While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker.
While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment.
While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it.
So, I wonder, why did I even want this position?
Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it?
When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost?
I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning.
And quite frankly, now I’m scared.
— Erica Goldson (2010) “Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech”
This is an interesting talk about the current USA’s education system (but it’s valid also for Italy, sadly), and it curiously matches pretty well many parts of “Solitude and leadership” (William Deresiewicz).
I couldn’t agree more.
I lived all my school years trying to get the maximum “for me” while doing just what was necessary to get the grades. Some teachers understood this, and that made me happy and motivated. But often this system made me angry, because “you’re asking me to do something completely pointless”. In the end, I was lucky enough to probably win on all the fronts (human, professional and for that final sheet of paper).
Erica in her talk explained the problem that troubled me too with a great clarity. A must read.