Z: The High School Years…

A different sort of post today. Thought I’d like to share a bit more about myself and given the current situation it is facing, let’s talk a bit about my high school life- Benson Polytechnic High School. As the name implies, it’s a technical/vocational magnet school of sorts and the only way to be admitted was to have a high GPA in middle school and write an essay (more/less like college)… however, thanks to the retarded No Child Left Behind law in 2002, the school was forced to accept all students based on a lottery selection. I think I was literally the last student to apply for admission through the old method (I applied HS at the very very last minute…  long after the deadline). The school is now only a mere shadow of what it used to be and dying a slow horrible death thanks to politics, a pathetic board of education, and a principal who is deliberately trying to shut down the school. Anyway, there’s an annual Tech Show at this school and this year is probably the last I’ll ever see so thought I’d pay a visit after all these years…

This school provided one of the best academic experience I ever received. Aside from the normal school stuff like English, Math, History, etc. all students were required to major in a technical (automotive, manufacturing, electronics, computer science, etc.) or health occupational field with a certain GPA. I graduated with a major in “Micro Computers Technology”. Fact: this school has way more equipments and parts than the school of engineering at the private university I went to…

The electrical classrooms where the students learn how to wire houses and such…

Injecting some older pictures that I took years ago.

wall-sized flight simulator and seat I supposed… built in-house!

The only electronics class left I think. The other rooms have been shut down already. It was fun learning how to solder circuits together and make LEDs light up… or frying various parts with the soldering iron.

Robo sumos duking it out…

Micro Computers Technology (MCT)… where I used to sit around and do nothing learn how to use obsolete technology like installing Windows using floppies, setting up networks, building computers from scratch, working with MS-DOS, Linux, and the other fundamentals of computers. My four years goes something like this:

Freshman- five technical intro courses: manufacturing, automotive, communications, electronics, drafting

Sophomore- Construction, Automotive, Electronics, MCT

Junior and Senior- MCT 3/4 (major)

It seems like the computer science program is gone…

Construction technology. I took this class in my sophomore year for a term and learned how to use those industrial machines whose name I have forgotten already haha. The only memories I have left of it at home is a helicopter and a cutting board I made from scrapes of wood. Wish I could keep the doghouse that my team built too…

The automotive wing. The school has like six garages where the students learn how to tear down a car and put it back together. Took an intro course here for a term… learned how to change oil, wheels, flat tires, diagnostics, tear-downs, technical car stuff and how to steal Hondas… kidding about the last part. My shop car was an Acura Legend.

If you loved cars, you would’ve probably majored in Automotive.

We even have a fully operational Ford Model T. Riding in it made me feel glad for the technology we have in cars today…

Don’t know how they managed to get their hands on one of these but… sweet.

There was also an aviation class.

Drafting. Designing buildings and stuff like that with AutoCAD and the likes.

too technical for me haha…

Manufacturing shop. Plastic molding I think. Yea… it’s ancient technology (I think dated back to WWII) but they are still in great shape! Never had a class here though sadly… I could probably have developed a sense on how to make my own Gunpla.

Machine Technology. I made a screwdriver and C-Clamp here here before ^^. This high school was a factory back in the days of the wars hence it got all these shops and machines for students to play around with. Didn’t get to cover the rest of the technical fields as they were already shut down (or I didn’t get to in time) so let’s move on to the Health Occupation side..

The nicest thing about this school is that if you happened to cut off your finger in a manufacturing shop then they can just take you straight to the Health Occ. wing and give you immediate treatment to save the finger haha… luckily, no one has tried that during my times there though.


Main reason I didn’t go the HOSA route- can’t stand looking at such things for long.

HOSA kids at work. Not sure about the specific majors they have in their section ^^;.

Attending this school made ma a bit shortsighted in a way though. As my courses were all technically-focused, the only apparent college path I could see myself going was Engineering… but I’ll save the college talk for another day. *sigh* Now the school is slowly being stripped of its programs and budget and eventually, be closed down. Instead of a a regular HS, it will become just a two-year program offering only its vocational classes… and then it will most likely shut down from lack of attendance because it will be impractical for HS students to travel to two different schools to take courses (it’s really obvious if you live here). Sad really… how a school lasted through two World Wars just to go down like this. Rest in peace, Benson. Thanks for the valuable education you’ve provided me and others so far.

How was your high school life like? Did you enjoyed it or looking forward to it being over?

(Haha just noticed how this coincide with Danny Choo’s “Japanese High School” post)


44 thoughts on “Z: The High School Years…

  1. Orz
    your polytechnic is like >9000 compared to the one where I am studying right now…
    how do I enrol?

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