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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

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My horrible life V2.0
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WhatEvenIsThis Offline
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My horrible life V2.0

...a little bit of a continuation from my last thread, here

So today was yet another day of school where I might as well just had stayed in me bed. All was as boring as ever, until we had math class. During all of this boring-as-hell class I remembered my goddamned test that I got yesterday (you know, the one that ended up real shitty for awful reasons), and I swear: I actually felt nauseated, I actually hoped that I would die! But there were no sharp objects in my classroom... great.

Why would I even think of that?
Well, I guess I could answer this question by doing what all of you hate: Moaning about myself...

So you all know what I hate about school... besides absolutely everything. I am just giving no fuck about what grades I get, but for some reason it is just too hard for me not to give a shit... That reason is my family.
I keep telling them that I am just so goddamn sick of all this shit, but as always they just tell me the same shit: "But it is just the most important thing!" or "But it is just like that!", and the best one of all "You will tell yourself: "Why did I not think about it earlier? Why did I not do well in school?"" ...MY FUCKING ASS

ESPECIALLY my mother forces me this shit down my throat so hard, it physically hurts me.
Do not get me wrong, I love my mother, I love talking with her, and she loves that I am always such a helpful and wonderful person, but like I said about my actually nice teachers... they do not understand... they do not understand what kind of PAIN all of this is to me (Again, I live in Germany, but there is no difference actually...)
I absolutely LOATHE having to let grades tell how good I am in general!

It gets worse: Whenever there is a subject that I actually enjoy doing (Like say, chemistry) and I tell it to my mother, she only sees how much I love it from what grade I have there... seriously.
It does not matter if I actually kinda enjoy something in hell, when my mother sees that I do not have a good grade, she will always be like "Yeah... I see how much you love it *sarcasm*"
OH, SORRY FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO VOMIT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING OUT OF MY NONEXISTENT BRAIN ON A FUCKING PAPER JUST FOR A FUCKING NUMBER!

BUUUUUUUUUT, it gets WORSE: Whenever I actually DO get a good grade in something (For example, I got a C- in an essay-like test/exam in German language class, which I felt pretty good of), my mother (my father, too) more often than not has this very response: "That is great! But you can do even BETTER"

...NO I CAN NOT, I CAN NOT GET BETTER, MY BRAIN WOULD FUCKING BURN

Ok, it is more my father that ALWAYS gives this kind of response, but my mother does it do quit often as well.

Why am I even giving any kind of shit about grades if I do not WANT TO?! Well, because of my parents. If I get "not very good grades", they will always be disappointed with me, and I will admit: I do not want to hurt my parents in any way or disappoint them, but GODDAMMIT, they do not even realize how it is like to have a FUCKING BURNOUT EVERY GODDAMN DAY

And instead of HELPING me with their advices, they unintentionally make me feel even MORE unsure about myself and even frightened!
They say: "If you do not get a good middle school graduation, NO ONE would accept you and you need a future family to take care of!"

WOW!........... FUCKING WOW!

What a way to make ME feel better. Yeah, that is totally helpful! Now I know that I CAN do it!
FUCKING BULLSHIT!.

For those of you that do not know: In my country, first there are four years of Elementary school, and after that there are ten years of Middle school, and RIGHT after that I gotta sign up for a college or whatever high graduation there is. Oh I forgot to mention, I gotta sign in with my HALF-YEAR grade breakdown, not after THIS WHOLE YEAR is over, no... I gotta do it LONG BEFORE the last exams even start, because they are SO SURE no one would fail a school year like this one! But if they do... what do I know... IT STILL THINK IT IS A LOAD OF BULLSHIT... LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT MY SCHOOL.

Also, I have NEVER told my father about my bad grades, because I know that if he knows about how bad I am in school, he would FUCKING KILL ME...

...Actually that is a good idea, I should really tell my father about all this, so I can finally end it...
11-29-2013 03:19 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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My horrible life V2.0

Your parents need a few lessons in basic psychology. They fail miserably at encouragement. Sadhug

Would your dad really kill you? Are there any viable alternatives to school where you are?

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11-29-2013 06:33 AM
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My horrible life V2.0

Germany has pretty much banned home-schooling. I'm not sure what the rules for dropping out for in Germany.

