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The School Survival Forums are permanently retired. If you need help with quitting school, unsupportive parents or anything else, there is a list of resources on the Help Page.

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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

The forums are mostly read-only and are in a maintenance/testing phase, before being permanently archived. Please use this time to get the contact details of people you'd like to keep in touch with. My contact details are here.

Please do not make a mirror copy of the forums in their current state - things will still change, and some people have requested to be able to edit or delete some of their personal info.


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Doc Johnson Offline
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I've not been on much lately. Been working on what was supposed to be an essay, but has turned into something more like a book chapter. I'm writing about standards-based reform policy in the US, its conception of students' movitations to "achieve" (i.e., act like good little sheeple), and what, from a theoretical standpoint, is fucked up about it. That's where the folks on School Survival Forums can come in.

I can theorize, and guess, and wonder, and even understand, having gone through it myself, how people in the school system are different from what policy makers expect them to be in terms of how they think, act, and are motivated, but my perspective is only that: My take on things. I'd like to enlist some of the people who write here to help me better understand and express some of the problems with education, particularly public education in the US (though other national systems certainly could provide some examples and info).

If anyone is interested in reading what I just got done writing, and/or would be interested in being a part of my research, then let me know. I'd like to help make your understandings of education a part of the conversations teachers, administrators, researchers, etc., are having about students. As you no doubt know, they usually don't even think that they need to consult you about the things that affect your lives. Help me make them do things differently.

If interested, reply to this post and/or send contact information to edgardjohnsoniii@knology.net.

Thanks,

Doc Johnson

I got nothin'.
11-11-2005 03:31 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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why don't you post the whole thing here? (or is it too long for that?) Razz

"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them." - Dalai Lama
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11-11-2005 12:19 PM
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Doc Johnson Offline
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I zipped it up to 86K but it says:

There is not enough alloted attachment space to store your attachment!
Post not added, attachment problem

I got nothin'.
11-11-2005 01:18 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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Count me in Smile

Doc Johnson Wrote:I'd like to help make your understandings of education a part of the conversations teachers, administrators, researchers, etc., are having about students. As you no doubt know, they usually don't even think that they need to consult you about the things that affect your lives. Help me make them do things differently.

That's exactly what I was thinking of today. My university has a key college of education for the region. Today, there was a "student forum" for people to express complaints and concerns, and most of the people who spoke up at it were in education. One thing that came up was whether they were being prepared for the areas they were going into.

I almost spoke, but what I wanted to say wasn't organized enough to explain briefly. Anyway, I was thinking of somehow systematically working to at least promote "student consultation" by these teachers-in-training, as a way to better prepare themselves for being effective teachers. Maybe some could end up teaching in alternative ways rather than or in addition to traditional classroom teaching.

It'd be great to see that done on a more systematic basis. Collecting information on students views, and presenting some interpretation to those involved (and who will be involved) in the education system is very much needed.

Before college (and somewhat even in college), I didn't even think of the possibility of having my voice heard. I didn't have solutions worked out, but I knew my time wasn't being spent well and that I was unhappy. As a result, I built up some resentment, severe apathy, and ultimatelly a pretty bleak view of life (which I've been working on fixing). As this site indicates, I'm not the only one.

At this student forum today, listening to education majors talk a bit about whether they were being prepared effectively to teach, it was ironic how this was in front of a forum sign that said something about student voice. What about the views of actual pre-college students, as a source of some insight into effective or ineffective educational situations?!? It is almost creepy how unheard of the idea is.

Although I didn't say anything then, partly because the point of the forum was issues with the college itself, my sense is that education majors might be especially receptive to and interested in these "student voice" ideas -- especially if they are dissatisfied about what they are learning in class.

I thought of putting on a discussion even on the topic, and putting up flyers on campus. But really, some kind of presentation is needed, to communicate the ideas effectively and provide some examples of the research that has been done. And then there's the question of what to suggest as a next step, for those who are interested to get input from students.

