I'm not sure where I heard/read it but someone was writing some puff piece titled "why I hate school but love education". 
Now there was that Suli Breaks video of the same title maybe two or three years ago where he discussed the idea, then someone made one of those whiteboard drawing videos for it that made it all digestible and damn did it get lapped up by the teenagers of the world. Listening to some impassioned black man talk about why school is a sham and how you can be intelligent without doing good in exams and it doesn't matter how you do in exams because nobody cares about college degrees and you can impress them without having a piece of paper. 

I just rewatched the video because I didn't really want to be flamed for making some stuff up and I dunno I didn't really think it's clever. There's a thing with these truths in society or these aspirations that parents have for their children. They're not there because of some illuminati conspiracy to keep us all tied  down (as I thought a few years ago) but because they generally work for the most people and are easy and relicable. There's a reason why McDonalds is the biggest restaurant in the world (actually technically it's subway now but who cares) because it's recipes are easily scaleable and replicable. You can get wheat anywhere and you make that into a white, bleached bun. Any beef will taste the same after a trip in the ammonia baths and so on. It works the same for a lot of places. 

But would you eat McDonalds every day? Probably not. Just because it's replicable doesn't mean it's the best for everyone, theres artisan kobe beef patties on a brioche bun with a dollop of artisinal kewpie that blow it out of the water but not everyone wants to train and get to the position where they're making a monster japan-burger thing. 

Where that shocking analogy was meant to go was to say that it's great to put these mesages into the mainstream conciousness but it's also dangerous. The accepted dogma is that school is useful and you should try and do as well as you can in it is actually quite good in my opinion. As a teenager it's pretty damn hard to muster up hustle and making yourself work when you aren't set deadlines and exams. When we start telling kids about the Richard Bransons and the Steve Jobs of the world we bring up this idea of quitting school. It gives a justification for what is basically copping out. Sure some kids might do well dropping out but honestly it's a miniscule percentage that would probably realised school wasn't for them anyway. 

When we got taught about emotional intelligence and interpersonal intelligence in primary school there were kids who thought "oh I must be emotionally intelligent because I have lots of friends and don't do too well in school." This message stays with them for years and shows up in all their practises. I had a friend comment that "oh it's great that you do well in school, but at least I have emotional intelligence." I wasn't that fazed that she had called me autistic but I just thought it was quite sad that she had fenced of the idea of her ever doing well in classes. We learn a lot about a fixed mindset being bad and honestly I think that the idea that you just aren't good at school is the worst one of them all. 

Published by Kevin Li