UNEducation

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When I was a child

my mother

and all my teachers

told me that I was "gifted". 

They said that I was brilliant,

had such potential, 

smarter than all the rest,

and that because of this, 

school would never be problematic. 

 

My teachers praised my high vocabulary, 

maturity and said I was well-read and 

adapted easily. 

Honesty and clarity,

they said. 

Well, guess what? 

I cheated on a first grade spelling test

because if you got a 100 you got a sucker. 

I got a 100 and I hated that sucker. 

It wasn't as tasty as if I'd earned it. 

But fuck, 

did I enjoy it. 

 

By the end of the fifth grade

I was no longer "gifted". 

I could feel the absense of praise

and glory and grandeur in by bones. 

My teachers, 

however, 

did not notice this. 

I became enamored with fiction and fantasy, 

art and liberal sciences and nature

all came alive to me. 

I loved fairies and earthkin, 

fae and goddesses unlike monotheistic patriarchs. 

I wanted to live in the creviced of great mountains

painting and gardening while I sang at the top of my lungs 

and cared for animals and lived with like minds

all discussing world issues 

while bringing peace and pacifism 

to a volatile world. 

 

No one noticed I had fallen out of love with a system

that took the flexible minds of today, tomorrow, and yesteryear

and dipped them in the liquid nitrogen of a system. 

And if they didn't freeze still they were broken,

splintered and shattered, 

convinced they would never succeed

because a one-size-fits-all plan

didn't fit them. 

And if you didn't fit at first, 

by god, 

did they try to make you. 

 

The American education system is like

a meat processing plant. 

They take students and force them

through a grinder so that they all

fit the sausage skin, 

prepackaged and never varying,

the same chain-link sausage you can by from Tennesee

to Wyoming,

still good, 

still the same. 

And if you were different, 

a kink in that chain, 

you were tossed. 

"No Child Left Behind" 

not even if they can't read

or write

or do basic math

or basic scientific understanding. 

Don't let their summer fruit egos bruise

because parents,

raised in that packing plant system

will complain. 

Why, that I, a parent

am raising a defect? 

Rather, 

why aren't you helping them

be normal? 

 

TO HELL WITH NORMAL. 

If I had known about Unscholing 

when I was confused and frustrated

by a system that has not worked for me in six years

I would have dropped my bags at the door of a new

and open life. 

I would have read the library inside and out 

when reading was alight like a passionate fire in my soul. 

I would have sat under a tree atop a cemetery hil and wondered

how many of the great minds

six feet under,

long since dust and bone, 

educated themselves to success? 

Because they didn't have shit like truency. 

They didn't have bullshit like standards for quality. 

 

Einstein didn't have a standard. 

Great minds and scientists

all of them

dropped out of the fucked up system

and said, 

"Everything I could ever need is right here." 

 

The best part? 

That's even more true today. 

Colleges offer free classes,

resources abound in the digital age,

colleges and Ivy Leagues are now just titles 

at the end of your name. 

MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN NAME. 

 

Do not pay $100,000 for an education

that you can get

taking classes 

online

for free

or better yet

by just being naturally curious. 

 

There is a boarding school in England

where kids are not required to go to class. 

They are allowed to play all day and night if they so choose. 

Why? 

Because kids have a natural hunger for knowledge. 

For the first few days they play and run around in the sunshine and 

joy overcoming... 

but after a while the sun refracting off the window piques their interest. 

Color theory is curiosity informed. 

Children wonder how fast you'd have to start running to vault the pole and yourself 

high over

without ever having physics forced down their throats. 

 

We kill that natural hunger 

by forcing people to eat the food of fodder. 

Artists' souls wither with tasks. 

It's the passionate waves of emotion, 

musical inspiration that creates greatness personified. 

 

And it's this wild and natural, 

and yet so very strange 

notion of education

that I full intend to follow. 

Because high school cannot teach you

how to love and live, 

save and savor. 

Life... 

only life's experience can provide that. 

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