Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I iz bein edumacated

I just watched a video on YouTube...

The person that makes these videos is often kinda inflammatory and hateful in their approach, HOWEVER, good points are made a lot of the time, and that is why it peaks my curiosity when videos from this channel pop up in my subscription list.

It inspired me to write about my experience with education, so here I am.
I, like so many of you, went to public elementary, junior, and high schools. Now, before I went to school, I had this grand idea of how great school would be; I couldn't wait to soak up the knowledge like the sponge that I was. Let's just say that after kindergarten, it didn't live up to any of my expectations. I found comfort in libraries because I could read what I wanted to read and not the bullshit boring crap they were giving me at school!
Flash forward to high school, or rather, 8th grade. I was stoked to go to high school, I thought that finally I would start learning more interesting things.


You know what I learned in high school? I'll tell ya.
History is dreadfully dry and yawn-inducing, even when the teacher is a comedian.
Math makes no sense whatsoever.
English is cool - but only when I am able to be creative in my writing, otherwise, it's a chore.
Gym class is a great opportunity to sneak in a few smokes while walking on the track.
Lunch period is good for socializing and that's about it - the food in the cafeteria would make all our grandmothers collectively roll in their graves.
I learned that marijuana and mushrooms were not at all like the propaganda we were all fed. Fortunately I stuck to believing that synthetic hard drugs weren't worth finding out about, regardless of the propaganda lies.

I did love my music classes though. I was lucky and I had a Mr. Holland's Opus kind of music teacher. I could sing half decent, but musical theory eluded me. Reading music notes was not easy for me, and I never did catch on, hard as I tried.

They aren't kidding when they say public school is all about memorization. Personally, the only thing I've ever been good at memorizing is songs I like to sing. So I suppose that's a good thing - memorizing was against everything in me, and because of my rebellious nature, I found ways to scrape by in school without succumbing to their sheep creating ways. By my senior year, I was far more interested in making art, listening to music, going to concerts, hanging out with my friends, crushing on boys, visiting the city, and smoking pot.
It all sounds very debaucherous, I know... But you know what? I learned a lot more from living my life and being empathetic to others than I ever did in those depressing classrooms.
I graduated in 1994 and chose to work for a year to save money before going to the Art Institute of Boston. I attended for one year. Many aspects of it I enjoyed, and I did learn better techniques than what I had taught myself. But, there was still memorization involved here, namely with the required Art History class I had to take. I dropped the class halfway through the first semester. I didn't have time - nor the lame minded ABILITY to memorize all these useless dates and names! I didn't plan to become an art historian or teacher, so I felt it shouldn't have been a requirement. I wanted to finish my four years, but now that I know more about the federal reserve, banking, and credit, I am really glad I dropped out when I did. That was 12 years ago, and I still owe money on that loan. Believe me, they aren't kidding when they say you need that degree to get decent work. Employers in creative fields won't touch your portfolio without that $40,000 piece of paper with your name in calligraphic letters across the front. And, from what I understand from folks with degrees, it doesn't always guarantee you a good paying job. I did manage to find myself in luck as far as art education goes - I worked as an artist model for 4 years at all the best art schools in Philadelphia. They essentially paid me to sit there quietly and learn - but in a different way than the students. I observed the work being done and the interactions between students and professors, as well as my interactions with them. I learned a great deal, and made a lot of great friends and contacts, and my art has benefited from all of that. And I don't owe a damn thing to anyone, except gratitude to the people I met and learned from.
The "system" just simply doesn't work for people like me. From birth I was never really able to be controlled.I was good at pretending to follow the rules, but I was very rebellious! They had me with television for a while - I will say I believed the bigger lies growing up, I thought if it was on TV it must be true and wonderful. But, I snapped out of a lot of that as I got into adulthood, and now - ain't nobody fooling me anymore. I feel like my life until now has been sabotaged by major aspects of society I never agreed with, and did my best not to go along with. I am a thinking person, and thinking people don't get the top jobs, they get the bullshit. Now, I've been creative and talented since I was a kid, always drawing, painting, doing all kinds of artistic things. But what I have learned over the years is that working for other creative people often causes conflicts. Many of us creative types are flaky. I have encountered a few times, situations where my talents and labor were being used for far less than what they are worth. Hell, I even got paid with a 35 dollar bag of marijuana by my boss at a sign painting place - because he spent the business money on coke and jagermeister. He actually owed me about $400 at the time. Another boss hired me to create a website for her. She had me working the retail aspect of her store while squeezing in some web design work; and paid me the retail clerk rate of $7 an hour. I'm kinda glad I've had some flaky bosses because it has strengthened my work ethic and showed me what NOT to do if and when I have my own business!
I have held quite a few corporate jobs as well and in no uncertain terms, THEY SUCK. They don't belong on a peaceful planet where people treat each other with respect. I will never be a slave for them again. I could be an art model for the rest of my life and be happy with that. It's mutually beneficial for all involved, including me - not in spite of me. But, the desire to utilize my creativity burns deep within me, and this is part of why I write. The other part is to hopefully teach whoever comes upon my writings by way of telling my thoughts and stories.

In conclusion...
By society's standards, I suppose they would consider me useless since I didn't allow my brain to be trained for memorization. As a result of that, I don't have that expensive diploma, and no high paying kushy job with health insurance and all that other illusory bullshit. But I also don't have four years of debt. No credit cards. Just 2k worth to pay off sometime before I die.

I may not have a lot of that fake money they've been trying to get me to chase, but I've got a good, thinking head on my shoulders, a relatively strong body, and a creative fire that many will never experience for themselves. I'll be around for a while yet, and laughing at them - as their injustices for so many years to so many people causes them to fall, and fall hard.

Who's got the dunce cap now, bitches?

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Agreed, although I've always done well at critical analysis type stuff, so most of my college courses come easily (even history, which I haven't had to memorize one date for anything yet). Problem-solving skills and the knowledge of how to go about things are the important things. I've spent the last six years in self-education and am now getting it done formally... I'm more prepared for college than anyone coming right out of highschool.