The Dream

Lately, I've found myself very torn. I've held two great dreams in life for a long time now, two things that I always wanted to accomplish. The first is to be a game designer, the second is to be an artist, preferably within the games industry. The two have had me torn at odds for a long time now, Game Design I value more, but I have a harder time completing anything in it, even simple projects. Art on the other hand, I've been building a huge amount of work experience with, but still remain hugely limited, like I'm always struggling just to catch up with the coat tails of the artists around me.

The greatest problem though, is that recently a third dream has emerged, and without my even realizing it has completely overshadowed both of those dreams. This one though, is probably the hardest of all to accomplish.

My dream is to build a school, of sorts. I'm sure that most people who know me, and my opinions of the education system, would be very surprised by that. Of course, I hardly plan on becoming a teacher or a professor at a present institution, since the teaching itself is not my dream.

Ever since I was young, I knew I was in the top ten percent of my classes, of my school, possibly even my city. You have to understand I'm not saying that to boast, most of my readers will have probably done as well or better. I was born in a lower middle class family, my father had training in nuclear school while in the Navy, but nobody in my immediate family had, or has yet gotten, a college diploma. I primarily blame this on us all being rebellious fucks, but each of us had... other factors as well.

There have been a number of major roadblocks in my life, my father pushing me out of the school system, and then into college too early, my depression, the simple fact that my family has always been too poor to really afford college, but not poor enough to qualify for any sort of aid. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm a rebellious fuck as well. ~.^ (I'm also mortally afraid of my own shadow, which doesn't help.) My thought is... is this really all that uncommon a story? How many gifted losers are there, out there, right this minute. People who, like me, had the smarts to succeed, but not the tools, not the support system, not the environment.

The school in my mind is not a school as the current education system would consider it. It would be open to high school age on up. The curricula would be solid, I actually strongly believe in the importance of basic education, but it wouldn't be the focus. The focus of the school would be a place for the individual to heal, to be with people like them, to challenge their own personal roadblocks, and to face the world again with a set of tools to support their own unique brands of genius. There would be no regular grading, I'm completely against it. My current thought is tests, though not necessarily the standard variation of test we have now. It's important to me the atmosphere be non-judgmental, it's not about when a student completes their courses, or how well. The point is for the student to develop their own wings, capable of carrying them through the rest of their life.

I'm sure there are some who will think my dream is too kind. But having observed first hand the results of wings broken by life, I find the current system too cruel for my taste. Still, I face a significant challenge, how can I form this particular dream into a reality. As it stands... I have no idea.


  1. This applies mostly to below high-school age, but is worth checking out if you've not heard of it before: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori

    Or just Google "Montessori"

    Of course school is cruel, it's still based on the Victorian-era model and the Victorians were nothing if not ridiculously stupid about children (sentimental where they needn't be, and overly harsh where it could do the most harm). Not a fan of the Victorian era, me.

  2. I've read your latest post, or at least gave it a very good skim. I only had ten minutes so it was hard to read it thoroughly. To be honest I agree with you completely, to my mind we are still recovering from the Victorian era. There are, unfortunately, a lot of people out there who still believe that a fair amount of Victorian bullshit is older, or more reliable than it really is.

    That wiki article was an interesting read, I'll probably have to find books on it. Unfortunately, I'm not a terribly good scientist, but I sort of have my own opinion on self-directed learning. Mostly, it's that solely having self directed learning is also damaging in it's own way. Like I said above, I believe in the importance of the basics, of getting people up through at least the end of high school level English, Algebra, History, and Science. This is from my own personal experiences of dealing with not having a firm enough foundation in at least one of those areas.

    At the same time, I despise the grade system as well as the homework system. Not to protect the student's ego, but simply because a failure is a chance for them to learn, and for their teacher to recognize that they need help. The feedback a teacher gives needs to not be condensed down to a letter, but detailed and said in the way the recipient needs to hear it. Else there is a sign of a breakdown in communication, at which point that is a larger problem than one of lack of motivation by either party.

    To me the importance of approaching the high school and college ages is that once the student has bloomed they will be ready for almost anything the "real world" throws at them. But until that time, they are still growing, but caught between the life of an adult and the life of a child. Some of what I wish to provide, really isn't so different from what a regular high school or college would provide, and I don't intend it to be so terribly different. Instead the goal is to extend the social and learning experiences that are packaged with the traditional education into something that works for those that can't, for whatever reason, fit within the standard models.

    I feel like I'm writing a lot without saying a lot now... I suppose I should say, that looking back I appreciate a lot of what I missed out on because I don't have it. That's something I want to help other people not have to feel... or something along those lines.

  3. Heheh I do make it difficult to read my stuff quickly. Sorry. I have a convoluted, digressive style, and I'm happiest when I indulge it. Brevity is not the soul of my wit. ;)

    As for the main issue at hand, I've been reading an introduction to Jung lately (after meaning to for years), and as he says: if you have a vocation (literally, voice calling you to a task) then you'll end up getting whatever it is done. I can dig out the title of that book if you need, it's actually a pretty good introduction, though it's scholarly and a little dry, not layman-fancy.

  4. Well, I don't "need" but I would certainly appreciate. I'm not particularly averted by scholarly-ness, so long as I find the general content to be of interest.

  5. Note that the bit I quoted on vocation is only a teeny teeeeeeeny tiny part of a general intro to decades of his work.