[A note from Dan Gibson: A month or so ago, I thought it would be interesting to let some of our more opinionated commenters have their turn posting on The Range. After all, in the words of today's participant, he's "only 16 and [he] can write a heck of a lot better than Gibson." So, here goes, completely unedited.]
BASIS SCHOOLS, NOT A BREEDING GROUND FOR ELITIST SNOBS
I am a student attending BASIS Oro Valley, a school often seen as a training facility for mindless drones that produces elitist breed individuals. Over the course of my time attending BASIS, the school has made it very clear that it wants all of its students to succeed and attend established facilities of higher learning. In fact, BASIS makes it their personal mission to see that all of their students have the chance to attend places of high academic scholarship. I can see how some view BASIS as an evil corporation that manufactures these overzealous individuals that serve the elite class. However, much of this ill will that many people have towards BASIS is a classic superficial, hasty generalization based off of social stereotypes that are formulated from hearsay. To really understand what BASIS is all about, one should visit and experience the environment the school presents. I will not lie, BASIS does have some incredible students of very high caliber, but it is not these few, select students who represent the true spirit of the school. During my first year at BASIS, the 9th grade English teacher told my class that if we want something, it's up to us to go out and get it; if we really want it, we will do anything to achieve it and that we are the only ones that can attain what we want. It wasn't until my second year that I really understood what he meant when he told my class how only we can go out and reach what it is that we aspire to have. I realized that BASIS isn't trying to make brutish highbrow young adults, but instead, determined, distinctive characters that will do anything to go out and seize what they want. It is these students, not the already successful students, the ones that push to succeed that highlight the true purpose and meaning of BASIS. Personally, I am not the most successful and model student that people would think of when they imagine BASIS. I have my strengths and weakness like many of my peers and like those who attend public school. But, what separates my fellow students and me from those students of other schools is our culture of a persistent attitude and longing to go out and make something for ourselves despite any perceived obstacles. While not all students that are in the public school system are plagued with a lack of dedication and drive, it is certainly a culture condoned by the schools in the public system, because of the minimum standards they set for achievement. I personally believe that it is this cultural resolution of the students of BASIS schools to go out and win something for themselves that shows the true spirit and purpose of BASIS, not to simply create mindless drones that can't think, act, or function in the world.
Andrew Wilford is a high school sophomore, attending BASIS Oro Valley.