Do you remember the first day of school? I don’t, but not because it wasn’t a terrifying experience, but probably because I suppressed the traumatic memory into my subconscious.
It’s probably one of the worst days in a child’s life: the realization that–suddenly–the joys of childhood are over, that the days of being mostly free to do as you please in accordance with your personal interests and curiosities are gone–abruptly replaced by a mechanized, robotic chore known as “grade school”.
The heart-wrenching horror of the first day of school was captured yesterday in a viral video where a local news reporter asked one young boy if he would miss his mom. (scroll down for video)
Draped in his dehumanizing school uniform, the boy initially responds with an uncertain, “no”. KTLA news reporter Courtney Friel says, “‘no?!”, then the boy giggles awkwardly, and suddenly–as if the reality of the situation finally struck him–he goes silent for a second and then bursts into tears.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the essence of the school system, captured in a candid TV moment. In fact, if you watch the full news report (below), you’ll see the uneasy faces of countless kids, straining their little minds in an attempt to reconcile their parents’ words of encouragement with their instinctual aversion to the classroom they’re about to step foot in
What I find most tragic is the contrast between the students’ bland dehumanizing school uniform and the colorful, cartoon-themed book bags and lunchboxes. At least most school’s still allow that small mercy from the systematic disintegration of children’s autonomy.
At its core, the first day of school represents the first day of losing your intellectual and physical independence. Sure, your parents placed some limitations on you at home, but nothing compares to the forced-slavery of public schooling–where everything from your physical movements to the focus of your attention is tightly controlled, regulated, and scrutinized (graded). The name of the game is obedience, as I document in my upcoming book “Success Without School: Think Outside The Classroom”, which you can listen to the first chapter for Free by clicking here.