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.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Holla peeps! I've had a very productive day since I've been up since SIX AM. Mornings are not my thing but I've been working on figuring out my next steps in regards to my education and I figured the early worm gets the bird!
Wait. That's not right.
ANYWAY, I recently added a video requesting some correspondence with a blogger named Lisa who has some fantastic ideas about education, and I am really hoping that she can give me some good advice on where to go from here.

I also came across a post from someone named Brent, who is a fellow dropout. I really would like to respond to his ideas but I am slightly concerned/confused about his message to us.

He starts off by suggesting that we run from formal education and do not look back, but then I feel like his message gets slightly sarcastic, suggesting that he probably regrets dropping out. He said he dropped out of high school as a junior to "drop into college", which is pretty much what I am looking to do right now.
He suggests that we, the Ed Zeds and myself, talk to people and find out what their regrets are, as well as judge the messenger to find out if this particular person is someone that we would like to become.
This is an aspect of our journey that I suppose stopped me in my tracks. I do not regret dropping out, I feel that it was the right decision for me at the time, and I very strongly feel that everything happens for a reason. If I had not dropped out when I did, I would never have learned that I need to find a way to get a formal education in order to go where I want to go in life. However I do not feel that this means that myself or any of the other Ed Zeds have to conform to the formality of the education system in order to be considered educated.
I suppose with this in mind, his message frustrates me a little. Yes I want to be successful, yes I know that I need to have a job in order to make money to support myself, however I do not and will not ever believe that my happiness needs to be sacrificed in order for me to be educated. Will I like everything about what I will do in life? Of course not, and I do not anticipate to. But I would at least like to have an education that does not make me want to simply STICK IT OUT.
However, I do believe that at this juncture in my journey with the program, I have realized that I can get formal education under my own terms. I can take a placement exam and go to college and really run my own education.
So I suppose, to put it simply, I am not concerned that I will have regrets. I feel that I am making the right decisions to become the person I am supposed to be. I feel that everything that has happened has put me where I am meant to be right now, and my future is looking bright.

Good talk!
Stay excellent.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Videos are the new demand on our site! However I will not abandon my blog. Luckily I can use it to store/sort through my thoughts before I post anything too incriminating on the site. Especially since these poor people will have to see my face (woof) So this is a response to a letter from a woman named Luci who wrote us.
I very much appreciate your input. It is nice to hear a side of the story that relates to the idea of school as the development source for more than just formal education, but for social skills and personal development as well. I would like to say that I whole heartedly agree.
With this in mind however, I would like to say that I don't think any of the Ed Zed's or myself are not interested in learning. Personally, I completely agree that it is more difficult to follow a path that is not considered traditional. I left school once already, and went into the real world to try and find work. I quickly found that it is very rare that you are even considered for a position if you do not have the formal education. I consider myself to be bright and a quick learner, however very few job possibilities arise for someone who simply promises that they are intelligent when to the potential employer, I have no real proof.
Since then I did return, thinking I judged the system too harshly. I quickly discovered that while I have a strong thirst for learning, the school system did not provide me with the means to learn in a way that works for me. Hence why I was planning to leave before I was snatched up to participate in this independent study "experiment", for lack of a better term.
While I agree that school allows you to become socialized, I personally know that I am a very social and outgoing person. I love being around people and making those connections, but I believe that finding ways to connect with people outside of the walls of school is important; mainly due to the fact that we need to find people we connect with on a level beyond just being trapped in the same building for seven hours a day.
So, I suppose here we are. I am attempting to finish my formal education so that I can finally start joining the world by my own terms. I did highly appreciate you mentioning your younger brother, and how he took a similar path. I was wondering, how did he find the information he needed for the placement exam? If there is a way for me to take the placement exam and be able to pursue either an Associate's or a Bachelor's degree that, I think, would be the most ideal situation for me.
Again thank you for writing in. I greatly appreciate your input and sending us such great thoughts!

So what do y'all think? Do you all think I have a good plan in motion? If I can find a placement test to take and start pursuing my education in my own way, I think that would be the best solution. THOUGHTS?!

Til later. Stay excellent.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I suppose this is what they call...a breakthrough

As I have discovered that our website responses are somewhat unreliable from time to time, I have decided that saving my responses here will both A. Keep me covered if anything is lost and B. Give me a chance to hold myself responsible for my responses. Especially when the circumstances call for things that I claim that I am going to do and/or things that I stand for. In this case, I want both anyone who follows my story to be just as willing to hold myself (as I am) responsible for the future of my this program and my participation in it.
On top of that, I have rediscovered the therapeutic release that something like blogging really allows for anyone, regardless of the stresses on your life. I have found since joining the Ed Zed's that our journey is really evolving in much more of a positive experience that I ever would have anticipated. When we started, we were merely "at-risk kids", falling through the cracks of the system that in my opinion is more than just simply flawed. Now it seems that we are all being strongly supported by our mentor as well as our, I suppose, followers. I never would have foreseen that there are so many solutions to a problem rather than just throwing up your hands, boldly blaming the system itself and storming out without looking back. In this case, not only are we not looking back, but we are being shown a different direction. A new direction.
But I digress, here's the posting I wanted to save. More insightful and progressive thoughts to come, I don't doubt. 
So, here we go. 
After reading your letter, I am both very reassured and inspired that I have made the right decision.
However, after reading some of your examples, I realized that the one thing I left school without he first time, as well as this time, was a real plan. I left to start pursuing the work force thinking that an education was not going to prepare me for what I needed to learn about really being apart of the real world. I pursued the professional world thinking that my personality and charisma and willingness to learn and be challenged on the job would be enough, alas, it was not.
Hence my next step. My plan, as of now, is to make a plan. Start deciding what I want to start LEARNING about in order to find my passion, to find what makes me tick. Thus, in short, you have really taught me that education is not dead. That being in a classroom is not the only way to learn things on, for lack of a better word, on a more "formal" basis.
So here I go. Plan is ensuing. I plan to start planning!!
Stay excellent,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just a thought...

