A Standardized Experience

Hi there! My name is McKenzie Myers, and I am a senior studying psychology and English at Tusculum University. I am also part of the honors program, and my extra curricular activities this year include being an RA, Bonner leader, teacher’s assistant, intern for the campus’s Center for Civic Advancement, and I am also a peer tutor for English, psychology, and study skills. I was born in Augusta, GA, and lived there very briefly, but I was raised in Sevierville, TN, so I consider myself to be Appalachian.

Growing up, I attended a largely Christian-influenced public elementary school before graduating on to a public high school that was hardly influenced by religion: Sevier County High School. Upon graduating high school, I began attending Tusculum University, which makes me the first person in my family to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at a university.

As a person who took part in the U.S. public education system, I have experience in studying for, dreading, and completing standardized tests. My first memory of doing so, I believe, was in the first grade when we were made to do the T-CAPS. What I remember from that first experience is having difficulty filling in the bubble answers without marking the rest of the sheet, having to stay still, keep my eyes on my test, and be quiet for a long time. Of course, those four things are foreign and uncomfortable for young kids, but the behavior was enforced and it was something we had to get used to. Later on in education, it would be clear to me that this form of behavior was the norm for testing. At the time, it was something I hated simply for the fact that I loathed being told what to do, just as I do today. In a way, that shock of behavior control helped set the stage of how I think of the education system now: it is cold, distant, and inconsiderate.