I HATE SCHOOL WORK
I virtually grew up in the public school. And teachers at that time were the fountain head of wisdom bar none. The environment was not like we have at present. Before, notwithstanding imposed superiority of mentors, there was simplicity everywhere but of course there was also a lot of favoritism. But what was really frustrating and even at present is the rainy season.
While poets wax sentimental inspiration from the drizzle, it was infuriating for children. They easily catch cold, their school paraphernalia becomes infected with mold the day after and the school uniform would smell bad. There were no fabric refreshers during those times.
Worst, there was flood and mud everywhere. Start of classes then and at present was also the start of the wet season. Whoever thought of that in the Department of Education must be a silent owner of factories manufacturing umbrellas and raincoats. Or, some government officials were major stock holders in pharmaceutical companies, because it was during this period when sicknesses approach epidemic proportion. There was no mall as alternative play station only the nearest marketplace which unfortunately was filthy and almost disorganized. I know because I had those frustrating moments before.
Had it not for my pretty classmates, I could have fled in the mountains already. Lessons were never that exciting because the template was based on how fast the best in the class would fare. It was never designed for those with slow appreciation and fledging readers like me. Those who could not catch up would merely slide down and would just drop out from the roster if not, would just be vulnerable to the exciting adventures of the streets.
And what were more disturbing then was the numerous scholars in our midst. The children during my time were very serious in their studies. They played little and reviewed more. They were virtually active in school programs as if it was already their universe. Those who were on top of the class were really punctilious and very staid in our homework. Given assignments were like dictates from heaven and treated sacredly. There was always solemnity during classes. I felt that I belonged to another planet.
My hatred was born out of the structure. I did not relish being timed, phased on and regulated. My creativity was lost during the stretch of my initial academic life. All I wanted was play, play and more play. It was in playing that I learned more, that I appreciated almost all the virtues from fairness to honesty. In truth, in school work, there was more cheating and fraud. There was also a lot of luck and chances prayed for. One was lucky if not called during surprise recitation.
It was also luck that there was no national exams at that time, or else I would not have progressed to the next level. Now, there are a number of tests, a number of procedures before one ascends to the upper end. I could just imagine how hard it is for the kids today to withstand the rigors and difficulties of earning a grade. Not to mention the fact that there are a lot of expenses required today from new patches in the uniform up to new books and related school gadgets.
Today, education is equated to commerce. And why not? Even tycoons or captains of industry are all convinced that the next wave of commerce will be done through schools or universities. Hence, the University of the East was bought by Lucio Tan; the School of Business Administration of Ateneo University owned by John Gokongwei; Asia Pacific Colleges were founded by Henry Sy, also part owner of Far Eastern University and sole owner of National University; Mapua went to Alfonso Yuchenco (part owner of De LaSalle University and RCBC)-; Centro Escolar University to Emilio Yap; Lyceum by the Laurels of Batangas; Araulio University by Ramon del Rosario and, hundreds of private schools sprouted almost everywhere almost transforming the Department of Education as de facto Department of Trade and Industry!
It was only in high school that I began to appreciate the social significance of schooling. Probably because there was little structure and much liberalism in as far as classroom learning is concerned. There were laboratories and community exposures which simulate real life challenges. It was like learning on the streets which for me was more enjoyable and pleasant. In my personal estimation, to be street wise is better than to be naïve.
I must confess that I learned more from reading books in my study than earning degrees in school. I got more ideas from streets than in the classroom. I learned the art of leading by following my playmates more than reckoning my teachers. I am not surprised therefore that the best minds, the most prosperous people were those who also hated schools and went on their own. Paul Morphy dropped out in Law school and became the best Chess player in history. There was Abraham Lincloln, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon Bonaparte, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Keanu Reeves, John Travolta, Ellen Degeneres, Cameron Diaz, Tom Jones etc who also belonged to the same boat.
Well, to a certain extent, I am not alone. Although in my case, I completed regular school work and earned a number of degrees, my heart really belongs to the street!