5 Responses to “School is not for revolution”

  1. 1 lckelley December 23, 2009 at 5:59 am

    I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Not least, the imagery of a football stadium of narcoleptics all awake at the same time. Your point about not wanting to make a fuss, about wanting a good idea to stand on its own merit — ineffectually but so be it — resonates.

    Here’s a Pirsig idea I want to add to the mix:
    “The student’s biggest problem was a slave mentality which had been built into him by years of carrot-and-whip grading, a mule mentality which said ‘If you don’t whip me, I won’t work.’ He didn’t get whipped. He didn’t work.”

    I notice myself just coming out of this, a year and a half after graduation, finally now working again because I am intrinsically interested and not because “I have to.”

    I add this not to say that you’re not already spot-on. But this may be a second way in which grade-based education systemically discourages moving and shaking.


  2. 2 lckelley December 23, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Also, welcome back!

  3. 3 David(P) December 23, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Agreed. I feel like we’re both in the aftermath of figuring out how to translate our school momentum into ‘real world’ progress, and finding that it’s going to take some serious alchemy, especially in these silly times.

  4. 4 JSC7 December 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Lisa – I think you’re totally right; on top of that, I think that ‘the best and the brightest’ often come to really enjoy getting ‘whipped’ as Pirsig says, because they know if they’re being whipped they have the chance to show off how well they can do something, and when the whipping is gone, there isn’t the same joy in achievement.

    David – No matter how silly times get, they’ll never be sillier than a man in a bird outfit standing next to the security guard on the 6th floor of a Hanoi office building.

  5. 5 Claire December 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I voted.

    (As there is just one vote, you can deduce what I think of your text)


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This is a group blog. JSC5 currently writes from the US. JSC7 writes from behind the Great Firewall of China.

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