Well, first, highschool sucks. There's really no two ways around this, it's a pain in the butt. I've been out for over a decade, did a stint as a
teacher, and still agree that, at least for most students, it's not a fun time. (That doesn't prevent us older folk from reminiscing about our
"glory years" there, though. Selective memory loss is wonderful
That said, there's a lot of repitition in high school courses largely because the teachers, at least in public schools, have to teach to the lowest
common denominator. In English courses, for example, in most large school districts the teachers can't just assume that all of their students are
familiar with basic grammar rules (and I'm not talking about the "who"/"whom" rules, but things like "how do you make the past tense for a
verb"). When I was teaching French, I had a 4th year class in which slightly over half the students couldn't conjugate the present tense for the
(to be). Because of previous incompetent teaching, I had to spend several weeks going over verb conjugation.
So, lowest common denominator aside, are there other reasons?
Yep, standardized testing is causing a lot of re-hashing of information. The No Child Left Behind act had its heart in the right place, but it was
rather poorly implemented. Before this law, there were a lot of different cirruculae through the states, counties, and cities. Some were good, some
bad, but they were almost, and this is the important part, different. Some would teach algebra in 7th grade, geometry in 8th, pre calculus in 10th.
Others would combine calculus and physics. There was a lot of variety. With the No Child Left Behind act, though, the government imposed its own
vision of how education should progress, and so a lot of places had to go back and re-cover material just so their students would do well on the
Though it won't do you any good, this should get better as time goes on and the various curriculae consolidate around the NCLB.
Third, somewhat related to the first point, is that if you're a bright student, school often isn't challenging enough to keep you entertained unless
you work at it. This is as true in university as it is in high school, actually. Once you get beyond the "Do it because an adult said to" stage,
you really need to take the initiative to make learning something worthwhile to you. Teachers don't teach "up" to the brightest students in class
for a couple reasons:
1) The good: Teachers often feel that the brightest students are those that need the least help. This is, at least to a point, true. Above average
students can usually extract something valuable from a textbook, or other source, on their own whereas the lower end of the bell curve often needs
assistance to make information relevant and useful.
2) The bad: Bright students are scary. Don't get me wrong, they're exciting as well, but, just like hangliding, there's often a bit of an "oh
crap" moment when you realize what you're getting in to
We, none of us, want to look stupid in front of a crowd, and bright students make that a
much liklier possibility, so a lot of teachers tend to avoid the truly exceptional students.
So, if you've survived all that exposition, congratulations, you're having an even more boring day than myself
One thing I can say, to the both of you in this thread so far, is find a sympathetic teacher and see how they can help you. They'll know the school
system from the other side, and can maybe point you towards interesting programs or opportunities. They can also often help with getting you beyond
classes that are covering things you already know. If you're lucky enough to have a nearby university, see if your school has any sort of
dual-enrollment options, where you can take classes at the university and get both high school and university credit. My wife did this and ended up
getting her undergraduate degree about a year earlier than she otherwise would have.