Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Not particularly what I go to school for

Have you ever seen the film Accepted?
It's a very good film, a comedy, but with a nice underlying message and all that. It's about a boy (Justin Long) who fails to get into any University but can't bear to tell his parents. Long and short of it (watch the film for the bit in the middle) (really, do watch it, Jonah Hill in his early days is brilliant) he ends up creating his own University where the pupils do the teaching and everyone is oh so happy and isn't the world just wonderful.

Entirely unrealistic of course, but the idea is there. School today manages to sap the fun out of everything. If I could explain it visually I would describe an evil looking headmaster with a bag labelled 'joys of life' squeezing out every last drop onto the dirty school hall floor (we've all got one, dust galore) then spitting in it. Because somehow, somehow, whatever you went in to school liking, you ultimately end up hating.

I love to read, absolutely love it. I like to read books, and then when I've finished I like to put them down, and later on read another. I do not like psycho-analysing every last word until the marvel of the story has been removed. 'Why do you think the author chose to use the word 'and' here Rachel?' 'Gee miss, I just don't know. Perhaps the shortness of the word represents his ultimate outlook on life and his negative views of social politics?'
Truman Capote would turn in his grave if he knew the utter rubbish I've spouted in essays.*

Everyone, even teachers, know that we just regurgitate knowledge for exams, then promptly forget it as we stroll out, pretending to our peers that we got 'like, so totally stuck on question 4' when in fact we all did fine. School needs shaking up. Teachers need shaking up. If you ever find yourself being taught by someone who seems to actually care about their subject, treasure it. Those teachers are rarer than X Factor number 1s. But in reality, not that much can be done about it. As a nation we're far too frightened of change, within months of vocational courses finally being improved they were shot down again. Teachers today seem to have lost a spark. When they imply that I should know the answers to something my blood boils. You are the teacher, and I drag myself out of bed everyday to be taught. If all you plan to do is read us the textbook then I plan to leave.

Maybe it's me being nostalgic for years I didn't have. I would love to have been a boy in the late 1920s, going to oxford and being friends with my professors (minus the dodgy touching). It's not inspiring anymore. I don't feel inspired to go out and do anything because of my teachers. In fact the internet gives me more food for thought than any class does. Maybe that's the next step - virtual learning.

Who knows. All I know is I return to year 13 tomorrow, and plan to get my head down and muddle through it, before finishing my final exams and heading to university where, please god, someone will still have some spark left.

*DISCLAIMER. The above quotes were not direct, I have never analysed the word 'and'.

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