RIP School Survival Forums
August 2001 - June 2017

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.

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. Send me a message if you'd like to keep in touch with me & Steve.

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.

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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thoughts on ss forums
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stevehein Offline
Pariah

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Post: #1
thoughts on ss forums

One of my needs is to feel safer.

That goes along with my need to feel more in control of my life.

Another of my needs is to feel supported. Another is to feel encouraged.

Along with feeling encouraged is the need to protect myself from feeling discouraged.

Another is to help people.

Another of my needs is to protect others, to warn them and to be their "emotional body guard" and to educate them on what emotional abuse is and what their human emotional needs are and help them understand why they are in pain from their needs not being met.

Now let's see how that applies to School Survival.

I have not talked to SR in a couple of days. I am a little worried about her. I sent her an email to ask if she was ok and the last time I checked my mail, she hadn't answered.

But anyhow, I am writing this partly for her and for anyone else who wants to understand me or to learn from me etc.

I come to the SS forum for several reasons - in other words, to try to partially fill several of my unmet emotional needs.

The other day SR made me a global moderator, so I can do a few things now that I wasn't able to do before.

I am thinking about how I will or could use these new "powers".


I can use them to help SR, to help the people who are currently using the forums, or who might use them in the future, and to help myself.

So let me address each of those.

1. Help SR. I can help SR by helping her keep the forums in line with what she wants for them. I can help her by saving her some time by taking care of some things so she can use her time for something else like making the video she wants to make.

I can help her by helping her feel cared about, listened to, taken seriously, understood and supported.

2. Help those who are currently using the forums. My first thought is I can help protect some of the less aggressive people in the forums. I can help them see when others are not showing empathy or understanding, or when others are invalidating them.

I can also offer them some new information or knowledge, such as what invalidation is.

3. I can help others who might come to the forums in the future. In particular I can help those who are socially anxious, insecure, depressed, suicidal, non-aggressive, intelligent, open-minded.

I can also help those who are in pain from trying to resist being brainwashed or domesticated, and from trying to swim out of the mainstream current with no support. I can help those who would be afraid to post on the forums as they now are. I can help them by making the forums a bit safer. I can also help those who don't believe depression is an illness while all those around them are telling them that there is, and that nothing is wrong with their culture, their family and the school they are forced to go to.

Teen depression is a subject that I feel very strongly about and which I feel qualified to write about. Right now I would say the forums are not a safe place for someone who does not believe depression is an illness.

I am an "adult" who has had many, many "successes" in life and who has, I believe at least, a pretty healthy self-esteem, at least compared to a socially anxious, depressed teen. I can defend myself pretty well if I need to against verbal and emotional attacks. Yet even I do not feel safe now writing that I believe depression is not a mental illness.

4. Helping myself. I could use my GM abilities to "clean up" posts, in particular my own threads. I could move posts, edit them, etc. I don't think I would just delete any because I believe we can learn from all posts and from everyone. This would help me feel more in control and safer. It would help me feel less discouraged when I look at my own posts and less afraid of going back to look at them again. There are some comments and some people's names that are painful for me to even look at and be reminded of. If SR agrees, I would move them somewhere else to keep my threads "clean" and safe. Safe not only for me but for others who are like me or like Priscilla or some of the teens I have helped in the past who now are not using these forums.

Another thought is that I would like to change the mission of the forums a bit. Or clarify it perhaps. I like original idea of surviving school - but to me that means surviving high school in particular. So I would judge or evaluate comments, threads and posts on that criterion, for example. Is it helping someone survive high school?

But actually I would want to do more than that. I would want to make more of a difference in someone's life. For example, it is not very fulfilling to me to know that a lot of people over the years have used this site to make it through high school and then they have gone on to universities where they pretty much just stay in the mainstream, or very close to it, only differing on a few minor things.

This bothers me more when I think that now they might have credit cards or jobs and they could support SS with a 1 dollar per month contribution. But they have forgotten about it and moved on.

This bothers me on a personal level because I have helped literally hundreds of teens survive their parents and schools and so far very, very few have thanked me or shown that they remember me after they got to into a university. I just stop hearing from them. And often I stop hearing from them as soon as they get started spending a lot of their time and energy on entrance exams, university applications etc. This is one of the reaons I call the university system a "black hole."

