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8 – School is so overrated

31 October, 2011

School: it's more a problem of the system that of bad teachers

Even more than political elections that happened yesterday, in the last weeks, what interested the most people I know in Cali has been the reform of the University. It’s the same old story: defending the public system against privatization, etc.

Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steven Spielberg, Doris Lessing, H.G. Wells, Sophia Loren among others, will tell you it is just a waste of time. And more modestly, I am with them. 

My schooling history is one typical of my generation: coming from a humble family, I got a degree more to pleasure my mom and pay her back of all the sacrifices she did in the illusion University could prepare me for life and gave me access to high society, that my family couldn’t afford. Somehow it worked for the latter: I used my thesis to create contacts with people in la Gazzetta dello Sport, the newspaper where I was dreaming and ended up working for years. But that was just a plug who helped my dream come true, and even when that represented more the exception than the rule. Nowadays it looks like if you don’t have at least a Master worth twenty thousand or more Euro per year you don’t either have a chance to compete. Bullshit.

Already at age 16th I wanted to quit school and go straight to work, even if I was a very good student. Maybe it was too early and it was a good thing I solved my crisis continuing on studying, and at the same time start working during my holidays. I tried again to leave the system after my third year of University, after I passed all the exams I was interested in, and aware all brilliant minds I met on the road had already taken more challenging roads.
I took anyway my piece of sheet (pun intended) for my incapacity of finding better alternatives and I cleared up focusing only in what I really like. And that’s my suggestion to anyone want or must(?) keep studying: if you really have to, think just in what get you on fire, not what give you better opportunity for a career.

The point is school doesn’t prepare you for life, nor does help you to find a job. I have learned more English in one month traveling solo around Europe than in six years of high school. I know where Lugano, Helsingborg, Villareal, Gelsenkirchen, Moenchengladbach are (even if the last one I haven’t learned how to write it yet), thanks to my football fever, not because I have memorized them on an atlas. Ditto for my mathematics skills, which grew up reading and managing my own sports rankings.

And business will rule over school more and more. Even in Europe has won the American model, where you have to pay exorbitant sums of money that, independently of your economical or intellection capacities, will force you to work like a slave for years, to pay your debts. Truth is, education is functional to a system that doesn’t want you to be free and think outside the box. Don’t let me even start with the psychological or didactic aspects.

You don’t combat this battle fighting for a better, free public education, as it is un utopia hoping for some honest person to work out our political visions. There are indeed too many people with a useless degree and fewer people will waste the best years of their life for their formation in a campus, the better will be for everyone.

Stop paying and attend scholastic institutions obviously doesn’t mean quitting on studying and learning. To get a good education two things are fundamental: access to knowledge and a good teacher. In the era of internet anyone can learn of everything in a better and faster way than in school, granted you can have access to the net and this will keep being uncensored. This is the real battle to fight, because corporation are making quick progress to limit our freedom, without we even realize it.

A teacher is more delicate issue: first place where to look for one it is, and it will always be, in your family. But it is also true that there will always be too many parents more damaging than useful to their children, and even the bests can always take us to a certain point. And it is even more true that a Franco Baresi that lead us from a football pitch rise every one hundred years. Uhm, even worst there is only a Franco Baresi.

Thinking to get everything done by ourself it’s self-deceptive, but if we understand first what we want, we can put in the condition in which real Masters, being them school teachers, writers, spiritual gurus or Chuck Norris, can manifest in our Path. And as the saviour Quelo was telling us, you must look for the answer within you, not outside. But it’s wrong.

Maybe it

Tools & Tricks
School dropout list A really impressive list of people who quit their studies and still accomplished something in their life.

Education reform Excellent website, that even if analyze just the american system, I think give a detailed analysis, good for every system.

Do we really need a guru? I think everybody needs guides, someone need divinities.

Public places where I wrote
None. This time I have failed, but Friday I did lots of thing at home, I had good time outside during the weekend and this week I’ll be travelling again. I feel excused.


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  1. 8 – La Universidad no sirve a Nada « 40yque?

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