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11-29-2013 07:01 AM
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WhatEvenIsThis Offline
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RE: My horrible life V2.0

(11-29-2013 06:33 AM)SoulRiser Wrote:  Would your dad really kill you?

No, not really. I just meant it sarcastically.
But my dad frequently has a bad mood that rather annoys the everliving f*ck off me, and I could already imagine how he would react on things like this, but I think I took it a bit too extreme.

By the way, let me tell you, although my father is more frequently annoyed or has something to moan about, I do not really mind his "temper tantrums" (or whatever they are), but when my mother has a bad mood (which is not as often as my father's), then she would ALWAYS say those things I mentioned before, and that pretty much ruins my days.
11-29-2013 07:24 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: My horrible life V2.0

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  "You will tell yourself: "Why did I not think about it earlier? Why did I not do well in school?""

I'm one of many people who certainly doesn't feel that way. My thinking is more... why did i waste all of that time? And, why must people continue to experience "education" in that one-size-fits-all, factory-style format, particularly in this interconnected, media-saturated world with a global economy and information-overload?

See my wall-of-links reply on SubCulture's thread, Maybe We Should Start Something, including the articles on regret regarding focusing on high grades. (If you take the time to look through all those links, you might find some things that help with conversations with your parents.)

The thread in general is worth looking through.

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  ESPECIALLY my mother forces me this shit down my throat so hard, it physically hurts me.
Do not get me wrong, I love my mother, I love talking with her, and she loves that I am always such a helpful and wonderful person, but like I said about my actually nice teachers... they do not understand... they do not understand what kind of PAIN all of this is to me (Again, I live in Germany, but there is no difference actually...)

i'd like to quote that paragraph in particular in a chapter I'm working on for a book, based on a course i took last year, Designing A New Learning Environment.

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  I absolutely LOATHE having to let grades tell how good I am in general!

It gets worse: Whenever there is a subject that I actually enjoy doing (Like say, chemistry) and I tell it to my mother, she only sees how much I love it from what grade I have there... seriously.
It does not matter if I actually kinda enjoy something in hell, when my mother sees that I do not have a good grade, she will always be like "Yeah... I see how much you love it *sarcasm*"

This gets into a key question; what can we propose to use instead of grades to indicate learning to parents, teachers, and whoever else wants to see some indicator of learning?

High school teacher Justin Schwamm hit on this problem in a G+ comment a while back;

"I'm now pondering "flipping the message" – what that would look like in a world where conversations about grades desperately need to happen, but no one wants to start them."

(Seeing the Connections, Oct. 14, 2013 -- the whole thread an blog post are worth checking out, as well.)

So, how can we really start conversations about grades, credentials, and other ways to indicate, perceive, and demonstrate learning, knowledge, skills, and performance?

Shawn Cornally, a teacher who wanted to do things differently, set up a new approach to school called Big Ideas Group: "A Graduate School Experience
for High School Students."

"Our students earn high school credits by creating amazing projects with the help of their faculty mentor. Our students individualize themselves and make their job and college applications stand out against the crowd. BIG students learn and design unique projects that have never been done before."

There are various other examples of alternatives to factory-model schooling, as well, including iLearn in Australia. Scroll through that page to get a sense of how some people are doing school.

But, those programs don't exist in many places. One of my ideas is to develop something like that based on online interaction. We already have a community here, and learning going on through the conversations that happen... why not develop that into something more?

The key thing many parents are concerned about is whether their kids will be able to get a decent job and have a decent life going forward. What if we could demonstrate a better way to make that happen than focusing on grades and traditional credentials?

Many jobs are filled based on people simply demonstrating what they can do, past experience, and who they know. Why not begin developing documentable experience now, rather than waiting for that piece of paper?

I suggest finding out what really matters to your parents. what drives them, what do they believe, why do they see grades and school as so important. It may seem obvious, but keep digging and try to get at their underlying motivations and beliefs.

Also, educate yourself about some of the kinds of things I'm linking in this wall-of-content, and other walls of content. look for opportunities to discuss some of them in conversations with your family, and even educators or other students. Think of it like an experiment, and report back here.

It's rare to hear examples of conversations like that, but if we can start facilitating them, and analyze how they work, some breakthroughs in understanding may be possible.

