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Oselett 1

Carter Oselett
Mr. Alwardt
AP Lang 5
29 October 2015

Facetious
Alexandra Robbins writes In an ideal world, high school would be a process of
exploration, about developing a knowledge base in various subjects and honing an assortment of
skills that a student could discover which paths he might like to pursue while easing into
adulthood. But, in todays achievement-oriented race toward perceived prestige, high school isnt
about learning any more than youth sports are about enjoyment. (295-260) in a neutrally
facetious tone. The author of Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids compares the
concept of a high school education to its actuality in a slightly sarcastic matter. The third word
of the passage, ideal creates the insinuation that the following scenario (in this case, that high
school is a process of exploration) rarely, if ever, occurs. The word ideal is also used in a
prepositional phrase: This phrase modifies the independent clause by using a preposition and a
noun. The complete phrase, In an ideal world, builds on the insinuation that the adjective
ideal creates while also including a more doubtful tone through the preposition in, since the
reader notices that they are not in that ideal world. Robbins also decided to use the
conditional tense while speaking of the possible contributions of an ideal high school situation.
Using the conditional verbs would and could, the tone of the passage becomes even more
uncertain and doubtful. By writing High school would be a process of explorationhoning an
assortment of skills that a student could discover (295) the reader only senses possible

Oselett 2
outcomes of the high school education program; comparatively, if the author were to use the
indicative tense, (High school is a process of explorationhoning an assortment of skills that a
student can discover), the passage is read far more promisingly. The author also writes
facetiously at the beginning of the second sentence. But, in todays achievement-oriented race
toward perceived prestige (295-260) Noticing the repetition of the p, r, and nasally
isound, one can infer that the author is mocking the goal of common day high schoolers.
Prestige is a very posh noun, often used as a title toward very respected and official people, not
everyday high school students. Although most of Robbins facetious writing is subtle, the last
phrase is quite blunt; High school isnt about learning any more than youth sports are about
entertainment. (260) It is a common stereotype that youth sports are neither exciting nor
eventful compared to the major leagues. There are no little league die-hard fans unless theyre
the family or friends of the children playing the sports, and having to sit through these youth
sport events can be boring an unentertaining. Alexandra Robbins compares the importance of
high schoolers learning to the entertainment of youth sports. By comparing the two, Robbins
supports an ongoing idea of her book: An idea that today, high schoolers dont need to learn, only
retain information. Over the course of her book, Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids,
Alexandra Robbins beautifully uses a facetious and relatable tone to convey her idea that
students become lost as just a number in the achievement-orientated and prestigious system of
high school education.