The English Lesson

Ah, the good old GCSE English lesson. Thank the nonexistent god, a lack of options and the fact that I really suck at English that I'm not doing it for A-Level.

We sit in the great, white classroom with light streaming through the windows and the ancient radiators practically thrumming with heat, with a book and a folder crammed with notes opened in front of us; I flip through the pages, desperately searching for the last few drops of creativity, imagination, passion, intelligence, life, that make me love literature - for, despite being a philistine, I do like to read - while the teacher drones on in the background; sometimes I scribble down notes, though most of the time I can remember it. Hell, I could just look at it and start thinking hard.

That reminds me, though, of the questions we're supposed to do - core questions, extended questions, essay questions, a never-ending succession of questions upon questions - and the advice the teacher gave us, not to think, just to write, just to scribble down reams and reams and reams of crap.

Now, obviously I can write crap (look at this blog), but...well...Truth is, it makes me very, very sad when people disapprove of independent thinking, or try to restrict thought to certain well-defined channels. My pride, my joy, my glory is my mind; it's not perfect or great, it's not even good, but dammit, I do what I can with it and what I love most is stretching it, trying to get the most out of it.

Society doesn't want me to do that. It never has. People who are even slightly singular, unconventional, stubborn, are difficult to deal with and cater for, and it makes the endless tests and quantification of the qualitative so much more no. Don't bother encouraging people to grow. Don't bother encouraging talents. Don't bother encouraging that most wonderful of things, independent thought, because that's too difficult for people.

It hurts me, you know? It hurts me that the one thing I could have done, would love to have done, is cast down, ignored, reviled because it's not conventional enough. And it hurts society too.