On that note, read through Unknown-Creation's thread, [url= http://forums.school-survival.net/showth...d=29619]So I tried to change my situation at school...[/url]

Particularly since you do have a good overall relationship with your parents (aside from this school issue0, you might be able to make some progress where others have a much harder time making progress.

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  BUUUUUUUUUT, it gets WORSE: Whenever I actually DO get a good grade in something (For example, I got a C- in an essay-like test/exam in German language class, which I felt pretty good of), my mother (my father, too) more often than not has this very response: "That is great! But you can do even BETTER"

...NO I CAN NOT, I CAN NOT GET BETTER, MY BRAIN WOULD FUCKING BURN

Ok, it is more my father that ALWAYS gives this kind of response, but my mother does it do quit often as well.

See if you can find a way to satisfy that 'nothing is good enough" response with things other than school... things that matter to you and that you have more interest, motivation, and control over. (Directly treating the 'nothing is good enough" thing might be worth trying as well, but that might be harder and take longer.)

What is it that really motivates your dad? What's his backstory?

What was school like for him?

Same with your mom, and even your teachers. If you can start to figure those things out, it provides material for richer conversations and brainstorming about what to do.

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  Why am I even giving any kind of shit about grades if I do not WANT TO?! Well, because of my parents. If I get "not very good grades", they will always be disappointed with me, and I will admit: I do not want to hurt my parents in any way or disappoint them, but GODDAMMIT, they do not even realize how it is like to have a FUCKING BURNOUT EVERY GODDAMN DAY

I can relate to this problem of not wanting to hurt, disappoint, and disrupt the stability of parents' lives, when they're so invested in school and grades as the thing you "have to do" in the eyes of society.

A lot.

What I didn't have when I was younger was all the resources that now exist, and a (growing) network of people who have similar views about education. One of the things I didn't learn in school, or from my parents, was how to dig into and discuss these issues.

And yet, that's one of those key life skills, one of those "important" things that nobody has time for in factory-model schools: having meaningful conversations about learning, interests, life, and so on.

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  And instead of HELPING me with their advices, they unintentionally make me feel even MORE unsure about myself and even frightened!
They say: "If you do not get a good middle school graduation, NO ONE would accept you and you need a future family to take care of!"

There are many ways to live life, and many ways to earn a living. One way to break through your anxiety, and maybe give you insights for how lives play out, is to watch interviews with people.

Jonathan Fields' interview series Good Life Project is one place to start. He does 30-50 minute conversation-style interviews with people who are doing interesting things, and they delve into a range of topics in the process. Many of these successful people didn't like school, or at least their main sources of learning in life, and "making it" in life, seem not to be school.

On the other side of things, learning about the situations of people who are in those nightmare scenarios your parents have in mind, like homelessness and being destitute, can help provide a more complete view of the world.

Mark Horvath's project and YouTube channel Invisible People is based on short interviews he's done with hundreds of people who are homeless over the past few years;
http://www.youtube.com/user/invisiblepeopletv

Which way will any of our lives play out? is school the critical factor, or something else?

Note that if you develop skills at things like web coding... you can find work. i have multiple offers to do high-paying web coding work, and there are no credentials required... just the ability to do the work. But for me, web coding is mentally draining and difficult, and I want to find another way to earn money... in part, by addressing education.

in the meantime, i'm currently working as a messenger, a job which I like, as well as doing a small amount of web work, with people i know personally. I've also worked in ad production and doing various other things, including doing web coding at a startup. None of these jobs have ever required that i have any particular degree.

At the same time, even with degrees, some people have a very hard time finding jobs through the traditional resume-blasting approach.

Adam Pacitti is one example of a degree-holder who had trouble finding work. But, he developed a billboard and viral advertising campaign to promote himself and connect with employers, which ended up working out: Employ Adam Billboard Campaign.

This whole question of how to find a job, and pursue a career, is a big one, and there have been several threads here about that (index needed.) The conversation isn't over, though, as that's one of the big roadblocks to changing education. As Ken Robinson put it in Changing Education Paradigms, people are kept in school by a story... one where working hard in school and getting a degree will lead to a job, even though many people don't experience that automatic path, and many people can't stand it.

