Friday, February 14, 2014

Just Doing What They Told Ya

I knew I was going to homeschool my kids at an age when I had already decided I'd never have any kids.
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As I sat in some random classroom. Beneath the fluorescent lights. Being encouraged to memorize some useless bullshit that would be forgotten as soon as the next test was completed. 
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As I sat on a wooden desk scrawling curse words into it with the razor blade I stole from biology class. The same razor blade I used to slice my calf open in my bathroom one day. Not because I wanted to die. But because I wanted to know what it felt like. The coolest thing about it was seeing how deeply a straight razor can cut when you just slice the fuck out of something. Not slowly. Not meticulously. Not surgically. Just straight out, fast, slice. And suddenly, you see this white shit beneath your flesh that you never saw when you dissected the stupid frog.  Fascinating. 
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I knew children didn't belong in school when my Spanish teacher threatened to give me detention for wearing cut-off jean shorts that were a bit too short. It was, apparently, a distraction. Her calling me out of class to tell me this was the true distraction. Me wrenching my fingers on the side of the shorts and ripping them all the way up to my ass was an even better distraction. Asking her "What now, bitch?"  Was the best distraction of all. 
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In-school suspension. The best joke of them all. 
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Watching them try. Try and try. What will get through to her? Let's go further. Let's try something else. Let's take something else away. Let's send her to school in the summer. Let's fail her. 
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When you're dealing with someone who truly cares about absolutely NOTHING within that brick facade of education, the more you take away, the more you punish, the more you "challenge," the angrier that someone becomes. You want to fuck with me? Well. Fuck you. I'm done. Goodbye. Have a nice fucking life, assholes. 
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I didn't want kids then. I never did. But I knew children did not belong in school. I knew there was something detrimentally wrong with it. I wasn't quite sure what it was, but I knew it's original purpose had been lost, twisted, disfigured over years of mixing true learning in a blender with words like "curriculum" and "standards" and coming up with a thick, green, soul-killing experience that taught me the truest definition of the word hatred I have ever felt. 
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I was not bullied in school. I was never abused. In fact, I had teachers who loved me. A lot. A few I actually liked. I did well in school. I had a perfectly normal (most of the time) home life. I was never relegated to the geek lunch table. I was never the girl who was ignored. The only time I ever failed any classes was when I did it on purpose. 
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I hated school for a very simple, almost laughingly simple, almost indescribably simple reason. Because I was forced to go. Because there was no knowledge in it. I saw no purpose in it. The only lessons I learned during those 10 years were cultural ones, societal ones, lessons on the failure of the system, the death of learning, and that the easiest way to kill a child's love of learning is with a #2 pencil and a textbook. 
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I knew then. In kindergarten. In 2nd grade. In 5th grade. In 8th grade. In 10th grade. That school, education as we know it today, in all its forms, was wrong in every single way it could possibly be wrong. Every single thing schools, the government, the faculty, the board of education did to try and fix the wrongness merely created more wrongness. And fixing it could not happen without destroying it altogether and replacing it with a form of learning that only a few brave human beings on this planet have any concept of, are willing to implement, and who know that it works.  
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This is the hammer that built by soapbox today. 
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The answer is so simple. 900 hours. NINE HUNDRED HOURS OF YOUR CHILD'S LIFE. Gone. Every year you pack them off to school and watch them walk through those double doors and into a building full of protocol and concepts that are not, and were never, created to teach a child to learn or to teach a child to love learning. But formed, fashioned, by hand, by purposeful thought and abstraction all in the same breath, to turn your child into another brick in the wall of a country whose walls are now crumbling around us, a country whose invisible box we cannot escape because the concept of thinking outside of it is now dead. 
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