3: What if High School Lasted Forever?Posted: September 6, 2014
I grew up in the “big city” (Vancouver, B.C.). Back then, life was a little different. As kids, we were free to run around and play pretty much anywhere. We trusted our neighbours, they gave us cookies, I had a Big Wheels, and life was hunky dory.
High school was fun. Plenty of structured activities, a good supply of mind altering substances that were mentioned in our favorite songs and movies, and the knowledge that we lived in one of the best countries around. We were part of the first world, so we didn’t have to worry about being bombed or gunned down in the street by islamic jihadists or anything. For this we were supposed to be grateful. In exchange, we shouldn’t complain too much if things weren’t always fair. It was pretty cool.
As Vancouver grew it became more and more busy. My friends and family moved to different places all over the world, and life seemed to get more and more empty. Was I the only one, that had questions? Was I the only one that wasn’t satisfied with the way things were?
As luck would have it, my search for answers to the questions that plagued me luckily could all now be answered by a newly forming cosmos of information called the Internet. What is this thing we call money? And why is everyone so obsessed with getting it? Why is it wrong, in fact, illegal to defend yourself from physical attack, when the military does nothing but do just that all around the world to defend us here at home? Why are drugs bad and illegal, yet are basically promoted and glorified in movies and tv, and so readily available everywhere?
I kept wanting to live in a slower paced small town type setting. Something more like Mayberry, where you can get to know people. So I decided to move to Ladner. I was lucky to know a few people in the town already from work, and my sister and parents had already moved there as well. So it seemed like a great choice. I also met a nice girl with lots of friends that grew up here. So Ladner sounded like fun.
After moving here, I was very happy because I always wanted to live in a small town where things weren’t so busy. I had no idea that life could be so fun in a small riverside town tucked away in the Delta farmlands. I always enjoyed the feeling of community in a small town. Everyone seems to know everybody and because we shop at the same stores and run into people all the time, slowly but surely you get to know your neighbors. It gives you that feeling you have when you were in high school. Where you had a group of friends you hung out with regularly and you see them everyday, and life is still full of mystery as you are exploring all that it has to offer. It’s a great time of life. Everyday brings new possibilities, and the future is bright.
The cool thing about being in a small town, is that it is almost like you ARE in high school. Hearing the latest gossip about your friends, teachers and people in the neighborhood. It’s always exciting too because new people are always moving in to your neighborhood, almost like a new class every year.
High school is a funny place because you have to be there. In fact, you are required by law to stay in school until at least grade ten. (Which, now that I think about it means you are basically a captive prisoner there.) But most people would agree that it is in your best interests to stay in school, so don’t fight it, it’s all for the best. Its not always fun, but if you work hard, do what you are told you will be successful in life. (Or so we are told.) I’m not complaining, call me a dreamer, but sometimes I like to imagine what would happen if we never left high school?
What if you had to stay in high school forever?
So you could hang out with your friends all the time again and feel that great sense of connection again, and never have that circle broken up by the realities of becoming a productive citizen in the real world. I think the students and teachers would really get to know one another well, because the students would grow up into adults, and still be there. Everyone would know each other so much better, including the people who run the school like teachers, principals, counselors and even the administration. Doesn’t that sound like a cool psychological experiment? Living in a small town is almost like that.
Because you get out of school at 3 oclock everyday, people would have tonnes of free time. You would get to know everybody, the course material and the system itself intimately. I think naturally, the adult students would soon want more power and say as to how the place was run, what things were taught, what were the rules that made sense. Perhaps even have a say as to how the place was decorated. If you were there your whole life, you might even want to know about the money. What were people’s salaries? How did they get their positions? How cool would that be to go back as an adult and have adult conversations with your teachers, fellow students, and staff?
If you were in high school for your whole life, free to learn and explore information and new ways of thinking, it would almost be like an experiment in real participatory democracy.
Forget for a moment, that this could never happen, or the moral question of whether people should be forced to be in school against their will. Just for fun, let’s imagine what it could be like. A lot of people might accept this deal, in exchange for the parties and the social connection. Imagine how much fun it would be, and how much you would learn, if you were in high school forever?
Well, maybe that’s why I always wanted to move to a small town. I just want to go back to my high school days when things were still possible. It’s funny how life works. After all this time I have finally found my dream. I am living a small town. And as I imagine it small town life is like being in high school forever.
