The funny thing is, lately I have been so happy I have been struggling to find the words to string together for another blog write up of bubbling emotions bursting from my lips and onto the page to confess to you all.
However, I do have a lot of things in my mind and of course, I am always over thinking every situation so I thought I would aim this one at a subject I usually don’t write about, but I will give it a red hot crack, sorry if it doesn’t meet the emotional heartache of a standard I have created, you can all just hang on for a day the tidal wave strikes again, I ensure you it is coming.
The good old education system, argh brilliant isn’t it!?
I hated school, every little bit of it, not because of the fact I was consistently bullied or the fact I never truly excelled in anything that made me stand out from any other student. Because of the whole glorified system that has been put together to entrain us to be the same as one another and strive for no common behavioural morals but to strive for academic excellence and that for ‘a matter of fact’ you are a nobody until you have climbed the corporate ladder and made it to the top, big wod of cash in hand, business suit on and a fake white smile to prove happiness.
I often wonder what the top would feel like, whether the smell of money would make the journey worth it and if the lonely ache in the chest would be filled with the knowledge of officially ”making it”.
As long as I can remember I have just wanted to be a mother and wife, the classic traditional stay at home mother who creates decent little people, I didn’t dare tell anyone that when I was in high school, that was a little secret I would keep dear to my chest.
For some reason, unknown to me I was chosen to represent education a number of times, so I grew a passion for changing the traditional school system and bridging the gap between rural and metropolitan schools across Victoria.
Before I delve into my reasoning into disliking the traditional school system, I need to tell you about the train of thought I had when it came to admitting I actually had no career goal.
When I was 16 I was putting salt out with my father, he was telling me about some heifers we had due to drop soon with the comment afterwards “man it would be handy if you became a vet”, I remember it stunted me and I just stared at him before he laughed and continued “we all know that wouldn’t happen, you won’t be happy until you have a rugby team of babies running around the house” that was what got me, he knew? Everyone knew.
Would that disappoint him? If I didn’t strive for something incredible if I didn’t become someone enormous and if the enormity of my success was dependent on what my father wanted, would I make my dad unproud if I, in fact, fell in love, had babies and spent my days gardening and making jam?
See my parents never pushed me to be anything, lucky for me they weren’t the sit me down after school careers day and tell me what classes to do to become who I want to be, they let me work it out for myself.
Teachers are remarkable people, people, we need to acknowledge a whole lot more then what we do, my teachers were constantly staying passed the lunchtime bell to explain to me where I went wrong in an essay, I watched them come into school at 6 am and set up a classroom full of fun activities to engage us in learning, they did four years of university to get to that spot, four years of sitting in a lecture theatre getting taught to become the people they despised less than 6 months ago.
In year 10 I told my careers advisor I wanted to be an agronomist, it was the only career I could think of that let me work in the field I wanted and return home with a decent salary to sustain the high life I wanted to live, I neglected the fact I hated everything to do with science and the fact I didn’t know what nuclear mass was, nor did I care.
But I had a friend who wanted nothing more than to be a nurse and it suited her, every time I visualise her and her future career it was that so she took on classes that would help her get there and the classes fit, she liked them because they were related.
No one never recognised my love for writing, I don’t know why but no one ever did, maybe I wasn’t strong enough to strive for a career that allowed me to express that, maybe I couldn’t admit that to myself either.
To everyone currently doing year 12, I beg of you to do the classes you enjoy, it will make your experience that much better, also you know those people who say “you will miss it when it’s finished, the real world isn’t very fun” that’s a lie, I promise you it gets better and the real world is amazing.
The idea to collaborate students into stretching their minds to the limits inside a classroom to create mental fitness before the hike of university begins, I understand that. Although I don’t think it should be such a big heavy handed push we are given, I never understood gap years, I thought they were stupid, putting off the inevitable, now I think they are the best idea to come around since sliced bread.
Go enjoy stuff, travel, work, make money (you’ll need it if a university is what you choose) and just find out your likes and interests outside of your hometown and the comfort of your bedroom with the bed your mum most likely still makes.
Maybe it isn’t the education system I don’t like, because I did enjoy primary school, I enjoyed learning in Tallangatta Valley, I liked that my teachers insisted we put our hands up to speak and we must hold hands when crossing the road, I enjoyed that, I thoroughly did it wasn’t until I reached high school I struggled, because the hand up in the air no longer got me attention, I had to know the answer I had to find that out myself.
When I was chosen to represent education and to speak about my misunderstanding of the system it was shocking to see how many peers felt the same, that the push to reach the top of education was too much for their little growing minds.
Not being a negative nelly I do believe the system is improving, now I watch my nieces and nephews go to school and learn all the things they need to, but there is a huge unanswered question inside me about that lingering preconceived idea that our children need to reach excellence academically to earn salaries to sustain them in the future, maybe that’s the question that has created this loathe, after all, it is getting harder and harder to afford necessities and it will only get worse, so maybe it isn’t the fear of failure that pushes the future generation, maybe it is, in fact, the need to live.
A message to the students deciding what they want to be: don’t stress it will work itself out, I know that sounds hard but I promise you that you will get where you need to be and when. No class you take will determine your success, in saying that create your own form of success.
For all of you wondering, no I am no longer studying Agricultural Science, life seemed to pop up and I took a different direction, a direction I most definitely needed to take, so every sleepless night I spent learning the molecular weight of an atom is no longer relevant to my everyday life and hooley dooley am I glad for that!
“It is better to be decent at a lot of things than to excel in one thing,” my grandad, Ron Apps, the most content man you will ever meet.