Regarding feeling burned out, here are two key items to familiarize yourself with:

How Brain Science Can Save You From the Wrong Job by Ed Hallowell

Falsification of Type, a term coined by Carl Jung, who originated the theory behind Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI.)

Why can't people explore and focus on what energizes them, rather than drains and depletes them?

A Simple Ed Reform Solution - Connect School Life to Real Life by Lisa Nielsen shows how things can be, as well as many of the other links I provided above.

So, what's the blocking factor to change?

This recent exchange started by Justin Schwamm gets at some of these issues:
https://plus.google.com/1023403368172100...Vqm8hkCFhr

And, the (long) Wired article Justin posted there is worth reading for background on a different way to do education:
How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses

I wrote, in the thread,
"Much of all this comes down to the question: is school, and life, supposed to be misery? One of the most prominent arguments I hear in favor of keeping school the way it is, is that people need to learn to suffer to prepare them for the harsh, meaningless world of adult life.

Seriously.

And if that question isn't addressed... a big gap remains. Meaningful challenges, opportunities to fail, and building resilience are all important, but can these happen in a joyful learning community or do they require prison-like, dystopian conditions?

That's a theme to frame a series/course/discussion around."


Part of Justin's response:

"Perhaps one key is to get people involved in a conversation about what exactly they mean by preparing for a harsh, meaningless world! And that, in turn, can happen through the various formats we've been talking about here.

What do you think?"


Well, what do you think? Smile

(11-29-2013 03:19 AM)Ferigeras Wrote:  For those of you that do not know: In my country, first there are four years of Elementary school, and after that there are ten years of Middle school, and RIGHT after that I gotta sign up for a college or whatever high graduation there is. Oh I forgot to mention, I gotta sign in with my HALF-YEAR grade breakdown, not after THIS WHOLE YEAR is over, no... I gotta do it LONG BEFORE the last exams even start, because they are SO SURE no one would fail a school year like this one! But if they do... what do I know... IT STILL THINK IT IS A LOAD OF BULLSHIT... LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT MY SCHOOL.

Also, I have NEVER told my father about my bad grades, because I know that if he knows about how bad I am in school, he would FUCKING KILL ME...

...Actually that is a good idea, I should really tell my father about all this, so I can finally end it...

How are you able to keep your grades from your dad? In the US, at least, parents typically expect to know the grades, and the grades are actually mailed to the parents themselves in many cases.

These days, there are many alternatives to traditional college. Maybe you could go directly into some form of college, and skip the rest of secondary school? I've heard of this happening in some cases, even in Germany.

For example: NYU’s Future Most Notable Alumni: The AVByte Brothers Are YouTube Heroes

"I was born in Italy, and raised in France, Holland, Austria and Germany. School and I have always had a troubled relationship — actually, the last grade I completed was eighth grade. Then I started my bachelor’s degree in music when I was thirteen. In Germany, you don’t necessarily need a high school diploma to apply to certain studies, particularly music university. So, I did the audition and came out on top.
I think I earned the German record for the youngest person with a bachelor’s degree. After that, I went to high school for a hot second and then moved to New York three-and-a-half years ago. I started composing and now I do it for a living. My whole family are musicians; I come from a background of practicing six to eight hours a day at the piano."


This guy is a bit of a musical prodigy, but why can't that model be adapted for whatever your interests are?

And it's worth noting, he dropped out of NYU as well.

The point is, there are many ways to do things. Research and brainstorming options is a good starting points.

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12-02-2013 04:43 AM
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RE: My horrible life V2.0

(11-29-2013 07:01 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Germany has pretty much banned home-schooling. I'm not sure what the rules for dropping out for in Germany.

See what European Democratic Education Community has to offer, and if you can connect with what they're doing, or democratic schools in in your area. Maybe even take steps to create one... or at least use the concepts to help your parents to understand that there's a different way of doing education.

They have a lot of dots in Germany, and a documentary. Here's the trailer:



Watch on YouTube

Peter Gray & allies launching the Alliance for Self-directed Education

ASDE Newsletters: #1 Announcement | #2 History of ASDE | #6 Education Liberation


School Survival & Catalyst Learning Network featured on AlternativestoSchool's blog
“Mom, Dad, can I stop going to school?”

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High

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