Recess

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In elementary school, recess was the most important time of the whole day to us.

It was the only time when we could molt the classroom apparatus off of us and do what we wanted to do with no schedule, no work and no problems.

We could play kickball in the emerald green grass; we could play tag until the sweat made our clothes cling to our bodies

Or we could just simply sit down with friends and talk about what new fads were going on at the time.

Back in those days, our sense of time was askew, and recess was much shorter than our classes, despite being the same length as any other class,

But we didn’t know that,

All we knew was that we had to cherish the outdoors, to climb and swing and laugh and slide as much as we can because in a few minutes, we will be back in our artificial classrooms and nobody wanted that.

In those classrooms, we were nothing except the uniform drones that the teachers wanted us to be.

The inside of each classroom did not foster who we were, instead it only held us back via invisible chains while the teachers claimed to better us through education as if it were the white man’s burden in the age of imperialism.

I wanted to say something, we all did, but nobody was brave enough to take on the goliath that each teacher was to us, and instead, submitted to their orders and allowed ourselves to be told

“You’re not perfect” and “You think you know everything, but you don’t.”

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words hurt a lot more on the inside.

Almost every teacher we had told us what they wanted us to be and how to achieve it.

They never got it right and instead of fostering an individual development inside the child

They only scarred us and made us mentally distraught at the aspect that we are not special and our talents and skills are for naught.

That is why we appreciated recess, in our minds recess was rebirth.

A cleansing of the soul to allow us to hold our heads high and take whatever was said to us in bad manner to a grain of salt.

We didn’t want to be inside of that school where we were told that we were not allowed to have visions or dreams of how we wanted to live our lives.

But the outdoors meant otherwise, and as long as we were out there with the birds and squirrels and the accompaniment of friends we were okay.

As years went on unfortunately, the once innocent nymphs that we all were as children evolved into something we dreaded as we had seen in our older siblings, low-esteemed teenagers.

Every one of our teachers in elementary and middle school told us that high school was the crossroads of adolescence.

The time in our lives where we had to work hard and finally choose what we wanted to be for the rest of our lives.

That last statement could not be any more false,

It didn’t matter what we wanted to be, the teachers and counselors with their so-called experience slapped jobs onto us in the hopes of getting it right.

Once again, they never did.

One by one they manipulated us into thinking that they know best.

Which would allow us to succumb to their dark logic of not being able to live out who we want to be.

“Oh you want to be a writer, I don’t think so, you’ll find yourself much more comfortable being a professor.”

I don’t want to be a professor and I don’t want comfort.

I want challenges, I want independence, I want freedom, I want my individuality

And most of all, I want to choose my own paths.

I know that I may not be the most perfect person ever to live, and I may not be the best writer ever.

But you know what, I’m sick of people always telling me to look at the bigger picture and telling me to go down certain roads to achieve that bigger picture.

Whatever happened to the smaller, finer details that we simply take for granted nowadays,

If we can’t understand those details, how can we understand the bigger picture?

Like a small flower growing through the crack of a sidewalk in front of a huge company.

Despite the company’s success and physical size, the flower has more beauty and power than the company could ever hope to have.

That’s what we all were in the face of our superiors, flowers growing through the cracks of our education system.

Yet, the people who looked down on us saw us as weeds and tried to break us with the copious amounts of power they had over us.

But we pulled through, and you know why, because even though we were told that our dreams were “petty” and “unfathomable”

We related to one another, we understood the pain that others were going through.

Are some of our dreams a little crazier than others? Of course they are

But that should serve as no excuse for us to break down any of our passions and interests to the comfort of our superiors

Because what it boils down to in the end is who is able to make it through with their dreams still intact

And who simply gives up after being told that their dreams are all just a load of hooey.

Even though our superiors have told us that we are not perfect and constantly do things wrong, do not listen to them.

Of course some of us can do things better than others, but that should not deter anybody from seeing how far they could go with their better qualities.

I couldn’t do math very well and because of this I was scorned by my teachers for not applying myself enough.

I may not have been the best at math, but I showed everyone that my real talent lay in English and writing.

But even though I proved my worth in English the teachers still told me that math was something they needed me to work on and become better at.

Better? I will work hard and long at math, but my talent and heart lay in writing,

And if you can’t see that I’m much happier in writing than in math, then you might as well be teaching a fish to climb a tree.

More importantly, if you can’t see that you are much better with what talents you were given, then you need to find a better mirror my friend.

If you have a talent that you want to express, then by all means express it, but channel your passion properly to ensure the best possible result of you talents.

As Howard Roark from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead said “he does not achieve through other men nor for other men, he achieves through and for himself alone, then offers it to others.”

Say what you will about who I am and what my dreams are; just know that I will not give up my dreams because it makes other people uncomfortable.

I am a flawless individual, I am flawless because I know that in society I am flawed and fully recognize it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for recess.

 
 
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Comments

travisbederka

This was written with my days in elementary school in mind. When I was bullied not only by the students, but also by teacher for being what I wanted to be. But now that I have pulled through, I want to share this with other people so that they won't give up hope, like I almost did.

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