Monday, June 15, 2015

My Refusal

by MurkScribe

I find specialized high schools and the elite education systems to be dysfunctional and soul crushing. Reading William Deresiewicz critique on the Ivy  League education system resonated and spoke out to me about my past depression and feeling of self-worthlessness. I have been basing my self-worth and my self esteem on my grades, my achievements in class, and what people expected of me, including my parents.

I guess jumping through hoops all the time in my life gave me a feeling of drifting and loss of motivation in some ways, and a sense of me losing my independent thought and the inner human. Even though I do not come from an affluent background, my parents raised me with Korean values that rather put me in a situation where I earn their love and trust through jumping through hoops. If I didn't jump, I was beaten; put my hands up against the wall and stand there for hours until my arms couldn't move, told by my parents and aunt that I was filthy and lazy.

Now today deep inside I feel a hollowness in my heart, and yet I feel pushed by my parents and by school staff and kids to be pushed unto the college to work conveyor belt. I reject this; I spit it out. My older sister's recent mental breakdown was triggered by her going to college, something that she worked and sacrificed her sanity over during high school. She built a resume for herself and put in community service for the sake and purpose of job security and social prestige. But she was missing something in her life and she broke down, because of her feeling of self worthlessness and feeling lost.

This is a disturbing to me. I wish to no longer become a part of this. In fact I want the system to burn in a flame in one flash. Soon I will leave school, and try to escape from the system. I don't want to become a part of a system that churns out broken people.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

There's life outside school...FIND IT.

By Jorge Correa
Hansgrohe on School Survival
[Editor's note: School Survival is a support site for young people who hate being forced to go to school

You know, I actually was planning on publishing this way back in October 2013. But I decided to hold back, because I was just 16 years old back then. Really, one thing I knew back then was that I really didn't know anything at all. I was suffering a pretty bad depression and in a stagnant state. A lot of shit has happened ever since that fateful August afternoon I joined School Survival. A lot.

There are 2-3 things that I see when people come on here for the first time, the hood itself:

  • They're depressed as all hell, because they know they have to put up with a broken, shitty, out-of-date "education" system every day of their lives, and it's even worse in the summer, because they know that their release program is about to come to an end, and the crap resumes, with no end in sight.
  • They're so angry that they have to be in this system. They want to rebel. They want to destroy it. This can range from drawing dick jokes in the textbooks to actually seriously considering bringing a weapon to school, because when your rights are never awarded until you reach that magical age of 18, it wears on your goddamn mind.
  • Both.

I'm not sure whether this'll be some weird motivational post that doesn't have a long term effect. I can't really say your life will get better immediately, because I have no idea of your circumstances, and I can't judge. What I do know though, for sure, is that you're going through the struggle. We all are here, whether we're forced into a shitty-ass low-funded school (like I was), or one of those rich-as-shit fancy school districts with separate testing facilities. We've all faced terror and trauma from the schooling system. That's what I know, because why else are you here on School Survival?

What I can do, while you still walk the valley of boredom on a daily basis, is tell you the facts. It's been over 2 years since I first joined School Survival. A lot has fucking changed. A lot. What I've learned is...

-You're going to change. This is a fact of life. Your opinions on life, politics, the world, etc are all going to change within a 2 year period. You're going to see events that make you see the world in an entire new light. This is guaranteed.

-You can't expect change to come to you. You have to make change happen. For example, back in January 2014, I was lost, depressed, and I was coming into a realization I liked some popular girl. What did I do? I tried, damn it, and to my credit, I actually succeeded to an extent. I mean, the whole experience was one hell of a ride, but I learned a LOT of things from January-June 2014. Was it worth it? Hell yes. I know that never could've happened if I didn't try. You're going to hear it all the time, and it's true. I remember I felt so fucking empty from the summer of 2012 all the way until very late 2013, because I just let everything pass me by. Actually, I even embraced it, before it all crumbled.

-Fear is often the biggest obstacle we have to get through. I've learned that this sort of relates to my above point. We're scared to try new things, we're scared to take on new risks. You know what School Survival is about? Taking risks. You're taking a risk right now reading a post on a blog that is all against factory model education. However, the risks I'm talking about are the real ones - no, not the stupid ones like getting drunk and high - I'm talking about genuine risks that can turn into real life fucking experiences. Again, I could've just caved in, and accepted that I could never get a girl to like me. But no. I had balls. One thing that I remember is that sometimes, you have to strike out, badly. It's a necessary evil. We learn from our mistakes and our misfires, and what do we do? We improve on them. How the hell are you going to get to the next level if you don't even go to uncharted waters? You can't.

-New ideas and experiences are so, so liberating. Trust me. Once you get yourself immersed into a new phase of life, it's just going to feel so goddamn amazing. It's like going into a shower and just washing yourself clean, and then getting out, and just saying "aaahhhh". That's how beautiful change can be.

-It's all gonna come to an end one day. You're not gonna be stuck in school forever. You're going to be a free person one day. One day, think about it - you'll have your own car, place, food, job, interests, perhaps partner, friends, plans, etc. You're going to have ALL OF THAT. I know it's hard to wait until graduation (unless you convince your parents school is evil), but trust me, your day will come. Just hold on, please. Play some cheesy inspirational music or something. I'll link Eminem's "Lose Yourself" at the end of the post.

I think I'm done speaking. I hope this post has helped somebody. I've been through 2 years of school knowing that it was all bullshit - and I've been through many more years shedding tears. I'm a soldier, and trust me when I say I've seen everything life can throw at you. Carry on, soldier. Once you realize it, you are the one that controls your destiny (well, individually, at least).

I've spoken my piece.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

This Is Not Okay

Adults find it easy to dismiss the kids who say they hate school, because taking them seriously would mean seriously rethinking what we put them through.

Catalyst Learning Network is listening.