Is it me or do schools *in their own literature* often show a classroom setting where the kids (and especially THE BOYS?) are looking either miserable, or at least, bored out of their minds? Doesn’t anyone notice and think “Hmmm, maybe we should pick a better photo to represent our school?”
I might have to start collecting some. But here is an example that came to mind so I’ll just include it here as a start.
Versus here are some typical student photos from a Sudbury School, namely Sudbury Valley School. Let me know if you see any glum, disengaged faces here:
Anyway, just an observation. Maybe I am wrong. But to me this is rather telling.
Installment 1 of the subtle (and usually not so subtle) mentions of how school is not fun, not supposed to be fun, and everyone knows it and that’s just how it is and has to be
“I’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the idea that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me.” –Peter Buck, R.E.M.
from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody_Hurts (Every Body Hurts by REM)
OK, so I appreciate that many HS experiences are less than ideal shall we say, and I understand part of this is brain development and hormones and such, but I think very often (95%?) it is largely institutional. Instead, people look back at their HS days and often blame themselves and/or think “well, that’s just the way it is”. Kids are actual people. But schools do not treat kids like actual full human beings who want autonomy, freedom, responsibility, etc, etc. It should not be so. And it is not so at Sudbury Valley School.
But hey, he can write a song if he wants to. I will report back once our kids are teenagers (at their school Sudbury Valley School http://sudval.org/) but seems like there is absolutely no reason why most teenagers can’t be perfectly happy too.
UPDATE: SEE ALSO:
SVS: Where does happiness come from?
1. A 30 sec(?) NPR promo (heard summer and fall 2009, at ~8am) for “All Things Considered” is drawing an analogy between ATC and school (because you can learn all sorts of things.) It ends simply with “Like school…. but fun”. Nice. Not.
2. In the trailer for the movie “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” (2009) A giant pancake falls on a school and smashes it.
A crowd of onlooking kids jumps for joy yelling “No School!!!!” trailer here at amazon
OK, that’s enough for today.
UPDATE: I’m collecting ones that I find on youtube here at this playlist (7 so far):