- British Politics and Culture; Franco-British Relations
21 years I have lived.
Yes, if you care to know, I am proud to be a 90s child. :)
I am currently attending a typical university that attracts lower income students due to its lower than average (but still insane) tuition rates. I do not enjoy college. I can't really place why when people ask...
I read an article (Feb. 2012) in my political sociology class about Mr. Ivan Illich. Reading about his deschooling society theory was one of those classic moments in reading when you discover something you thought was unique to your mind - already written down; by someone you've never met, someone who may even be long been dead. I agreed with nearly every point he made, and wondered why I had not been able to explain this very idea before hand. I've been thinking about it ever since.
How would the world appear if this were 100% successful? I know it will not happen on a large scale in my life time, but all movements have to start somewhere. It started for Illich in the 70s, and it can start for me now.
But I have a problem; one of the reasons why I am here.
I intend to leave America and become a British Citizen. But my Irish Question is: When?
I have not been graced with money, or connections to it.
So my issue now is, do I finish my degree (I'm 3 years in, 2 and 1/2 left to go) in America, start paying off my debts and then move? Or do I cut the string (and my losses) now, build up money, start paying of debts, and be able to leave for the UK sooner?
Since our society isn't yet "deschooled", university degree papers and grades still matter to employers. And because the dollar is so weak to the pound, all of my money will evaporate faster than I care to think about. The job climate there for people in my age group is terrible as well, so who is to say I would even find anything right off.
But that's the point of all of this isn't it?
To make moves.
My current degree is for International Affairs, with a minor in French.
I would like to get a more specific degree in something I would call British Politics and Culture; with a minor in Franco-British relations, but no university has enough Parliament and pub-banter courses on offer to supply a degree for this, of course.
I want to test the international waters; over the past year I've devised a plan to study away. A lot.
The plan consists of studying at the University of Nice in the summer, exploring France, and then on to the Motherland. In October, my plan would continue as scheduled if I began at the London School of Economics for their yearlong General Course programme. I've been very excited about this "dream".
I still have yet to apply to the LSE. If I do not get in, I have University College London, and the University of Sussex as backups. Through this study I am hoping to see if maybe it's just that I do not like American schooling. I get that the structured system of school is similar no matter what country you're in, but I will only know if I try.
If I do not get into the LSE, or etc, then I have a decision to make.
Do I continue with this university here. Or stop, save, money and leave?
What I want to do and what is the smartest decision isn't the same I believe; in our current societal climate anyway.
I am a very goal oriented person, and I have always felt inside that I learn more when I'm teaching myself. When I was in high school, during the summers I used to hold my own little 'all nighters' which I referred to as "research nights". I would stay up all night long, with the help of cereal and regular intervals of fruit, my curiosity was enough to keep me awake all that time researching on whatever struck my fancy at that moment. Anything. And I'm always looking up words, and references in jokes too. Just the search for the meaning in irony can lend so many answers while opening so many more doors of interest. The point is, I felt I always learned more over the summer than I did in school.
School hasn't been very hard for me (besides maths), in many cases I've told authority figures its really been too easy for us. (Another problem I have with the American education system.)
I have met people my age, who have honestly graduated high school on time and were never held back -- yet they believe Paris is a country, are unaware of the Big Bang concept, and/or do not know or really care to find out about the suffering that is happening in the world. Our education system is secretly isolationist I believe (minus those "rebel teachers and professors" who extend beyond the norm) promoting the dumbing down of society so that all high school graduates will hopefully care about is, buying transport, worry about their cell phone, stay up on popular music, partyin-it-up and forget about the problems that really matter. The problems that they don't even know they have a stake in. I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to get tight once in a while, I'm saying that school is just about going through the motions. Not knowledge, understanding, or true learning.
I am here to document this, my personal time of "deschooling", and assess if and when this process is a success or not.
I have many ideas for projects, goals, studies, and activities for myself; as I always do. However being here gives me an opportunity to document what I normally do and receive feedback, help, and extra knowledge. I want to network with others like myself and hear from them; their experiences, thoughts, dreams.
Some of my interests for a start include: anything British (meaning anything English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish); painting; French language, culture, history; Europe, politics in the Near East, storytelling; play watching; eating, and cooking too I suppose; Japanese food and traditions; Harry Potter; ham radio; writing (novel in progress); film making; drawing, pencil/ink; writing parchment letters; dogs; coaching track (400m); music - in place of a traditional religion; agnosticism; Evelyn Waugh novels; poetry; landscape photography; photo-journals; rug patterns; Gaelic history; bike riding; camping; running to music; dancing; driving alone; sitting and thinking; how skin tans; addiction studies; dark clouds during the day time; travelling; making butterbeer; giving lectures on the story of David and Wallis, and disputing the incorrect facts used in movies (cough madonna cough WE, cough The Kings Speech); playing piano; listening to the rain hit different roofing surfaces; lucid dreaming; making books-to-read lists; making birthday cards; being in and seeing new places that are so big and awesome that my eyes can't stretch wide open enough to take it all in at once; smiling only when the situation deserves one. . .
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