30 day challenge – Day 20

How important you think education is.

I think education is one of the most important things there is.  I don’t think a college education is always necessary or beneficial, though.  The main thing my college education gave me is debt.  Most of my classes felt like a complete waste of time.  There were some that i loved going to but i’m not sure they added much to my education.  There were some that were mandatory that i know added very little.  My dad’s side of the family is really gung ho about upper education, i’m not entirely sold on it.  I was excited at the beginning of every semester but by the end it was an endless sea of tests and papers that were pointless.  Passing a test doesn’t prove that i can use that knowledge in the real world, going out and using that knowledge does.  College education is impractical, out of touch with real life, and i use little of it in my day to day life.  I know i have used some in teaching my Comic Book art class, but other than writing meta posts on Tumblr or LiveJournal my degree has benefited me very little.

“What about your new editing job?” you ask me.  The knowledge i am using for my third part-time job was obtained in junior high or earlier.  My mother taught me how to read, how to recognize what parts of speech each word in a sentence fulfilled.  My Grandad gave me a love for words, for vocabulary, for speaking with wisdom and common sense.  Those are the things i draw from, not a public high school education, not college.  I learned how to type very well in high school but had already been working on it before then…it just gave me the repetition i needed for things to finally click.  Typing class was mandatory at Ajo High and it is the skill that i have used the most in my adult life.  I type as much as possible, whether it is playing a game like WoW, using 10-key at my second part-time job, or writing for blog or fanfic or hopefully a novel of my own someday.

“What about your writing? Who taught you how to write?”  College inhibited more than helped in that department.  I was forced to read what my teachers wanted, and most of it was lies and/or terrible.  It was a complete and utter waste of time that i would have rather spent reading good writing, at the very least, let alone incredible writing.  I’m not sure that writing can be taught so much as urged along.  My mother did that perfectly adequately, i was trying to write my autobiography when i was seven or eight, was writing poetry and journal entries by junior high, and wrote fanfiction and stories in high school.  Reading is something my mother instilled a love for in me from a young age, writing was not far behind.

So if i am so critical about college (don’t get me started about that, i could write loads more) then how can i think education is so important.  First off, college isn’t really about being educated, and neither is public school anymore.  TPTB want to make cookie cutter drone workers out of us, people who will obey but not question, that can get by but not excel.  You may be a teacher and offended by that, i’m not saying that you want your students to merely get by and have an ordinary life, but that is what you’re giving them.  Children need to be given a love of learning and the tools to teach themselves.  If you teach someone to love to learn and to teach theirself then they will never stop learning, they will educate themselves for the rest of their life.  If you fill their time with incomprehensible, pointless, unnecessary facts, how is that helping them?  It is inhibiting the student from learning something enjoyable or useful.  I experienced this first hand, everything we were taught in high school was aimed at passing the next test.  They didn’t care if you actually learned anything or retained that knowledge, go ahead and forget it after your test.  If you need to test on it again, they’ll teach you again.

Testing is bureaucratic tripe.  Advanced maths like Algebra, Geometry, etc., while i loved learning them have been absolutely worthless to me in real life.  I don’t need Algebra or Geometry to run a register or even figure out a person’s change if i need to.  So not every high school student needs that knowledge.  When will they ever use it again?  Not until their children get to high school math.  Do i want to learn more about math?  Yes, because i want to know how things work, because i wanted to become an astronaut, because i want to understand more about how computers work, but do i need that knowledge for my everyday life? No.

It has been proven that smaller class sizes are best for learning.  It has been proven that one room schoolhouses work just as well as, if not better than, schools where children are segregated by age.  It has been proven that homeschooling and tutoring are the most effective of all, but people continue to act like homeschoolers are outside the norm, that we all must have no idea how to communicate with people our own age, that our scope of learning is not broad enough, that we are all religious nuts with terrorist leanings, that the parents must be abusive, that the student must be slow and need extra help, etc., on and one, so many excuses.  Now of course there are a minority of individuals out there that may be described by one or two of these points but they are the rare exception, not the rule.  Homeschoolers learn about a more varied array of subjects than those in public school.  Homeschoolers usually have classes with other homeschoolers and teams with other homeschoolers and parties with other homeschoolers and become comfortable talking to a wider range of ages than children in public school.  Some homeschoolers do have learning disabilities and their parents use non-traditional methods of teaching them or they simply benefit on one-on-one instruction that cannot be provided in public school.  Not all homeschoolers are religious.

Homeschool parents are this special breed of people that works well in groups but excel when working alone, doing it themselves.  They are likely to own their own business.  They see a need, they fill it.  They are even busier than those parents whose kids are in school for most of the day.  They are told that something is impossible, they find a way to make it work.  They are self-reliant, DIY, quick to help others, passionate about their family, i could go on.  I have little to say against homeschooling.  Homeschooling is education as it was meant to be done, using the resources of the community when it is beneficial but with the knowledge that it is the parents who are responsible for the upbringing of their children, not strangers, not politicians, not corporations.  Education is the key to freedom, faith, and the future.  People out there want to take all of that away from us, they’ve got the public schools firmly in their grasp, i am not content to let them have my future.

So far, my future sucks, largely because of my second part-time job and the debt i cannot pay off.  Obama has affected me personally, made a part time job of 30+ hours a week turn into one of 8-24 hours a week.  I have three part-time jobs and cannot support myself, cannot pay off my debt, cannot afford medical care and was denied Medicaid even though i am poor enough to receive it.  Don’t become ensnared like i am, my college degree is incentive for people not to hire me more than it is for them to hire me.  Educate yourself about which jobs require degrees and if those jobs are needed, available, and pay well enough to let you pay off the debt you will acquire in 4-6 years of higher education.  It is very difficult to finish a degree in four years, all the people i know who did it didn’t actually do it in four years, they took courses for college credit in high school.  The state of higher education is broken right now, i would be very wary before trusting it with my future.  If i had to do it all over again i would not go to college.  The benefits are scant, are far overshadowed by the hindrances that it places on the student and eventual graduate.  If i had it to do it all over again i would refuse to attend public high school.  This goes back to the respecting and obeying your parents, i know, but i regret submitting to their will in this.  All it gave me was a better understanding of math and deeper depression.

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