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,