A small town is like a microcosm of the modern global society. All your needs can be taken care of here, and there is an example of every institution: business, police, leisure facilities, medical, government. It’s like living in a social experiment. In an experiment in participatory democracy. It is a perfect case study of how to effect change using the systems of a modern techological society, while enjoying the benefits of friends and family in your community that you see everyday.
Bad teachers probably wouldn’t last long in a school like that either. Because senior students would be so much more well informed and there would be trust among everyone, so they would definitely not be able to get away with as much.
What do you guys think? Who wants to go back to school?
Isn’t that what we all want? The power to party and enjoy life as adults too?
Knowing what I know now, as an adult. I think it would be really cool to be in a small town high school like atmosphere, with the rights and freedoms I have as an adult.
How about we look at what kind of courses we can take in school. I hardly remember anything I learned in high school, that’s how relevant they were to my life. Lol. Most of the really cool things that have helped me in life I learned outside of school.
Of course we have to think about why we are there in the first place. After graduating from high school, you come of age as an ‘adult’ and now have all the rights and responsibilities that everyone else has. You are unleashed upon the world with your new found powers ready to sink or swim. But are you really ready for today’s world? Do you feel empowered and informed? Do you have the skills you need for life, or let alone to find a job?
How cool would it be to learn about these things in high school:
- What is a psychopath? Are they all serial killers like in the movies? According to some studies, as many as 4% of people have no morals whatsoever. Don’t you think they would have mentioned this in school? Often times they are charming and very good with words. Does that sound like information that people should told about?
- Martial arts and self defense. Do you have the right to defend yourself? As a matter of fact, even if you are assaulted, even in your own home, it is illegal to defend yourself. If you are being assaulted, how do you defend yourself? How can you spot an attack coming? The cops can’t be everywhere, and we know that there are psychos out there. Why isn’t that taught in school?
- Legal studies. What are your rights as an adult? Does everyone have the same rights, or do police, military and government have more rights? If everyone is equal before the law in a free society, why do some people have more rights than others? How do we exercise our rights, or get justice if they are violated?
- How the system works. Government, courts, police and the administration of justice create a system that effects us all. Why do we know so little about how the system works? Is being a good citizen just doing what your told, or can we take part in community affairs?
- Rights and responsibilities. What does it even mean to be an adult nowadays? What are your rights? What are your responsibilities?
- Medicine and Health. How to stay healthy. What effects do legal and illegal drugs have on you? Who decides what is healthy, sane / insane and normal? Can the government force you to take medicine, have certain treatments, and suppress medical treatments that are known to work from you?
- Psychology and mental development. Are you using your full potential? Do psychic powers exist? What are psychic powers and how can you develop them? Is that such a crazy question? Is there such a thing as mind control? How does your mind work? Are you being made to do things that don’t feel right, but you feel you don’t have a choice?
- Spying and Surveillance. We live in an increasingly technological society where email, phone calls, and social media to mention a few are monitored. “They” say it is for our protection, and to keep us secure from terrorist threats. Is spying on people legal? How private is your information and who has the right to use it? Why are you so nervous all of a sudden when this topic is brought up? Is it because you are not supposed to talk about this?
I know sounds kinda serious huh? But isn’t that part of becoming an adult? Being a little more serious and being able to ask serious questions. If you are legally an adult at 18 when you graduate from high school, Why do you know nothing about these things, and are crazy if you talk about them?
If our goal is not to create obedient slaves vulnerable to exploitation, but instead responsible, thinking members of the community that can be trusted to live in a free society, then shouldn’t these types of skills and information be part of our high school education? How can we act as responsible adults if we were never taught what it means?
What are your rights as a child, a teenager, and as an adult? Why are your rights different? Are children basically slaves, that have fewer rights than adults? Do you feel empowered, informed and in control of your life? Why are there subjects that you aren’t allowed to talk about, even as an adult? What or who are you afraid of? Are we still all in high school here? Is it okay to be bullied and harassed? Why are those guys still getting away with it? Shouldn’t the principal do something about it?
Isn’t it time we start having these conversations?
Don’t get me wrong guys, I’m sure there will still be plenty of time to play video games, get drunk and have fun. But maybe, it might also be cool to empower ourselves as well.
Oh man, there’s the buzzer. I guess we’ll have to talk about this after P.E.