"To be great is to be misunderstood." ("Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emmerson.)
The average person at school does their homework and study's the night before the test in order to squeeze by and come out with some kind of high C or B, occasionally an A. This is accomplished through countless hours of daydreaming and just getting by until the bell rings. Using this method, the notes are then read over and partially memorized in order to remember them just long enough to get through the test. This attitude of today, which I am not ashamed to be guilty of, is very harmful to our society. The people that we read about and are tested on are the exact opposite of us. These people came up with these ideas while doing the same things that we SHOULD be doing. If we retained the same attitude, we would be using their ideas so that we could publish our own. Instead we read the material, have it clarified in class, and then memorize it for a short period of time. If we were really learning, our essays and short answers would require some type of clarification for the teacher not just puking out what the writer has already said. When we first attempt the reading we do not understand exactly what the person is trying to say and we might not ever know what the writer is truly saying... so why are we wasting time on memorizing it? Not only us as students but even Mr. Connell (no offense) could be absolutely, ridiculously, incorrect. The only way greatness can be achieved is if you produce a thought that no one has yet thunk (how awesome is that). This is greatness because if some one has not thought of it yet, then they could misunderstand it. But if everyone tries and think about it then we have a million different misunderstandings of my thought. Each of these misunderstandings could lead to cool new thoughts, and its like a chain reaction but in a very good way.