So the provintial ELA exam's topic this semester was "Codes". When I first saw it I nearly burst out laughing thinking "WTF!?" cuz' I can tell you write now that half the people in the room automatically snapped and said, "Da Vinci Code!"
But after I read some of the short stories and poems I realized that (atleast the way it protrayed the word 'codes'), that it can be refered to as something as simple to bar codes, dress codes, languages,. . . to something like the code of society.
I chose to write an essay on the "unwritten" code of conduct in schools. I wrote that the purpose of it was to educate and raise awareness in the student body on both the good, and the bad effects it can hold on one individual. I won't waist any more space on talking about, cuz' i posted it below. However this essay doesn't say everything I wanted it to say I had to keep it short (I only have one hour left to write a whole final copy, plus some of the rough draft I never finished :p) plus I wrote somethings just for the sake of giving it a little more variety.
Anywho, The purpose of this forum was not only to post my essay to get responces, but rather my question is, what is your opinion on the subject, and what are your own personal experiences on the matter? We are all attending/ have in the past, some kind of school, so I thought this would make for a medeoker(sp?) forum topic.
I'd say that out of this whole essay, the third paragraph best describes how I feel, and the ending of the concluding par. But nonetheless, all of it is part of what I think.
SCHOOL’S “UNWRITTEN” CODE OF CONDUCT
In our school there is a written code of conduct that is composed of multiple rules. Rules stating dress code regulations, no smoking/drugs/alcohol, hall conduct expectations, etc. This code of conduct is written to keep order and to protect our own safety. However, what about our school’s “unwritten” code of conduct? This code is filled with rules and expectations that shape and mold or morals and expectations of ourselves and those around us. This code includes what we wear, how to act, who we can love/hang out with, common courtesy, and the list goes on. How do these codes affect us positively/negatively, and what happens when one doesn’t meet and/or follow the status quo? There are many pros and cons to the unwritten code of conduct and it affects every individual student in a different way.
In our schools there are several positive effects of this unwritten code of conduct. We use this code as a guide line to help discover who we are, or along the lines of what we should be. Once a child begins school, his/her development of his/her character begins to change and grow rapidly. We learn vital communication skills that help us work together to achieve maximum results. Other life skills we learn are how to make friends, proper manners, what’s acceptable, and what’s not acceptable. Our schools unwritten code of conduct helps us grow and develop morals and knowledge that aids our transition into becoming a compatible member of society.
There are also several negative effects of our unwritten code of conduct. Due to the mass number of rules and expectations, stereotypes are created. As we grow older and more independent, for many, these rules, expectations and stereotypes can become restricting. Restricting to the point where it puts the growth of ones character on hold. These restrictions create fear and may lead to concealing one’s true self. This is truly bad as it leads to lying, which leads to distrust, which only furthers the stress of the individual. For example, refer to the article “Real Boys” by William Pollack. Imagine a boy who just lost in a fist fight (to another boy) over some girl. Instead of going to his friends for support, forces himself to suppress his emotions and hold off till he gets home to sulk in his own sorrow.
One of the most common fears among people world wide is the fear of rejection. Everyone wants to be accepted. Thus we (the students in this case) try to follow the unwritten code of conduct as best as we can. However, what about those who don’t meet and/or follow these rules and expectations? Unless they have a real tight knit group, the individual will get rejected. For example, once again refer to “Real Boys” by William Pollack. Suppose there was a boy who did not play any sports and was instead interested in the world of fashion and media. He may be made fun of by his friends and called a sissy. In the halls as he walks to class he may be pushed and bullied as kids yell out harmful names. As shocking as it sounds, this given situation is an example of a realistic scenario that has showed its cruel face in our schools.
Despite the number of positive vs. negative effects of our school’s unwritten code of conducts, we must come to a realization that this code is an absolutely necessary asset to every schools success. For a school is like a community. And we all know that in order to have a prosperous community we must all have somewhat of similar beliefs and values. If not, then there would be utter chaos and the community would no longer be able to function. However, what we must also learn is the fact that this “unwritten” code of conduct is simply a guide line. We must learn to be flexible about these rules and expectations we hold on others, and ourselves in order to achieve a functional community that does not restrict the given right to be true to one’s self.
"Real Boys" by the way was an artical given to us in the reading and responce section of the exam.