Friday, June 22, 2012

School = Insanity?

Strange timing isn't it?  I'm talking about school in the summer.  I'm watching this documentary that's called The War on Kids.  Basically it talks about school being compared to a prison and the different aspects of the education system and the idealistic ideas that society builds.  In school children are expected to be quiet, respectful, disciplined, and joyous.  And we control and enforce these ideas to build a perfect system.

My school has security.  There is a room not far from the entrance of the school that has a room with screens that portray some hallways.  And of course you have the police.  My school was pretty violent this year so I understand a little to why they put cameras but the documentary that I'm watching makes good points.  Spending a huge sum of money on security will not help prevent violence.  Nor does it even help with locating a fight.  It's mostly used as an intimidation factor to ensure that no one would do anything "rebellious".  Now this sounds similar to the Panopticon built by Jeremy Bentham.  It was a prison built so that the prisoners would not know if they're being watched.  Now in schools you can see cameras but either way you're being watched and it's a bit creepy don't you think?  It's like being stalked, someone is watching you when you're walking down the hallways.  I hate having a teacher see me walk down the hallways.  Staring at me with their vicious eyes like a predator about to attack prey.

"No tolerance zone"
A weapon is never tolerable at school.  But how many times do students get in trouble for carrying a real weapon?  Well let me share you a story.  I was in my Catholic school (elementary) and it was recess.  There was this kid who drew a picture on the concrete depicting a stick figure with a poorly drawn gun.  He was punished for drawing something oh so obscene and violent.  All for drawing a gun?  I think we've become absolutely paranoid that whenever a child draws a gun or plays with one then they're suddenly a maniac.  There were cases the documentary revealed that children who pretended to play with guns were suspended or expelled.  It's a huge list and some of them are downright stupid.  A boy who had chicken strips was pointing it at a girl and said "bam" and he got suspended.  It's like our trust with children has poofed into nothing.  Seriously what is the problem here?  Why must we be so harsh on children when their knowledge of guns is limited.

There is something wrong with you!
Teachers pay attention to the "good" kids in class.  The nice, quiet, reserved children.  But then there comes along a rowdy child who fidgets in their chair and they can't seem to pay attention.  Some adults might think that child has ADD or ADHD.  So they do what other typical adults do and go to the doctor.  Because they don't fit into that perfect image we have to build a name for it.  The teachers don't want to spend their time focusing on those children.  They want to focus on the children who get it and learn it quickly.  You go to the doctor, they prescribe a certain stimulant.  Now you have a "normal" child!  Just ignore the side effects like loss in interest, zombie-like figure, and suicidal thoughts.

No freedom
The staff and administration control our freedom when we enter school.  They control how we socialize, when we socialize, limit our thinking and potential, and limit on how we can speak.  When we question authority (teachers) we are labeled as brats, rebels, annoying, or childish.  It's like our freedoms have run down to such a minimum.  We are the dogs and they are the humans disciplining us on every small detail.  We can't speak out or we'll be sent to the principal's.  There are times when teachers just don't like students and the students have to sit there and take it or else they risk detention.  We can't think for ourselves because we constantly have an adult to limit that.  A good example has to be English class.  We are forced to read what the teachers want us to read.  For example I never wanted to read Romeo and Juliet but I had no choice!  Then we get loaded with assignments that make us break things down and analyze this and sequence this and translate this and blah blah blah.  It's bad enough I hate the story why would I want to focus on assignments that only enhance my hatred for this garbage?  And teachers wonder why kids don't try in class.  Maybe it's because the stuff that is taught isn't necessarily in our top "things that I want to learn" list.

Mental deprivation
6:00 a.m. wake up to take a shower
6:25 a.m., clean up and drink a couple glasses of water (I don't eat breakfast on school days)
7:10 a.m., walk to school
7:50 a.m., wait in the class for ten minutes for the day to begin
8 a.m.- 2:50 p.m., try to fit in about eight hours of information whilst staying awake, paying full attention, taking notes, and ignoring morons
Repeat 5x a week.

That's my daily schedule for weekdays.  It's completely monotonous and boring.  Listen, it's bad enough I have to wake up at 6 in the morning and deal with buffoons.  Oh and there is no one to wake me up in case I don't hear the alarm because my mom is at work.  There are days where I prefer waking up later or not even waking up at all but I have to or else I'll be screwed.  There are days where I have woken up thirty minutes after the alarm went off and that makes me pissy throughout the day.  Now, let's see the time spend after school.

3:00 p.m., get home from school
3:30 p.m., do homework until it gets completely finished plus projects, if any
5:00 p.m., get some sort of exercise or physical activity
6:00 p.m., take a small shower, eat, and force yourself to stay awake until it is time for bed

I usually take naps when I get home because I'm so drained.  It isn't because I'm lazy it's because I'm mentally exhausted from the day.  There are days where I hate taking naps because waking up from them makes me feel awful.  I don't have block scheduling so I have to get things done everyday or else it'll be late. Oh and did I mention that late assignments make your grade lower?  Did I mention that quizzes and tests are crammed in on Fridays?  Did I mention I force myself to study?  Did I mention I go to bed stressing about grades and crap?  Yeah it isn't fun and adults will never understand because their generation was different than ours.  We're in a generation where things are competitive and you must be on top of your game every school year.  There are days where I'm so close to falling asleep because I can't seem to stay awake.  It isn't because the teacher is boring but it's because my mental capacity is running dangerously low.  But they expect you to get to school in tip top shape with your assignments done and ready to take a quiz or test with no emotional problems you're dealing with at home.  Oh and the people are... well you get the point.  Seriously there is no time to even think about problems.

A security system that is worse than prison, a policy that is pathetic but is still enforced, teachers who abuse their authority, having no freedom, and mental deprivation is imminent.  One person from the documentary even said that these are perfect for making someone go insane.  Why is it that we have stuck to this system that doesn't even work all that much?  We ask a lot for the younger generation.  More than any other generation and it will keep getting stressful.  I do believe that we have to question the education system because it's at its lowest point.  This was a long post but I hope you get the idea of how the education system is.  Wooh long post!

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