Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Verse by J-Ray

by Jordan Ray

Do you ever find it funny?

Funny that this school system
While trying to prepare us for the real world
Sometimes just seems to protec us from it instead?
I mean, when prohibit some things in schools
We don’t really become prepared for what’s really out there
So kids go to find it somewhere else

I find it funny that 1000 years ago
Kids were considered adults from the time they could bear a sword or children,
Depending on gender
Nowadays we have to spend about a quarter of our total life span
In institutions
Not allowing for the fact of course
If you end up going insane later in life
And have to spend the rest of your days in one of those lovely jackets with belts in the back

I find it funny that we have a course called Planning 10
That makes students think about what they are going to do when they graduate
Instead of letting them go out and live it
Hasn’t it ever struck you that the best parts of school are when you do something new
Or different
Like going on a field trip somewhere
Or learning about something whilst not behind a desk?
Ask kids in our band program about what their favorite part of the course is
And I’ll bet you that the majority will say the trips

How old was Alexander the Great when he got command of an army?
He was still a teenager
Winston Churchill did poorly in school
And yet went on to become one of the most celebrated leaders in history
Einstein failed math in school
And yet is considered to be one of the most brilliant men that ever lived
I’m not suggesting that everyone is like these great leaders
Only that people cannot all be expected to grow up at the same time
And trying to standardize the way that students mature was a poorly thought out idea

Because everyone is different
And as a country that was founded on the idea of preserving and celebrating the things that make us unique
We shame ourselves by promoting the idea of conformation
By promoting protectionism of our children beyond a certain point
I mean, take France
They have no minimum drinking age
And I’ll bet you that incidents involving alcohol are the same or lower than ours in Canada
Because the worst thing that you can do to child to protect them from it is to say that they can’t have it
Like that box of cookies or that shiny toy
With their curiosity ignited, they will not stop until they’ve got it
So you want to get rid of the rebels?
Take away the things that make them rebellious

Let us face the world on our own
And I think that you’ll find we do pretty well
Have faith in us
And we won’t disappoint you
If we need a lifeline, we’ll let you know
And some of us will screw up
Probably all of us, actually
So you’ll see us again
But if you don’t let us screw up
We’ll never learn how to do it right

So give us wings
And let us show you how to soar
Don’t keep us clipped and pampered inside of some gilded cage
As much as you love us and want to protect us
The biggest thing that we want is to show you
That we can fly too

We want you to be proud of us
And it’s not enough to just bring back an A+ or two on our report cards
Because not even everyone can do that
Or holds value in those ink symbols on paper
We want to free fall
Hurtle towards the earth
Pull the cord and land on our feet

And when tell you that we did it
We want you to beam with pride
Tell us how proud you are of us
While we beam with pride too

Let us scale every mountain
Swim every channel
Run every marathon
Fight every battle
And face every challenge by staring it down without fear
Let us show the world what we’re made of
And emerge with victory.

1 comment:

~Julia said...

So true - every word of it. The standardized school system is used because it's easier. There are fewer field trips than ever before because its easier. There are standardized test and exams because its easier. A pity really...

I remember my biology camping trips better than any of the school lectures. I mean looking at dead things under 3-D microscopes is quite different from looking at the same thing crawling around on the microscope while your bum is getting soaked from sitting on a wet log. Or taking water samples & surveying the area to determine the health of the stream sitting right there in front of you. There simply is no comparison.

In protecting us, we're being smothered, though we do have it easier than any before us. Its good in some ways - I'm glad we don't have to fight or have kids (at least here) though the alternative isn't so hot either...

Planning is useless(the course and in general) - I only discovered what I wanted to do with my life through learning what I HATE doing. Else, I'd never know. We really do have to fail to learn. Maybe that is really what we have lost...we don't value learning from failure over success, though we really should.