A not uncommon headline content, “Truancy drains dollars from campus” pretty much encapsulates school for us. Attendance – sitting in the class. Not doing that is punishable by law. Figure out why…
People who stay away from class they’re scheduled to attend, made into a person called truant, weren’t born that way. Truants are not only people from ‘troubled’ homes or communities. They’re frequently people forced to go to school and old enough to recognize their ability to resist, either sneaking out or openly just not going. They’re making the statement that school does not serve their interests, their person, whether they realize their action means that or not.
The system hears something altogether different. As the headline says, the system has to deal with the loss of funding caused by children’s absence. It is unable to respect the suspected unwarranted absences because of that, for one. More basically, the system… the way our lives are structured by our relation to profit – which is the controlling relation in our – publicized in media a bit more; …a greater fuss is being made over it.
School like war, like jobs, like our lives, is another rigid institution confining our behavior.
School is a basic tool to fit people into one or another niche as fits this society.
And what is this society about? It’s about keeping The Rich rich.
It’s certainly not about us enjoying life, living secure – living secure unto our children’s children. We make compromise after compromise. From having to choose our job when we’re three years old and our tall aunt way up there looks down at us at our toy and asks ‘and little one, what are YOu going to be when you grow up?, to growing up to go to school where we are to follow that choice, or some one choice. Completely one or another program at one or another level of degree from an institution of ‘learning’, we find we’ve had to compromise to name a job – that’s not particularly how we feel we want to live our lives. Who really wants to do dentistry 40 hours a week week after week year after year? Seriously. Seriously? So you’ve taught yourself to say ‘I love doing dentistry’. Really you say ‘I love being a dentist’. We beCOME our job. And we don’t become many jobs; a leaf sweeper – the leaves on our sidewalk; a child care giver, a dentist, a father, a ball player, a chair fixer. We take a place where the job no matter how desirable becomes a daily torture, ruining the weekend, knowing we have to go back to it Monday morning.
We go to movies, maybe write some music, hold hands with our love partner and maybe children, and all of these are hard-won relief from the daily grind. The children actually have become a chore; their opposition to the controls we want to set, are required to set, disrupt a loving relationship. And we’re not allowed to recognize the discomfort, the compromises, the growing recognition that the sense that we’d create a pleasant life for ourselves, amid family and all, is barely if at all going to happen. Sure there are pleasant activities as well as grindingly oppressive one/s. The overall experience is us accepting the uncomfortable relationship we have in our home, in our community.
That’s not the way god intended, despite what the preacher wants you to accept. Our work should be what rises needing to be done that we want to do, that we become capable of doing, that education enables that we do. Our work needs to be as described by our great philosophers, anthropologists, archeologists, part of our lives that we do as necessary, not for the profit of someone else. Do understand, that except for the rulers, all our work, doctoring, running the City, sweeping it, washing the child – all goes to maintenance of us workers, who work to profit the rulers. Occupy explained that to us vividly.
The child in the fourth grade says ‘I don’t like this’ …arithmetic, or writing, or sitting in the classroom. The teacher’s response reports as required something on the order of ‘but this is what life is; doing what you must whether you like it or not’.
Many teachers will tell you that’s not their response. Many will show you the devices used to entice children to think they’re being responded to – the efforts to make school – called education – ‘fun’. School not being ‘fun’ has to be concealed under cloaks of games and such to make it seem fun – as though enjoying teaching and learning need dressing up in order to be tolerated.
The students and our communities are told over and over that it, like any foul tasting food or medicine, is GOOD for them. Fun – a spoonful of sugar-fun makes the tyranny go down.
People to one degree or another become accustomed to swallowing what this system pushes onto them.
Truancy evidences a more accurate sense of these discomforts. It is hardly criminal. People who try to reduce it go out to confront children to convince them it’s really alright to give up their ideas of what’s going on vs what should be going on; to bring them back into line with the order of things. Our job in the profit system, in the systems where we’re ruled – “ten that toil where one reposes” (now the disparity – the gap – is enormously greater), adult or child, is to conform to the service requirement at one level or another. School is the stratum maker.
I’m a candidate for the Berkeley school board so we can have a seat on it through which to promote examination of the discordance that this system is, in relation to our tastes for living well.
Norma J F Harrison 1312 Cornell Berkeley, Ca. 94702 1-510-526-3968 http://normaharrisonforschoolboard.info/ http://www.smartvoter.org/2010/11/02/ca/alm/vote/harrison_n/
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” Einstein
We are allowed through ‘voting’ to choose which of our Owners’ representatives will continue oppression of us. The system after all, is capitalism, immutable. The electeds have little to no choice in the matter, except to further it, or to resist it outright. If they resist it, and tell us truths, and tell us the system needs to be fought, that socialism needs to be fought for, they don’t get elected, or they don’t get elected again. (abstracted from a comment by Marx.)