Sarah Hoyt, thinks back on all the stuff she learned in school in a Portuguese village. Until fourth grade, when students took a national exam, school was “charmingly informal.”
Children dropped in when it was convenient. There was lots of recess. “Two thirds of the class was just going to work in the textile factories at 10, anyway,” Hoyt writes. “The rest of us had learned at home.”
Her brother was skipped from first to fourth grade. She was allowed to forget her homework, obsess on one subject and ignore others and spend her time reading and writing novels at her desk.
Of course, her classmates with uneducated parents didn’t learn much and didn’t go far — not even to the next village for fifth and sixth grade. Hoyt became a writer.
Schools teach students to perform set tasks. Then they’re shocked when they’ve done what they were supposed to and can’t get a job.
Thank G-d for the village school and the village itself, where I learned real life is not a point-check system and that whether you succeed or fail is not dependent on how hard you tried and how well you performed, even, but on a multitude of factors, including personality and yes, luck. And it’s not “unfair” – it is what it is.
School teaches that the teacher — or some other authority — “knows best,” writes Hoyt.
Also, “the cool kids know best,” so every should aspire to be a cool kid, grow up to worship celebrities and try “to get attention by being know-it-all loudmouths.”