The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

I Was a Lifelong Extroverted Student. Then They Made Me Do Kagan.

I+Was+a+Lifelong+Extroverted+Student.+Then+They+Made+Me+Do+Kagan.

Peerawut Ruangsawasdi

Staff Writer

If there’s one thing my The Beet peers will tell you about me, it’s that I am pretty quiet. In the words of The Beet editor Samuel Wolffied, I am “as quiet as B311 during Lunch and Learn since they restricted Spotify.” However, historically speaking, that has not always been the case. So, what went wrong, exactly? 

I entered the Alexandria City Public Schools system in the 2018-2019 school year. I was outgoing, even though I was faced with the monumental task of adjusting to a whole new environment. My involvement in activities was through the roof.

Then one day, during third period English 9, it was announced that we were going to do Kagan activities. How exciting! We got to engage in fun activities instead of reading The Odyssey for the 1000th time. 

Then reality hit me. 

“Kagan teaches strategies to teachers to encourage engagement among all students in class,” said Biology teacher Tiffany Barner in 2019. “I enjoy using Kagan structures because no student can hide.” 

Well, we started with Rally Robin. Indeed, none of us could hide or escape. We were then, more or less, forced to share our favorite song. Since I was the one closest to the Bruce Springsteen poster, I went first.

“Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah,” I said. 

There was total silence. Apparently, no one at my table cared for music, had heard of the song, or had seen “Shrek.” Or if they had, they didn’t care enough to share or chime in. It got more awkward as we waited for my two minutes to pass.

Then the second person went, and then the third, the fourth, and finally the fifth.

But there was no baffled king composing Hallelujah. Instead, there was the most cringeworthy moment of our lives. Unfortunately, the awkwardness didn’t stop there.

 What followed was something even more cringeworthy. Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up prompted students to do exactly what the name suggests. Obviously, in the era of COVID-19, that activity has practically ceased to exist. However, prior to the era of “New Normal,” this was quite the norm in many classes, including this one. 

“My favorite movie is ‘Shrek Forever After,’” I said.

“I hated that movie,” said the other person. 

Well, at least he commented. Then we waited for the longest two minutes of the whole school year. 

Granted, my experience is quite universal, so it is not surprising that the segment of the student body that has experienced Kagan-based activities seems to either tend to overshare or not share at all. I have chosen the latter path. I don’t know if it is the wiser one, but I know that it is the right path for me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Kagan has destroyed all our great young minds, but I hope that if it is still in place, necessary steps are taken to limit cringeworthy instances. Perhaps reduce the duration of each activity?

Photo by Peerawut Ruangsawasdi

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I Was a Lifelong Extroverted Student. Then They Made Me Do Kagan.