Honestly, I'm a bit intimidated, although my motivation to do something is fast overcoming my resistance.

Doc Johnson, how are you thinking of going about getting these things discussed and seriously considered by your target audiences?

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11-11-2005 02:44 PM
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xcriteria Wrote:Doc Johnson, how are you thinking of going about getting these things discussed and seriously considered by your target audiences?

I'll soon have a kid in school, so I'm thinking I might try to inflitrate the school board eventually. In the meantiime, I plan to get a book published. The problem with policy change is, of course, power. I have very little.

As a teacher, I try to plant seeds that will grow. I am a hardass in terms of demands on my students, but I do it out of love, and I think most of them understand that. I want them to understand where they are accomplished and where they are weak, and to be... prepared? Confident? Can't find the word. Something like the educational equivalent of kicking ass and taking names. <--Although, it seems like if you were much good at kicking ass, you'd want the name first, just in case...

Anyway, don't mean to sound like a dickhead. I do find though that I have some people who want the piece of paper that says they're smart rather than the actual learning. I figure part of that is that school has taught them to be good spheeple, but not how to think. I have little sympathy for not wanting to think. If people want to learn, they will. Well, listen to me rant. Yeah, okay, so maybe I can be a dickhead. Laugh

Power. Power is influence. In my own little area, I have some and am building more. I'm trying to get a few things published and maybe get recognition from folks in the curriculum field. I hope to do that pretty soon. Hey, all the rest of you! Hint, hint! I will need your words. Not now, but soon.

The main problem is that education is in the hands of administrators. These are bean counters. The Man. They are managers. They don't think, for the most part, and are not allowed to. They are responsible for producing test scores. The system they use to make that happen fails. For the most part, oddly enough, teachers get the blame. If they want to work, they have to work within the system. The ones that don't? Gone. Did I mention the system is what creates the problems with the whole not thinking thing? You are playing the game as must as or more than learning, if you succeed. Being a good student is dependent on being obedient. Unfortunately, being very obedient is the surest way of making sure you don't know shit about shit. You must learn, when and if school helps you too(it's paid for at least), and even if it doesn't. Otherwise, you end up teaching. Laugh

Not really. Teaching is harder than being a student, but less boring I'll admit. Oh, well. Anyway, what I mean to say is that most of education relies on being able to learn. That requires reading. If you can't read, you are reliant on those who are. By reading, I mean process data. All kinds. Schools privilege literacy w/r/t language arts and mathematics (both languages). They are way behind on other media, even TV. More than that, social studies is more or less history, but not civics. We don't talk much about activism beyond voting, which tends to be much like a choice between political "products" like, say, butt wipe. Nonetheless, reading and writing in at least one language (spoken, written language, plus working languages like computer code, math, etc. We're talking about how to process systems of thought, more or less, in order to seek the outcomes you desire. We teach people to desire... crappy consumer goods for the most part. The rest of it goes to supporting your ability to get those. One caveat. You will tend to be as rich as your parents, so don't get too uppity. You have just as much chance of going down as you do up, maybe more these days.

So, that's why I'm here. I fucking feel you people's pain. Change is not easy. That's why I get a little sad when I visit this site and nobody's on. Nobody to talk to. I want to engage, because I'd just as soon try help people here. Even james (a long time ago I was a stupid ass racist too). I find that what I most think should happen is that we develop alternatives that don't cost much, but are accredited in some way to be equivalent to regular diplomas and degrees. Not those fake-ass diploma mills that selll you a degree for money, but one that shows that you actually do have your shit together in some manner. That makes it tough, because that mostly means there's some things you more or less have to learn to do, or you'll just end up being poor in money and poor in other kinds of power.

There are, however, many ways to have your shit together. The problem is that only a few of them are recognized, and even fewer of them pay well.

I like your idea of posting flyers to this site, and maybe to misled youth once its up. I wish it was easier to post in high schools. Maybe people who go there will do so? Wouldn't it be nice to have a lot of stuff going on on this site? Gotta advertise it.

