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Saturday, January 03, 2004

Whenever I’m attracted to somebody, what I see in them is a swirling black abyss threatening to suck me in if I don’t manage a distant orbit around it.

I’m a cynical person.

Okay, so last night I had a dream. I’ve been going to alternative schools all my life, so in my dream I was visiting a real school. This real school was overridden by security measures: for instance, the floors were one-way, so that you could only walk one direction on them. (Funny how dream logic works.) The Plexiglas doors were also one-way, and could only be opened from the inside. We stayed in one classroom, with one break per day. These stringent rules were important for tracking student movement, because you never know when somebody’s going to pull a gun.

Except, when somebody pulls a gun, you would regret the purchasing of one-way floors.

Shit.

At this point I believe I’m scheduled to rant about how students are treated like criminals in our public school system, which causes them to act the part (golly gee), but I just don’t feel like it. It’s too depressing. I wish our schools cultivated learning instead of prodding their students around like cattle.

Disclaimer: I’m generalizing. Yes, I go to a hippie school far away from the doctrine of “sit them in a desk and let them figure this whole school thing out,” but when schools across the country are picking up on the fad of armed police officers and metal detectors, (oh! and illegal drug tests to see once and for all if you are a loser or not) I can’t help but.... want to puke. Can you imagine being led into your school with the notion that you could be the one person to ruin this school forever?

Oh! And now that I’ve brought up drug tests, I can bitch about them. See, you can like the idea of “smoke pot, don’t get on the track team,” until you realize, “if they can’t get on the track team, how the hell are they going to stop smoking pot?” If you tell a teenager not to do something, it becomes a forbidden fruit; everybody knows that. So if you brand a teenager as a “loser,” by, say, telling them they can’t get on the track team until they quit, it gives them an identity as a loser. You cut them off from what could allow them to realize themselves. So, if we are going to tell our kids that they shouldn’t take drugs, we need to give them an alternative: engaging school programs. Oooogh!

(Of course, individualized programs like art, sports, and science are being cut by the truckload thanks to budget cuts in the midst of an illegal occupation of a country the US had no business invading in the first place. But hey, I’m only a teenager, what do I know?)

(Only that I love science and I haven’t been able to get a decent science education since watching Bill Nye in second grade...)

(And that, while I’m lucky enough to be in a family that can send me to college, all around me I see my teenage friends who assume there is no hope and turn to drugs because their government isn’t allowing them an education that’ll get them past working 9 to 5 at McDonalds....)

(And that the Star Wars missile defense program, which is successful only in tests that are rigged and is nonetheless pissing off the entire planet, costs the equivalent of sending those teenagers, as well as every fucking student in America, to college! Holy Jesus Christ, do you have any concept of how much that would reduce crime and improve the economy? We’d be America, The Country that Sends Everybody to College on the Money they Saved by Scrapping a Silly Space Toy that Never Worked in the First Place but Nonetheless Was Pissing Everybody Off Since the Guy who Sent America’s Economy Sailing into the Crapper Introduced It! Can I fit that on a license plate?)

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