(Planet Me)
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
 
"Life, and how to live it."
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School failed me. It provided me little of what I needed to know. It taught me how to answer questions, how to complete exams. It taught me how to shut up, sit down, listen, BEHAVE. It was a worker factory. School taught me how to be an obidient, quiet, reliable worker. It didn't teach me anything I needed to know about the world. It taught me about Hitler – lots about Hitler – but nothing about the world.

What did school teach me that was important in how I live? Nothing. Fuck all.

School didn't teach me the important things in life. I'd love to know how to change a fuse (I can do it, but I am self-taught), and I would much rather have learnt that from someone who knew what they were talking about than making it up as I was going along.

School didn't teach me how to cook, which is a failure. I would like to cook every day, but school never taught me how to cook, let alone how to be good at it. I'm self taught at that, be glad I don't cook for you. I'm not very good at it.

School didn't teach me about human communication. About body language. About how people use words to lie and decieve.

School didn't teach me how to do the gardening. Didn't teach me first aid. Didn't teach me anything much at all.

School didn't teach me anything I actually needed. It taught me how to pass exams so the school would get funding for the following years. It taught me about how to ask where the swimming pool is in French.

School didn't teach me morality, or ethics. It didn't teach me how to be a thoughtful human being. It didn't teach me how to be a good parent, or a good person. I learnt that by trying to not

School didn't teach me, for example, even the basics of economics. It didn't teach me about debt. It didn't teach about tax. It didn't teach me about the difference between net and gross. It didn't teach me anything about money. This is one of the biggest thefts there is. School taught me nothing worth knowing. Sure, It taught me about isoceles triangles, but who in their right mind uses that with any regularity?

School taught me nothing of any use in my day to day life, such as how to value myself, how to defend myself, how to use language to achieve my goals. School gave me Just Enough Education to Perform, enough to do, but not enough to think. School existed to train how to use machinery and ideas to be a valuable worker, but taught me nothing of how to be who I wanted to be, how to live my ideals, or about the purpose of life. What is the point of being alive? What is the purpose? Why are we here? School treated these questions as if they simply did not exist at best, at worst as useless baggage to be shoved out of the mind as soon as possible in favour of the ever pushing demands of sleep-work-eat. School taught me nothing about the underlying basis of our society ; about capitalism and control, power and debt, money and muscle.

You could argue that that is the job of a parent, but if your parents are either oblivious, unwitting, or simply inattentive, then they've failed at that, and you can't sack your parents and start again. School failed to teach me a whole bunch stuff that would have been quite useful in my life. I trusted as a child that school would teach me who and how to be, which it did not do, and it betrayed me in that sense. I'm not angry or bitter,more aware – and desperately keen to make sure my children do not make the mistakes I did. School taught me how to be a worker : not how to be a good person making the world a better place.

It taught me to pass exams, not how to life and how to live it.


Comments:
so, how do you choose the curriculum for what schools should teach you? How do you decide the syllabus? Is every kid the same?
I'm not defending the school system.... but there lots of observations on how school failed you here. How about some constructive suggestions?
Dammit. You're making me sound like a teacher.
 
so, how do you choose the curriculum for what schools should teach you? How do you decide the syllabus? Is every kid the same?
I'm not defending the school system.... but there lots of observations on how school failed you here. How about some constructive suggestions?
Dammit. You're making me sound like a teacher.
 
Curriculum? I would have suggested something practical - not maths, but economics : cooking and practical skills such as how to change a plug (instead of woodwork) : instead of PE allow musical instruments : classes on philosophy and ethics instead of geology - etc, etc. Not every subject needs to have an examination at the end of it!
 
but why do you need someone to teach you how to cook? I've never been taught and I get along. You've taught yourself how to change a fuse, which is great. Why not seek out other stuff too? If you can think of it, you can find out how to do it. Why are you sitting back and expecting someone to come along with the answers to everything you need out of life? That's what I mean by curriculum... not that there should be a test at the end, but if the current syllabus taught at schools is inadequate, then who the hell decides what is appropriate? The only things you need in life are a bit of intellectual curiosity, a desire to ask questions and the ability to learn from your (and other people's) mistakes. In the immortal business parlance of the business classic "Who Moved My Cheese", you seem to be waiting for someone to deliver the cheese to you and are complaining that it is the wrong cheese without offering any information about what the right cheese might be, nevermind showing any inclination to go and look for it yourself!
 
I have sought out and done most of the other stuff, but its more that I think school overall did not fulfill its responsibility to me to kit me out for life : of course, nothing I can do about it now, but at the time, I knew nothing of these things, so did not know what I was missing or needed to know until I realised I should have known it and didn't. An 8 year old has no idea about these things!
 
The point is that whatever they teach at school, they can't possibly prepare you for the life you're going to lead. And even if they could, would you have listened and taken it all in? Honestly?
That's why they call it the University of Life, sunshine!

I'm not saying schools can't and shouldn't be better, or that we shouldn't be demanding it.... it's just that universal perfection is impossible. The only person who lives your life is you. We all have to fill in the gaps as best we can.

Apologies for sounding like a really long-winded fortune cookie.
 
I think I would have listened to at least some of it, cooking would've bored the hell out of me, but I would've taken to stuff like wiring, electrics, plumbing and stuff like that like a duck to water. I just think there are a whole bunch of mistakes I made that I didn't need to simply because school taught how to pass exams, not how to live.
 
On the other hand, there's this : http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/pupils-must-learn-work-bullshit-2013090379091
 
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