An Inner Push
More and more I feel inclined to fight for education! I’ve checked out three books from the library, and it was a gamble, but fate led me to three books about free schooling and the problem of urban schools! I feel so happy and excited and alive when I read these things. I guess it was meant for me to miss out on science camp as a counselor this year*.
The books are really old. They were published well before I was born, but the concepts are still applicable to current times; I would say even more so than in the past. I’ll be honest, some of the text is boring when things like how the state comes is in concerned. I kind of just want to jump right into the personal stories. And I don’t know what I want to do with these books. While my peers feel and express in our secret groups the disdain we have to conventional education, I feel alone in the fight for democratic schools. Most people, especially my parents, are too content with cursing behind closed doors rather than voicing their opinion. I sometimes wish that I didn’t feel this tugging, this constant yearning telling me that this is what I need to do.
If you think about it, it’s not normal. I feel so alienated. I still like art, but that’s on hold because this sudden desire is so strong. And c’mon, who says, “Mom, Dad…when I graduate from high school, I want to be an activist for democratic education. I want to end the tyrannical reign of conventional schools.” Or what about this, “When I’m older, I want to travel around the world on humanitarian crusades for the Peace Corps.” And like I stated, I like art, but I often would seriously tell my Mom that I want to make art and own my own art gallery. Today, I told my friends that maybe I’d be a vagabond for a while so that I can clear my head and gather my thoughts about education. Be an autodidact. I worry my U.S. History teacher because I confessed to him that I don’t want to go to college at all. I’ve got other things in mind.
My Mom worries that I won’t make money, and she encourages me to instead pursue my interest in psychology so that I can “make big bucks” or “buku money”, although I really think that’s a variation of “beaucoup”.
Anyway, I’m rambling. In school students are being drilled on “bragging rights questions”, for the “bragging rights test”. Yes, more standardized testing – the CST. My principal freaks out every year finding booklets to copy out of the arse. It’s annoying because these tests don’t matter other than to make the school “look good” and be eligible for a certain amount of funds, despite the fact that my school is poorly facilitated and lacks sports, art, music and other fundamental programs. She keeps saying that colleges look at these things when technically they don’t – not for us personally anyhow. I’m sure these colleges skim over that to see how good we are at remembering useless facts, excuse me, “critical reasoning”, but it’s not a critical factor for college acceptance. And you know what I thought? Why doesn’t our principal borrow SAT & ACT booklets from students who own them, copy those and let us study for those with our teachers? You know, since college is so important and all, why not?
Schools are Prisons.
Free the Students.
These are my slogans. These are my guns. And I’m sticking to them.
URBAN EDUCATION: Crisis or Opportunity?; Written by Sheldon Marcus & Philip D. Vairo
Starting your Own High School: The Story of an Alternative High School by the Elizabeth Cleaners Street School People
Free the Children: Radical Reform and the Free School Movement; Written by Allen Grauthbard
*Outdoor Science School information.