I personally don't believe the world needs more university students. The vast majority of them are staying in school to make more money than they could otherwise, not even to learn. Most would do no work or next to no work at all if they knew they could get their diplomas without doing it.

So then they get a relatively high paying job (though sometimes they still can't find one) and then they put more money into the corrupt system. This has been called "feeding the monster." Each time they make money, they pay income tax. Each time they spend it, they pay sales tax. So the monster, ie the government, gets fatter and more powerful.

On another note, I wanted to mention that I worry that I won't always have time to check SS. Thus I am not sure how much time I can spend "cleaning up" the forums. But I can still try to do my part.

The main reason I am worried about this is because I plan to go back to Brazil this year and maybe Europe. When I am traveling I don't have as much time to check the forum. So I don't want to overcommit myself, make promises I can't keep etc.

But I would like to help clean things up a bit and change the direction or mission of the forums a bit.

BTW I think I have more of a need for control than SR does. I would have banned a few more people by now I think. I don't want to spend a lot of time checking people's posts to make sure they are not dangerous to others, for example. Of course what is dangerous and what is not is controversial. I don't think it is even practical for me to ask SR for her opinion every time I see something which I would consider dangerous.

We have limited time to talk to each other, and when we do talk, we have a lot of other things to talk about. We already cannot finish all of the conversations we have started.

So that's about it. TFR thanks for reading.

--

Oh one more thing - I am getting very interested in mediation. If anyone would like to learn about this or would like to be a volunteer to be a mediator here on SS please let me know.

I like the idea of trying to mediate a conflict between two people here on SS better than just banning one, or both.

I suspect that mediation will be a growing career in the future. For one thing there are a lot of conflicts and I don't see an end to that and for another almost no one likes lawyers, but I haven't heard anyone say they hate mediators.
04-11-2016 08:53 AM
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Sunbourn Offline
Proud crazy cat man

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Post: #2
RE: thoughts on ss forums

Quote:But actually I would want to do more than that. I would want to make more of a difference in someone's life. For example, it is not very fulfilling to me to know that a lot of people over the years have used this site to make it through high school and then they have gone on to universities where they pretty much just stay in the mainstream, or very close to it, only differing on a few minor things.

This bothers me more when I think that now they might have credit cards or jobs and they could support SS with a 1 dollar per month contribution. But they have forgotten about it and moved on.

This bothers me on a personal level because I have helped literally hundreds of teens survive their parents and schools and so far very, very few have thanked me or shown that they remember me after they got to into a university. I just stop hearing from them. And often I stop hearing from them as soon as they get started spending a lot of their time and energy on entrance exams, university applications etc. This is one of the reaons I call the university system a "black hole."

Times like this I can only refer to the Red House Paintings song 'Things Mean a Lot.' "Things mean a lot at the time, don't mean nothing later." There are no truer words ever said. This website was once ingrained in to my daily routine. Now I hardly even think of its existence. The same thing applies everywhere. We fall from who we are, changing every second, leaving behind hundreds of ghosts, temporary imprints of the people we used to be. I'm the sentimental type however, so I still check up every now and then. Most people aren't. Good to see some people are still around keeping the waning flame alive, though.

Who am I? Who are YOU?
05-20-2016 03:16 AM
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Ky Offline
Shadow

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Post: #3
thoughts on ss forums

Some advice, steve: Don't do what I did.

I had more of a need for control than SR did at one point, same as you do now. I thought it was within my ability to make SS a safer place, to drown out all of the "edginess", to get rid of anyone who stood in the way of this mission.

I was wrong.

I unilaterally decided to do as you described - I changed the direction and mission of the forums, I banned more than a few people, I got rid of some of the content that could be considered dangerous to others. I didn't have time to consult Soul - there's only so much time to talk, and I wanted to make a safe space where people could talk about surviving school without being ridiculed a reality immediately. Problem was, my decision was almost universally considered a bad move; nearly everything I did was undone by the other moderators, I was mocked and shunned by the individuals I tried to censor, and I was confronted by the realization that what I did conflicted even with my own ideals.

