Comprehension Beyond Advanced Placement

To go, or not to go—that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The International Baccalaureate
Or to walk away damaged and even insane
And by opposing just live. IAs, EE—
No more—and by IAs to say we need
The struggle, and the thousand criteria
That students must make. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be damned. IAs, EE—
EE—perchance to learn: ay, there's the rub,
For in that laissez faire what stress may come
When we have researched these four thousand words,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of the IB
For who would bear the whips and scorns of it,
Th' knowledge and care, the risks taken plus
The communication, the reflection,
The principles and thinking, inquiry
That open-minded balance might foster,
When they themselves might their loss of life make
With a heavy workload? That’d burdens bear,
To sweat and cry through these weary years,
But that the dread of something afterwards,
The life beyond the IB, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus IB does make fools of students,
And thus the native hue of intelligence
Is paled o'er with the darkness of despair,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this thought their sanity turn awry
And lose the name of smart.—Oh my lord,
The University!—Beautiful, accept me
And make my suff'ring worth it.

*IB = International Baccalaureate
*IA - Internal Assessment
*EE - Extended Essay

by Tylyn K. Johnson

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Tylyn K. Johnson is a socially-conscious writer from Indianapolis, IN. A Dean's Scholar and social work major at UIndy, he's published stories with Severance Publications and the Preservation Foundation. His nonfiction appears in Rigorous Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, and other publications. Find @TyKyWrites on Twitter, Instagram, and Medium.