If you haven’t read Erica Goldson’s Valedictorian speech, go check it out. Basically, she “calls out” the insane practice of institutionalized education, as she experienced it.
SIDE NOTE- Kelly Hallordson, an unschooling mom and blogger, was able to sit down with Erica shortly after this speech hit the interwebs and recorded their conversation, at a coffee shop. So pour yourself a latte and listen in on the Erica Goldson Interview, after you read her speech, of course.
“I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.”
She goes on to quote John Taylor Gatto and H.L. Mencken, criticizing the system for creating mindlessness, teaching people what to think and stifling individuality
I am now supposed to say farewell to this institution, those who maintain it, and those who stand with me and behind me, but I hope this farewell is more of a “see you later” when we are all working together to rear a pedagogic movement. But first, let’s go get those pieces of paper that tell us that we’re smart enough to do so!
Anyway- it’s a good read, I hope she doesn’t lose that dream. Rock on, Erica.