Even though I got my mod powers back a few months ago, I've realized that the only things I really need them for are kicking out adbots whenever I see them and moving the occasional thread. Turns out there's ways to make School Survival a better place that don't involve dramatic action; it's the little things that make this community better now than it was before. So, steve, if you want to help, help - doesn't really matter who. Just don't try to do it all alone; after all, we can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

Public Service Announcement: First world problems are still problems.
05-20-2016 08:26 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
Machiavellian Amoeba

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Post: #4
thoughts on ss forums

Power is not permission. Simple as that. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you may do it. The idea of being a shepard to a flock just insults everyone else because it implies we're incapable of logic and reason thus need someone "superior" to save us.

Quote:Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Eisenhower said this and it's pretty much true. You can't force people to change. A leader persuades people to do it themselves and to be quite blunt, if you can't persuade people with good enough abilities, you may either not be cut out for leadership or you may be talking to the wrong crowd(which is why politicians aim for folk with influence and respect among a group rather than try to appeal to the group as a whole. It's easier to persuade a prominent person among a community and let him lead his own group in your direction than it is to try to do them one by one. It also brings up another quote about how a leader shouldn't create followers but other leaders).

Going lone wolf gung-ho will get you nowhere and achieve nothing.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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05-20-2016 02:43 PM
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the Analogist Offline
Connector of Dots

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Post: #5
RE: thoughts on ss forums

School Survival may very well be exactly what school is. A whole lot of fluff in a world where everything liberal Arts is irrelevent.

Historian Carroll Quigley said of his 40 years of university level teaching that he felt he made no meaningful impact whatsoever. I suspect the reason is as stated, that whatever we may fantasize about how best to build a nation, the entirety of our degree is to negotiate a better place in an already constructed world.

We are surviving school, not confronting it, or abolishing it, or finding a way to repudiate the brainwashing of our society, and why should we? Rome has already been built. You gotta find your proper place in this already existing system, what choice do you have!?

This is where I like to get the idea into young people's minds that "remember all of your lessons" because the best way to build a better future is with your kids. You can't control how you are brought up, but if you can suffer a job to sustain a childhood for your own kids, then you can open doors for the people of tomorrow that nobody else could ever do.

The problem with school is that somebody else does it for you. Parents expect school do replace that part of their responsibility, but I chose to take that back with my kids. Maybe they will choose to do school, I don't know, but I have no intention of controlling them, nor do I have any intention of taking their upbringing for granted like my parents did.

School survival if it is to be a catalyst for anything needs to be inclusive of the thoughts of older people because one of the worst things school does is separate the young from the old. I am 29, not sure how that ranks among the rest, but an actual honest open dialogue with people having more life experience (more is not necessarily better BTW) is something younger people need and older people too. As I prepare to become a crotchety old timer hollering at those kids on my lawn at the ripe of age of 30, I hope I am not so out of touch that the grumpy do nothing lazy teenagers of the day don't ask me to buzz off or whatever because I made them annoyed by calling them lazy.

BTW, brainiac was right when he said the "real world" is all hype and that most of us are actually quite lazy too.

Purity is to Believe only that which deserves it.
Wisdom is to follow only the Opinion which makes the best use of evidence.
Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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(This post was last modified: 06-22-2016 02:50 PM by the Analogist.)
06-22-2016 02:38 PM
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Ky Offline
Shadow

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Post: #6
thoughts on ss forums

But even Rome did not last forever. The empire fell because it overextended its reach and was constantly besieged by those it attempted to enslave, as is the case with the hopelessly archaic compulsory schooling system we see now. It, too, will fall one day.

Public Service Announcement: First world problems are still problems.
06-22-2016 11:51 PM
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thewake Offline
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Post: #7
RE: thoughts on ss forums

All hail Steve our glorious overlord

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06-23-2016 12:05 AM
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the Analogist Offline
Connector of Dots

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Post: #8
RE: thoughts on ss forums

Wow, flashes of Over the Hedge.. "oh great and powerful steve!"

Purity is to Believe only that which deserves it.
Wisdom is to follow only the Opinion which makes the best use of evidence.
Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
Follow me on Twitter!
06-23-2016 01:34 AM
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