The Short Version
I'm Marie (also Miya or Midge in some circles) and I've been something of an auto-didact all my life--which has naturally put me at odds with most people's idea of academic achievement. I go to a public magnet school that stresses personal growth, independent study, student-designed curricula and travel. Because we don't assign letter grades and de-emphasize the importance of standardized testing, our school must fight to maintain its ethos in the face of more conventional notions of achievement.
Frankly, I resent that the focus of school has shifted to "achieving" at all. School should be a safe place to simply learn and grow. We have the rest of our lives to achieve, however we define that.
I'm always excited to see fellow young people coming together to discuss the state of education today. I hope we can one day prove that we can and should take charge of our own schooling.