The movie Accepted exemplifies many leadership qualities from various characters. The movie is about a high school student who did not focus on his grades and was doing poorly in school. When I came to apply to colleges and universities, he was denied admission to every single school. He was scared to admit to his family and other classmates of his reality, so he chose to create a made up institution called the South Harmon Institute of Technology. He and his friend found an abandoned property near his hometown and began to fix up and start the illusion of this school. The main character, Bartleby Gaines, and his friend show leadership in their journey to make the school.
Bartleby shows leadership through the entire movie. His first act of being a leader was in the creation of the school. Not only did he come up with the plan to make the fake school, but he also located a place to pretend where it is. His parents were very adamant about dropping their son off to his first day, forcing him to make a plan of where the school should be and making it all believable. With the help of his friends and other students who didn’t get into college, he made everyone come together and create everything from banners, dorm rooms, classroom, the dean’s office, etc to make everything believable. The next thing he did that showed leadership was finding and recruiting more people to join their school. From this he created real classes and organized groups that promoted learning. There are every type of non “normal” students at the South Harmon Institute of Technology. This includes a boy with ADD, an empty headed youngster, a punk music group, skateboarders, etc. All of these students were rejected because they do not conform or learn well in the normal classroom setting. Bartleby understood this and made interactive and hands-on classes which the students got to choose. They learned from each other which would never have happened without the leadership of Bartleby.
The next character that shows leadership in the movie would be Monica Moreland. She was a lead character in the movie and the love interest of Bartleby. She initially attended a atual school near the fake university but was very inclined to transfer. It was really until the ending of the movie that she showed real leadership when they were in the court pleading to make the school real. She chose to speak up from an outside perspective to try and save the school. She advocated for the unique learning styles and claimed that she loved being there. This was leadership because she did not need to set up. She had a perfect life at her actual school, with a good looking boyfriend, popularity, and doing well in school. She knew that she wanted change and to go to the South Harmon Institute of Technology.
The last character that showed leadership was Sherman Schrader. He went to a real university and was pledging with a fraternity at the beginning of the movie. He was very smart and helped Bartleby with many of the logistics of making the school seem real. This included making the website and finding the fake dean. Back at his university, he was seeming to be an outcast and a joke to many of the popular students. He showed real leadership when he chose to help with friends and the school when push came to shove. He chose supporting his true friends over being in with the popular fraternity boys.
When it comes to the education system of the South Harmon Institute of Technology, they used a hands-on approach to learning. The students were able to choose their own curriculum and learned things such as meditations and culinary arts. They did not learn things such as intro to business or calculus, making the learning only specific to their interests. I believe that this is a great idea in some respects. While I think it is important to have the more “boring” classes, making the classes more hands-on and unique to those students who are looking to have typically offered majors, I find it to be very smart. Our current education system has us taking many classes that may not apply. An example of this would be the requirement to take classical history class when you major in marketing. I believe that if we were to mix the many ideas from our current and from the movie’s strategies on learning, we would be able to make students more interested in doing well and really learning.
Overall, I found the movie Accepted to be a funny take on a reality many people experience. It highlights that we are all creative and that traditional education can push us into a box. There were so many examples of leadership throughout the entire movie. Bartleby led the whole idea and the student class into fighting to make it real. He inspired so many kids into supporting his cause and listened to them about their ideas for how it should be run. Monica and Sherman also showed leadership when they made efforts to help keep the school running and getting people to come together additionally. The schools were by far dysfunctional but the system would be very effective for those who don’t learn well under normal curriculum.