I’d know that he wasn’t interested in me! We could be mutually Not Interested in one another. Hmmm.

      What do you mean by that?

  5. I did most of that stuff last year. I can’t remember what grade you’re in, but even if we’re in the same grade, my schedule is so messed up I couldn’t explain it anyway. This year I’m doing Calculus and Physics as the two main subjects.

  6. Here’s a link to some nice Doctor Who pieces, though most of them are for two pianos.

    And here ( is an OK-sounding re-rearrangement of ‘I Am The Doctor’, 11’s theme. The link to the actual sheet music is in the description.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ooh, thank you so much! I printed out “Rose’s Theme” the other day so now I have something new to work on.

      • Where did you find Rose’s Theme? I’ve been thinking about learning it for a while now. How hard is it, do you think?

        Also I am working on the (currently very long) list of fanfictions that I think are good.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I have my ways! Mwahahaha. Anyway, it was here:
      It doesn’t look too hard. Then again, I don’t know what level of difficulty you’re accustomed to with sheet music. It looks about the same as stuff I’ve been learning currently.

      Whee! Yay! (If I ever get around to reading them… school and everything, y’know.)

      And LISTEN TO THIS! Is it not beauteous?

      • *mouth drops open* It’s…so…pretty….ooooooh…

        By the way, have you heard about the BBC Sherlock series? It’s really cool. Here’s a trailer you should really probably watch. It’s fan-made, but way better than the official BBC one.

        And also, since you’re currently watching Doctor Who, I went through my favorite Who stuff and found this awesome thingy you should definitely click on. *Jedi mind-trick finger wavy thing* Click this link.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yup, I have. Maybe I’ll watch it once I’ve caught up on Doctor Who.
      Cool trailer, but I cracked up at the music. It’s the real trailer music for The Hunger Games! It’s called Deep Shadows.
      *is Jedi mind-trick finger waved* *cracks up at the video*
      P.S. I started learning Rose’s Theme and it’s not that hard at all! It’s really pretty.

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