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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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(Not very good) Essay about School
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Prince Rilian Offline
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(Not very good) Essay about School

I quit school about 1 month into 11th grade. I made the decision like I like I make most decisions. I agonized over the horrible state of affairs and then when something new occurred to me I jumped at it. Sometimes that leads to regret, but I don't regret quitting school at all. A lot of people say they like school because it's where they see their friends. I don't feel that I lost any friends by leaving school. I easily stayed in contact with the people I wanted to stay in contact with. I talk amicably with old classmates whenever we happen to see each other. Some people also say that they want to stay in school because, even though the deadlines might come too soon and the instructors might be annoying, they like learning. Me? I don't remember any learning happening in school. I remember spending the majority of the time in school, not counting recess, when it still existed, listening to an instructor read off a list of disconnected facts, and the rest of the time not listening to lectures about things I already knew. Thus, the topics in school could be broken into four categories: facts I already knew; facts I'd memorize for a test and then forget; skills I already had; and skills the school never managed to teach me.

Though I'd known for many years that I wasn't learning anything in school, it didn't occur to me that I could just not go, and it didn't occur to me to even consider the idea that the school might be doing me harm, rather than simply not doing me any good. At least, it didn't occur to me until the 11th grade. It might have just been a natural part of my mental development. At home, I had stopped asking my mom for permission for every thing and just started doing whatever I wanted, taking her lack of comment as approval. Of course I carried that independence with me to school and was therefore indignant at these three things that happened in close succession. One day, in early september, I had a coke in the hallway and the hall-monitor took it, despite my protests. A few days later, I got a 3-day suspension for going to the toilet after the AP English 4 instructor said I wasn't allowed to. A week after I got back from suspension, Friday, September 19th, I was again assaulted by the hall-monitor over a bottle of coke and this time I refused to surrender my property. So I was suspended pending a hearing and then suspended for 40 days at the hearing. My indignation at them trying to dominate me overrode any residual desire to "learn". So, right after the hearing, I withdrew from the school, which, in Texas, is all you have to do if you want to home-school.

In January of the following year, just 4 months later, I started taking classes at community college. Despite landing 2 rather awful teachers during my year and a half there, it was a nice experience. The instructors didn't try to dominate the students. Most of them were able to actually explain things, so that you weren't just listening to disparate facts but investigating a system, and I learned at least a couple of new skills. So, even though they were both called "school", community college was a vastly different experience from K-12. I think that during that time I recovered a little bit from the psychological damage of 11 years of school.

But then I started university and you may be surprised to hear that university was exactly as horrible as high school. Before the end of my first semester, I was further down in the pit of depression than I'd ever been in high school. I hated my classes, I hated the subjects, I hated the homework, I hated the professors. I went to university on a math scholarship and being in love with math. After 2 semesters, I was certain that I hated math and everything associated with it. But it was in my second semester that I read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and the sequel My Ishmael. My Ishmael talked about schooling a little bit and further research led me to books by John Holt. John Holt's and Daniel Quinn's writings, along with a few other snippets I read on the internet, collectively lead to some realization of what had happened to me and I started trying to recover from the onslaught of ridiculous expectations and poor treatment from teachers and professors. I continued attending university, because I was and am still under the strong effects of being told constantly since birth that I would go to college and get a bachelor's degree, and probably go to graduate school and get a master's degree, and maybe get a Ph.D. if I felt like it.

I see now how different I am from the person I want to be and the person I probably would have been if I had not been damaged by K-12 school. I believe that if I had quit school sooner, like maybe in 1st grade, I would have been less affected by the terrible atmosphere of university or maybe even been immune to the pressure to GO TO COLLEGE. Being in school, specifically K-12, was making me a different person, a worse person, a sadder person. The changes weren't noticeable at first. But the true lesson of school, that all that matters is doing what other people tell you to do and that high grades mean you're good for something, finally reached me, and for a while all I cared about was pleasing the teachers and making A's. And I was so caught up in that that it took strangers in books to get me to see how I had changed. Even after I started making the effort to change back, it didn't seem to have any effect. It's like in Back to the Future when something was changed in 1955 and that affected 1985, and the only way to get things back the right way was to go back to a point when they were the right way, in 1955. Similarly, school took 16 years from me and the only way I can fix things is to go back to when it was right, when I was 6 years old. That doesn't seem very feasible, does it? And maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Back to the Future analogy doesn't hold. Maybe there is another way to set things right. Because I think I might have already made some progress. See, I was schooled to believe that grades were everything. But now when my mom asks me if I'm going to get all A's in my classes, I'm always momentarily confused. A's? Who cares about that? Who cares? If you want to change your life, change your mind. That little change makes me think that maybe I've made some progress in de-schooling myself.

Life is good. Jeta është e mirë. Goingcrazy
Die lewe is goed.
Het leven is goed.

Zoidberg: What is it, already? What's the cause of your anger?
Leela: I guess I would have to say, I hate you!
04-05-2010 02:17 PM
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aerftghyjk Offline
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Post: #2
Re: (Not very good) Essay about School

Not very good essay? It was great. (I read all of it, no skimming through). You should get Soul to add this to the Articles section, and post it on LaunchPad as well.
04-06-2010 12:16 AM
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