Chang will require a movement. Not me. You and me. And somebody else, and somebody else, and somebody else... We need bodies and, especially, minds.

BTW, I'd like to thank Soul Riser for making this meeting of minds possible. [insert smiley that is not worthy here]

If you need money for a better server, then maybe we should take up a collection. This is a cool place. We probably need more population and maybe eventually a bit more coordination, but this is the kind of thing that helps make these kinds of changes.

It's like this old joke:

How many psyciatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, but the light bub really has to want to change.

I got nothin'.
11-11-2005 04:17 PM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Doc Johnson Wrote:There are, however, many ways to have your shit together. The problem is that only a few of them are recognized, and even fewer of them pay well.

amen... sad, that :(

Doc Johnson Wrote:I like your idea of posting flyers to this site, and maybe to misled youth once its up. I wish it was easier to post in high schools. Maybe people who go there will do so? Wouldn't it be nice to have a lot of stuff going on on this site? Gotta advertise it.

yeah, working on some t-shirts and wallpapers that will hopefully help out there, and the flyers too Biggrin

Doc Johnson Wrote:BTW, I'd like to thank Soul Riser for making this meeting of minds possible. [insert smiley that is not worthy here]

Biggrin Biggrin

Doc Johnson Wrote:If you need money for a better server, then maybe we should take up a collection. This is a cool place. We probably need more population and maybe eventually a bit more coordination, but this is the kind of thing that helps make these kinds of changes.

the server is sorted, all that remains is to move everything there (and as usual i figured, while i'm at it, why not re-organize everything so it's easier to find as well, blah blah blah, yes, still testing everything) Rolleyes Laugh Biggrin

"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them." - Dalai Lama
Help & Support - Get help with leaving school, unsupportive parents, and more.
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11-12-2005 10:54 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Doc Johnson Wrote:That's why I get a little sad when I visit this site and nobody's on. Nobody to talk to. I want to engage, because I'd just as soon try help people here.
Same here. The somewhat increased activity lately has been very encouraging for me. Hopefully there will be more people involved soon.

Doc Johnson Wrote:I find that what I most think should happen is that we develop alternatives that don't cost much, but are accredited in some way to be equivalent to regular diplomas and degrees. Not those fake-ass diploma mills that selll you a degree for money, but one that shows that you actually do have your shit together in some manner.
I agree... this is vitally needed in order to provide choice and let people individualize their studies some, while still having some official record of accomplishment.
Doc Johnson Wrote:I like your idea of posting flyers to this site, and maybe to misled youth once its up. I wish it was easier to post in high schools. Maybe people who go there will do so? Wouldn't it be nice to have a lot of stuff going on on this site? Gotta advertise it.
Google AdWords would be a good way to bring in more traffic. It's amazing how long it took me to find School Survival -- I found it about a year ago, but apparently was up for years before that. And I've been looking for something along these lines for a long time. AdWords could help bring in more discussion and reach people even in places where there is no one to put up flyers and so on.

Doc Johnson Wrote:BTW, I'd like to thank Soul Riser for making this meeting of minds possible. [insert smiley that is not worthy here]
Yeah, really! I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am now, in my thinking, motivation, and research, without its inspiration.

Doc Johnson Wrote:It's like this old joke:

How many psyciatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, but the light bub really has to want to change.
LOL... that reminds me of what popped into my head last week: "How many behaviorists does it take to change a light bulb?" I haven't worked out an answer, but the question made me laugh. Smile

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11-13-2005 07:42 AM
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xcriteria Wrote:LOL... that reminds me of what popped into my head last week: "How many behaviorists does it take to change a light bulb?" I haven't worked out an answer, but the question made me laugh. Smile

Answer: Just one. And once they figure out how to change one light bulb, the rest are just a matter of proper conditioning.

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11-27-2005 01:17 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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hahhaa.... that's a good one! Biggrin

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Help & Support - Get help with leaving school, unsupportive parents, and more.
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