I don’t know what it is about highschool or the people you meet there, the classes you take or the pain you inevitbaly go through trying to understand the handbook of how to fit in, the one that nobody ever wrote out, at least not in my school, and the one that silently dictates the majority of friendships and cliques.
My point in this blog post is to in fact bash the way we do things. It is meant to say that we are ill-prepared for what lies ahead of us as we continue to feed a broken system that leads to broken spirits, broken character and a mind filled with shit that will never matter except to only those that find pride in knowing pointless facts. Let me be a bit kinder, facts that alone do not yield innovation or change.
For almost 18 years we spend time in a broken and flawed system, one that goes against the spirit of human nature. We are told in countless ways to blend, to not exist and to hide who we are.
Wear this so that you’re cool. Say this so that people don’t make fun of you. Do this so that you get an A.
Never in my life since those days have I ever reflected on a greater waste of man’s time. God has given us life. We are able to to achieve anything we set our minds to and yet the system we have created and the one that we revere as functional kills innovation. It kills the very spirit that catapaults us into the future. It is so successful at killing the spirits that light this world that we no longer believe we can attain and achieve anything we want to. We believe in limits. We believe in boxes, well, some do.
Burn the boxes I say!
I have spent the past 6 years since my time in the educational system undoing what I was taught. I’ve had to learn how to function as Lauryn. I’m still in the process of going through the layers of system that are like a thick gunk on my soul to get to the core of who am I. Since my time at The Domino Project, I am seeing who I am at an increasing speed. It’s amazing.
Side note: This is by no means a bash or a rant against some of the wonderful teachers I had: Mrs. Desert, Mrs. Stelrecht, Ms. Henry and a few others. It is against the system and those that play into that
But the truth of the matter remains. I have had to spend countless amounts of hours teaching myself to be a productive citizen again. To be innovative, to fucking be myself.
Do we realize what a crime against humanity we are creating when we tell our children that who they are is not acceptable?
Can we acknowledge that the very system we have created to mold the minds of our youth teaches them to kill creativity?
Do we even realize what a detriment to society the loss of creativity is?
Let me tell you what the death of creativity costs this world on a daily basis:
- The cure for AIDS.
- New methods to stop sex and drug trafficking.
- Breakthrough technology to prevent and stop debilitating diseases such as dementia.
What would learning how to cure cancer mean to you?
It would mean everything to the people of Buffalo, NY who can all attest to knowing someone who has died from cancer. I bet it would matter to you too.
But in the short term, in the day to day of going to school, and being told to fill in the dots and learn the methods that yield no greater result than to fit in and follow a useless process that generally leads to misery and depression because it cuts you off from your source, the very place that nourishes your soul and fuels you as living creature, well in the short term this is ok. Because it exists.
Let’s be more concerned with how our education system compares to the ever-growing China.
No, let’s not. Let’s worry about what this crippling beast we call submission has on our souls.
I’m not mad at China’s growth or acceleration. I like all humans to excel. I don’t judge based on territorial divisions.
My point in all of this is that I learned a process. We all learn a variety of processes, some garnish really great results. My workout program at the gym is a process I’ve learned that had allotted me a flat stomach. The process I learned for using the MTA Subway system has permitted me to travel all throughout the city with ease, well most of the time.
But the process that I learned in school hinders growth.
It failed me and millions of other.
It told me to bury my nose in a book, take notes from a teacher, value the way I am viewed by others more than anything else, because hey, who more important than your 15 year old peers who went though puberty 10 days ago? How is the art of filling in dots going to help me create a business that provides jobs to millions and donates enough money to the cancer institute that the cure for cancer is discovered? It doesn’t. I struggle everyday with the reality that I was lied to.
I was told that being someone else was better than who I was.
I was a straight A student who mastered a process that is next to useless in my path to entrepreneurship. And while I am not ungrateful for my opportunity, I am challenging us to do better. Yes, to do 100 times better. I’m frustrated that I wasn’t offered any other choice and that the natural inclination to be creative was shunned.
It taught me to be acutely aware of how others viewed me. I used to debate with kids on the bus to 5th grade on why wearing GAP was bad because they used sweatshops. I used to explain why NO-AD sunblock was better because the proceeds were donated to a good cause and it did the same thing as any other name brand sunblock. I used to battle the status-quo daily. Very few times did I receive the support from my peers or from the school itself. Why? What were we taught to be so afraid of?
Do you think it’s a coincidence that an inquisitive child with strong opinions did not get along with the majority of her teachers in a system where straying from the main path slows people down It fucks up the plan? is frowned upon?
And with all due respect to them, they felt pressure of their own. They had to make sure that we passed our exams. We had to prove that we could learn something and vomit it back onto a sheet with nicely, #2 pencil filled circles.
They hated my curiosity. They hated that I challenged their ideas. In fact, they took my inquisitive nature as a direct threat to their position.
I have spent years of being told to not be myself. To be quiet. To be smaller. To be less loud. To be what everyone thought I should have been. And I listened. I listened.
But not anymore.
Why do schools stop asking you with a genuine interest what you want to achieve in the world after a certain point?
Why do we stop drawing our dreams after 5th grade?
I don’t have answers that I care to elaborate on here, but I know that it doesn’t work.
I’m sorry if I have offended anyone in the educational profession; that was not my intent My sole intent of this is to shed light on the flawed system we continue to use and to encourage people to be themselves and allow others that same priviledge.