In school, I learned that A students win.
In life, I learned that A students work for C students. And, B students work for the government.
In school, I learned English grammar. I didn’t get it. Failed middle school twice and didn’t graduate from high school until one month before my 20th birthday.
In life, I taught myself Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Anglo-Saxon. Now, I teach grammar in all of those languages.
In school, I learned to fear mistakes. Might get a bad grade!
In life I learned to fail fast and to fail often. In life I learned to keep trying over and over again.
In school, I learned to wait for the authority (the teacher) to give me permission. Permission to go to the restroom. Permission to eat lunch. Permission to talk. Permission to stand up, sit down, line up and on and on.
In life, I learned to find a way or make a way. I do not have a degree in Latin. And, I teach Latin. Same goes for the other languages. I didn’t wait for permission from a teacher or school. I just started doing it. I learned as I went along. Still learning.
In school, I learned distraction. Just when I would get interested in history, the bell would ring. Off to algebra! An hour later, the bell would ring. Off to microeconomics! An hour later, the bell would ring. Off to English literature! I am beginning to thing school is designed to keep us from ever encountering Deep Work.
In life, I learned to focus.
In school, I learned to “work with others”. Which being interpreted is, I learned to do the work while the lazy and uninitiated tagged along and then eagerly accepted the kudos for work I had done.
In life, I learned to work alone, and I learned to get stuff done. There are now about 2,900 language videos on my site.
In school, I learned to read dull books. Textbooks are written for academic committees, not students. Slowly, I learned to hate reading.
In life, I learned to read whatever I wanted to. I now read whatever I am interested in… and, I read at least a book a week. Sometimes more.
I will keep adding more to this post as I think of more.
But, here’s the point.
Sir Walter Scott once said, “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.” In other words, education is a DIY job.
School is likely slowing you down. School is likely teaching you to be paralyzed by fear. School is teaching you to obey. School is teaching you to submit. School is likely smothering your love of learning.
Consider carefully before you enroll in school. At any level.
Read The Underground History of American Education, also by John Gatto.
Read Skip College: Launch Your Career Without Debt, Distractions, or a Degree by Connor Boyack
Feeling like you’ve missed out in life?
Read Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard. (Pay particular attention to his discussion of the SAT and ACT tests. Yeah. That’s a fun topic)
One last thought.
I don’t listen to the advertising messages of drug pushers because I don’t want their product.
I don’t listen to academic advertisements (college pushers) for the same reason.
Blaze your own trail. You can.