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HIGH LIFE : Straight-A Students: How Do You Feel About Them?

April 30, 1988

Is it true that they all carry neatly organized notebooks and keep their pens and pencils in pocket protectors? That they wear thick glasses and have home computers?

Is it true that they all would rather spend the lunch hour in the library than outside in the fresh air? That they prefer the debate and chess teams to athletics and cheerleading?

Or, as happens with stereotypes, do we attribute those characteristics to straight-A students because we are jealous of their success? Or because we feel guilty for our lack of success or because we simply don't know how they do it?

Here are some responses to this week's hot topic: "What is your perception of straight-A students?"

"Straight-A students are like other people. Some are nice and some aren't."

--Amy Watt, 17,

junior, Dana Hills

"I don't really have a set perception. I know a lot of straight-A students and everyone is different from the other."

--Suzy Sullivan, 16,

junior, Dana Hills

"If they're cool, I like them. If they're the type who only talk to their calculus book, they're hurting."

--Darren Jacobs, 16,

sophomore, Foothill

"Gosh, I respect them. I wish I could be one."

--Amy Bailey, 16,

junior, Foothill

"The perception of straight-A students is beginning to change. People are slowly realizing that the successful adults in life were sometimes straight-A students."

--Angel Qualls, 16,

junior, Garden Grove

"Not being a straight-A student myself and realizing the discipline and the time involved in achieving my own grades, I really admire straight-A students. Getting an A in an academic course is one thing, but maintaining that grade for the duration of the course is commendable."

--Sharon Johnson, 17,

senior, Garden Grove

"A straight-A student is someone who can achieve his goals and feel proud of it."

--Jeff Brock, 18,

senior, Loara

"Straight-A students are people who absolutely cannot live without doing their homework, and they always get it done because they have nothing else better to do anyway."

--Lori Hutson, 17,

senior, Loara

"My perception of a straight-A student is not necessarily a nerd. A great majority of these students are very talented. They, more or less, know what they want to do or become. Desire to do this is their leading character. They have overcome laziness and now strive for their goal."

--Keith Dralka, 17,

junior, Mater Dei

"My perception of a straight-A student is someone who is always up-tight or too nervous about his grades to enjoy the finer things in life. He never has time for anything except school."

--Dave de Jesus, 16,

junior, Mater Dei

"They are smart. They feel insecure because people pressure them too much and stereotype them."

--Mai Nguyen, 18,

senior, Orange

"They are normal people who put their energies into getting A's instead of into other activities."

--Nimisha Gohil, 17,

junior, Orange

"They're some of the nicest people. They must study all the time, like every single minute of the day. They must not go out on weekends, either--that, or they're naturally smart."

--Lauri Becker, 16,

junior, Rosary

"Glasses and 20 billion pencils all sharpened . . . and they hang around with their own special crowd that is very noticeable."

--Ashli Ormsby, 16,

junior, Rosary

"Straight-A students are intuitive, disciplined, self-motivated, hard-working and active."

--Mike Albert, 17,

senior, Servite

"Being a straight-A student does not mean you can cheat your way to a 4.0--but achieve it through a state of dynamic action. Fighting for what you believe in with what you have learned (is important). Education is a tool, but it is worthless if it is not used. Earning good grades just for the sake of numbers and letters is ignorant."

--Ken Han, 17

senior, Servite

"They are socially unbalanced people. They don't have enough time to experience the other aspects of high school life. They spend all their time studying."

--Brian Rice, 18,

senior, Sunny Hills

"They're OK people. We've got to have some people who care and some who don't."

--Laura Shea, 17,

senior, Sunny Hills

"I can only respect them if they have a social life."

--Kerri Youngberg, 16,

junior, Troy

"These people are hard-working and diligent. They deserve the recognition for the grades they receive."

--Jenny Moon, 16,

junior, University

"There are two kinds: There are the people who work really hard to get good grades and there are the nerds. I respect the ones who work hard."

--Brady Jones, 16,

junior, Woodbridge

Next Week's Hot Topic: "At many high schools, finding a parking space is pretty difficult. How would you solve the problem of your school's overcrowded parking lot?"

Hot Topic responses gathered by Chris Bergerud (Dana Hills), Joanne Brooks (Foothill), Julie Cosgro (Garden Grove), Jane Kim (Loara), Tanya Diaz (Mater Dei), Monica Neal (Orange), Amy Burke (Rosary), Anthony DeFalco (Servite), Jennifer Moulton (Sunny Hills), Margaret Suchan (Troy), Rebecca Leung (University) and Rebecca Evans (Woodbridge).

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