Thursday, November 29, 2012


Hello all!!
It's been awhile! I've been so busy finalizing my plans for the spring, but catch my exit video coming up soon to find out more!
I'm extremely excited to get the ball rolling on everything and have a real purpose!
I haven't seen the Ed Zeds since our final event at the Walker, which was EXTREMELY successful. We had a ton of people show up and everyone got a kick out of our create your own high school persona project! Even though I'm not artistic in any way shape or form, it was fun to prepare everything with X and Nicole and Clare and everyone, it was a nice final wrap up for us.
Clare and I had a long conversation with a teacher who works in the area as well, which was extremely eye opening. She was so interested in our story, she was fascinated in the idea that each of us dropped out for diverse reasons beyond what she is so used to seeing. When I told her I wanted to be a counselor she was extremely complimentary, and really commended us for getting our story out there to make a statement about education. She seemed to agree with a lot of our issues about education as a whole, that there are so many things that need improvements and that, even in the smallest way, we are attempting to make that change.

Stay tuned for my EXIT VIDEO to find out my final plans for school, and my future!

Must get back to work. THANKS FOR READING!
Stay excellent,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Walker Event!

Us Ed Zeds had an event at the Walker Art Center on Thursday evening, and it was quite the experience!
We created a visual map of sorts, with islands of all shapes, sizes and colors that were labeled with different words; words that we feel incorporate our personal high school experiences or the high school experience as a whole, both positive and negative. The purpose of our project was to get people to walk the map to see what words specifically resonate with them; either remind them of an experience they had in school or hopefully (!) they are able to describe their journey through high school using the different islands. At the end, we asked that they call our hotline from the island of wherever they landed on, and tell us their story.
A lot of people seemed interested and felt that we were making a bold statement, of course we ran across our share of people that had very specific instructions for us to run back into school as fast as our legs could carry us. I had a very interesting encounter with a rather verbally oriented older gentleman.
I approached him cautiously, I have found that older people don't like to be bombarded with the eccentric loudness that is my personality at times (if not all the time), and explained our project. The first words out of his mouth were, "You seem to be incredibly intelligent. Why did you drop out?" At first I was very taken aback. Needless to say I have never felt like I was an unintelligent individual, however it's uncommon that anyone's first reaction to me is my intelligence. I began explaining how I felt restless and unhappy, coming from a large family left me feeling pressured to do well, etc. And immediately we bonded over our mutual frustration with the institution of public education. He reiterated several times how intelligent I seemed, and how I had the tools to go absolutely anywhere in life, and how school really is about paying your dues. He said that school is what we have to go through in order to get o where we want in life, that it is merely the price we have to pay so that we can get to a place in life that makes us happy. The longer we talked the more I really started to like him and his views. He basically told me I should go back to school, not because I'm an idiot for leaving, or that staying out of school would ruin my life, but he kept telling me how intelligent I was, and how school could help me nurture my intelligence and that basically, it is just the dues we have to pay.
I have to say that talking to him resonated with me the strongest, his words really stuck with me. I definitely feel inspired by how complimentary of me he was, and his tactic to get me to go back to school and finish my education was not to scold me or to judge, rather to be supportive by understanding and relating to my frustrations, but giving me a dose of reality that I'm sure I needed.
The evening was a great success, and I really feel that we all have come a long way since this journey started. I never would have guessed that I would have had the guts to go out on my own if it hadn't been for this project or what I have learned about myself along the way. As cheesy and cliche as this may sound, I have learned that I have a lot more strength and intelligence than I realized.

Stay excellent,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

REAL LIFE! Aka shopping

You know that moment when you realize that you're in the real world?
For some it's a new job, or paying bills, paying rent perhaps, or the moment you get your water shut off because you couldn't pay said bills.
For me, it was my first Target trip after moving into my own place.
I know I am not alone when I say that I cannot walk into Target without spending twice as much as I had planned to, and all of that money being on a vast majority of items that you do not need. And more than likely you didn't even buy what you went there to get in the first place.
When I strolled into Target yesterday, I had a long list of practical items that anyone would need for their home: soap, cleaning products, laundry detergent, etc. However the second I walked in, my mind immediately went back into my typical Target visit: wandering through the vast assortment of mascaras, shoes, and dresses on sale. Then suddenly I came to, realizing that I do not have the funds to walk out of Target with a dozen items that I do not need. I have to buy...toilet brushes. And bathroom rugs. And if I do not purchase these items, no one will.
As slightly depressing as this was, it was also a shockingly freeing feeling as well. I was buying things that I needed for MY own apartment, and I can solely choose what to buy, what goes where, and it is all completely up to me.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that choosing my own type of bathroom cleaner and getting a Swiffer would make me feel so happy. Or would solely and forever be the moment I claimed my true independence.
Everyone should try it. I highly recommend it.
But dang, you don't realize how expensive the good toilet paper is until you buy the off brand.

