If I Could Write a Letter to America: A Textbook Instead

In school they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Someone said superman, and they gave him a textbook instead. Someone said princess, and they gave her a textbook instead. When John Lennon said happy, they gave him a textbook instead.

They tell us the real world isn’t like high school, but that’s not entirely true. Our bullies just change. Instead of Regina George and her burn book, we have our bosses, landlords, and the bank. Instead of packed hallways we have traffic jams on the highways. But instead of learning how to face these new problems, they teach us how to pass; to keep our heads down and make the grades.

The American school system has destroyed my brain far worse than this .22 bullet ever could’ve.

So that when I look at myself when I’m trying to create, I think to myself than I am not intelligent enough to complete this. Then I visit my accomplishments and wonder why I feel this way, as I look over a citation of sources after a regurgitation of a google search with just enough critical thinking to prove that I did not copy-paste. What would have passed if not excelled in public school.

My experiences under the school of a patriarchal republic has lead me to believe that no one is good enough for me – including myself.

Some say that the issue of participation awards is to blame, and they are absolutely right but not in the way they might think. The imbalance of ego and id has lead to the highest rates of depression among youth ever and you can blame big pharma forcing us pills and giving us our fix, but suicide is up across the board as well. And we have cataloged death for as long as we have been dying.

I suppose not just school deserves the blame. What do we do at home? The first words on even a good parent’s lips are “how was school today?” We chain ourselves with homework and withhold privileges over bad grades, enforcing the idea that academic acceptance is the only key to joy. But those ideals can be mutually exclusive, to that it otherwise is no less than abusive. Our system does more brainwashing than religion and the media. Our standardized tests make all of us into statistics, like we are just “male” or “female.” “Black” or “white.” “Red” or “blue.” as if you should be anything other… than you.

Indoctrinated division teaches us to share our toys, but not our feelings. Not our stories.

We learn of the American Dream, only to be told in the same breath that it is dead. But America didn’t fail, we just stopped letting it dream.

If we tell kids that they can be anything but don’t do everything to support that, then all they believe they can be… is nothing.

Disclaimer: this week I was going to talk about how NaNoWriMo is going, but due to recent events and this being actually relevant to NaNo, I decided to post this instead.

Depression hurts.


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