I had a thought the other day. We recently were contacted by someone who asked us a very probing question...what is our dream education? What would be the most ideal way for each of us to be formally educated in a way that makes us feel fulfilled?
This question has been on the back of my mind since I received it, mainly due to the fact that I didn't necessarily have a straight answer. It seems that everyone these days is looking for ways to make their education more personal to their wants and needs, and many colleges do allow for students to formulate their own educational path. High schools, however, do no such thing.
So I started thinking about how I learn, what makes things really stick in my brain and grabs my interest to make me want to learn more.
Oddly enough, I realized this in my dance class. I was taking a class that was just above my skill level, hoping to be more challenged. He would teach us a combination, we would run it a few times with him, then he would have us dance by ourselves while he watched. Then he would stop and make corrections or small reminders that make certain moves look better or easier to perform. In short, it was a combination of teaching and strong interactive learning. In something like dance, it is impossible to learn without doing and also impossible to learn without being willing to make mistakes, and being able to recognize differences between your mistakes and when a move is done correctly.
I left my class feeling challenged, yet strongly fulfilled that I had really learned something. In short, I realized that my dream education would involve strong interactive learning. While I know that most forms of education do require some time in a classroom or burying your face in a book, I feel that I would strongly benefit from an education that allowed me to be able to really experience what I was learning with my own two hands. Anyone can sit in a classroom and imagine what it is like to do just about anything that you learn from a lecture, but personally, I have no way of knowing if it is something that I can or want to participate in. I feel that learning about yourself is just as important in your education as learning anything else.
Food for thought, people. Hope this gets you thinkin the way it did for me!
Stay excellent,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All The Zed's Finally Meet

All the "Zed Omegas" finally met up today with Ms. Johnson at Dunn Bros (good choice if you ask me, gotta have my tea) and I think I'm really starting to gear up for the upcoming "school year" that we are starting soon.
It was definitely an interesting meeting. She asked us individually what scares us about dropping out of school, and it was something I hadn't really considered. Because personally, I was never really scared to drop out of school. I was excited at the prospect of being able to grab life with both hands and really experience things without having to sit in classrooms for who knows how many more years.
Xavier's answer hit me hard as well. He said he really wants to prove the education system wrong. He wants to succeed in more ways than just in the classroom, and he wants to overcome what fears he has by pursuing his dreams. He really believes that we have the ability to prove society wrong with our project, and that really inspired me.
I suppose what I still feel really challenged by and what my only real fear is is that I don't necessarily know what my full passion is. Everyone wants education to be personalized, which I love, and what I really think education needs to be about. But what would my personal education be about? What should I study? That's what I feel I really need to decide about, before everything starts in August. I'm hoping something/someone, maybe even one of the Zed's, can help me and inspire me to push me towards my real passion.
Summer drags on and the closer we get to August the more anxious I do feel myself becoming. But I definitely feel very strong in our group, and in my confidence with Ms. Johnson, especially since she no longer calls us "at risk" kids. So although I have a strong sense of anxiety about what my personal advancement in this project, I feel that we have some amazing potential.
Til later, stay excellent.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer continues...

It is mid July now, and after a quiet June all of us Zed Omegas finally met. Well, almost all of us. I got a chance to interact a lot with Zachary, he is definitely an interesting kid. He's a writer, and has a hard time focusing in school because of how slow it feels to him. He's trapped in a small town and, from what I gathered, he feels similar to how I feel in regards to feeling suffocated by the public school system. We met at Dunn Bros and Mary Johnson introduced us to Nora, a home schooled girl that would be considered a senior in high school. I took the most from what she had to say, she focused mainly on the idea that home schooling allows you to focus mostly on what YOU want to learn, and you can set your own schedule, and basically be completely in charge of what you want learn and how you want to learn it. Kept my attention!
Since Mary introduced us to this idea of an independent study I have been thinking a lot about what it is going to take for me to find something that sparks my passion enough to essentially not have to go back into the classroom. What will I find that I love enough to be able to get it to be considered important enough, strong enough, to replace a formal classroom education? Nora talked a lot about how she dabbled in a lot of different languages, and I think that sounds really interesting. But I also really like nutrition and exercising, as well as dance, I love books, I love learning new things and finding new things that spark my interest. How am I going to focus on just one thing??
That is the challenge I am facing right now. I have a few more weeks to gather my thoughts before I really have to start focusing, so here's hoping I can have a relaxing rest of summer!! If only this heat would die down...
Until later,