Stay excellent,

Thursday, October 11, 2012


How you feel when suddenly everything becomes too much.
Having to make all these decisions about my future, having to be certain about the decision that I am making without any support from my family, and throwing myself into the real world with no one to catch me. Just me.
I debated whether or not I would have the strength to share about the loss of my family member, but with the funeral today I feel like I need to express myself somehow, I've been so cut off from everyone. And for someone who is typically very expressive about how she feels, this is unusual for me.
A fellow Ed Zed recently felt the pain of a loss of a close family member, and who knew that it could happen to two of us in such close proximity.
I won't get into details, in fact I'd prefer not to, but death is such an overwhelming burden to bear. While you know now they are at peace, and you have no choice but to let them go, the grief that you hold in your heart and your mind makes every day life seem so futile; it makes you not want to get out of bed, not want to even try to make the usual things seem important anymore.
My future suddenly seems so much at risk; I don't know if I have what it takes to really carry on with all the following through it is going to take to make what I want to happen happen. Especially since I feel so alone.
I've never felt so alone. In my rational mind I know I am not the first person to suffer a tragic loss, yet somehow you feel like you are. Like no one can understand. Angsty of me, I know.
This is so hard.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Finally Getting Back to Ed Zed

Now that my life is starting to slowly come together, I'm throwing myself back into Ed Zed.
Last night Xavier and I discussed Dropout Nation, a Frontline coverage of drop out students in Texas and our reactions to it.
Just a few hours ago, Xavier posted a few videos about other students in Minnesota that have switched schools, dropped out and dropped back in, etc. And one particular video stood out to me the most. A Somali student from Eden Prairie discusses her experiences transferring to a charter school because she felt that she wasn't being as noticed, the school was too competitive, and she wanted to go to a school where she feels more like a person and less like a number. She feels like she is part of a family.
She says that although they don't have as many experiences with sports or field trips, she says that at the end of the day they are all a family.
This hit home for me. She wants to be cared for as an individual rather than just a student that falls into the crowd. It's amazing because, doesn't everyone?
Or is it just the people that learn differently from their fellow students? I feel that schools assume every student learns the same way, that every student can be motivated by the same means, and that scare tactics are really the only way to get students to do what they think is necessary to make their jobs, as teachers, easier. In essence, making them look good. The more students that pass, the better teacher they're presumed to be. Yet if we as students fail or have problems, it is automatically our fault. Teachers don't seem to assume any responsibility for their students failures, only their successes.
Am I being too harsh?

Stay excellent.

Monday, September 24, 2012

LIFE is getting real

Hey folks,
So I think its safe to say I have been massively off the radar lately, and I do apologize. A lot has been going on.
After my last post I would guess that most of you assume things have not been the greatest at home. My parents and I have been at each other's throats consistently for weeks now since I started my "unschooling" plans. When I first approached them with the idea, they were more than hesitant. My mother believes that I am merely slacking off, not being willing to get a formal education means that I am lazy and unwilling to put in the work.
My dad thinks that I won't be able to study the kinds of subjects and cover the basic skills that colleges and the professional world look for in order to be considered an "educated" individual.
In short, their opinion has not changed.
We have been fighting nonstop every single day about the smallest things, all stemming from our larger issues. My parents refuse to believe that I can take control of my own education and still be considered a successful human being. I have told them over and over that I am not a girl that can be defined strictly by social norms and terms; that education to me is supposed to be self-fulfilling and make the individual feel both intelligent and successful by their own means. They think I'm wrong. Plain and simple, they do not think that my way of thinking will lead to a "successful" life.
So, I have decided to move out.
I feel that if I am taking control of my life and my education, that means I am taking control of my personal responsibilities as well. I consider this step to be as much apart of my education as any part of studying will. This is me learning to be an adult.
That's what that is, I suppose.
Wish me luck folks! The next few days are going to be rough with packing and moving and starting all over, all by myself.
Until later, stay excellent.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I like to think that most of my posts are productive and positive, but I am human and right now I desperately need to vent.
When do you get to an age where your parents stop thinking that all your decisions are wrong?
It amazes me that no matter how much I'm working, how busy I am, how much I try to push myself in the right direction, I still get told that I'm not doing everything I "should" be doing.
What is it with parents these days? Do they not understand that things are not the same as they were when they were our age? Do they not understand that they were saying the same things that we are saying to THEIR parents?
My parents are successful in every definition of the word. They have amazing careers and make good money and have always been able to provide for my siblings and myself, and we have never gone without and I am eternally grateful for that.
However I do not have my own family. I am not married, I have no children, and I really have no obligation to anyone other than myself and my bills. So am I really doing such a bad thing, just because I'm not pursuing my education or a job in the "traditional" manner?
The world is changing and evolving every day. My generation is actively working on making this world our own. Our own educational experiences, for example. Forging our own paths in the professional world, for another.
I have never been in real trouble, I have never harmed another human being, I am constantly working on finding ways to feel like I am making a real difference in the world, looking to make my life worth while. More than anything, I am so hurt by my parents and their lack of consideration that THEY RAISED ME. Do they not have any faith in the fact that while I may not be doing things their way, am I really such a failure as their daughter, as a human being, because I want to find my own path? Because my first priority is not just making money?
What a day. What a weekend. Maybe its really time for me to leave home and really pursue independence on every level.
Stay excellent.