Tag Archives: Education

The Lost Heart of a Lamb

23 May

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, s

O Father, can you see me cry outside?
I’ve fallen deep inside a hole,
too close to a wooden door
that will never let me inside
a Paradise never known
by mortals in this life.

O Mother, can’t you hear me call for help?
I’ve fallen to my grave
and I’ve injured too much my nails
to crawl back to the grass
in where I would touch my face
and believe in my heart…

O World, can’t you listen the wolves behind?
They’ve eaten my heart,
and now I’ve become part of their pelt
and now I’ve become part of their pest
that withers the flowers by my side
and whom the trees dread
when I walk around their land…

O God, can’t you see what they’ve done to me?
I’ve lost my face inside a well.
The water would show my face back then,
but now I see a monster of shining teeth.
Yet no one seems to see,
as their eyes are no longer water to drink
nor the mirror inside a well.
They’ve become cold stones without a price,
chiseled by the sharp images in their life
and who no longer want to see
what they don’t want to see.

O myself, can’t you see your face anymore?
I no longer see people.
I no longer see life.
I have now the face of the wolf.
I have lost the eyes of the lamb.
I find myself no longer in territory of God,
but rather in a grizzly battlefield
in where I can ripe flowers once more
by tearing them apart
from the chests of the animals,
who happen to be actual lambs
who can see the life I see no more.

I am no longer a lamb of God,
but rather a lost animal.
And the only colours and flowers
I can seed and ripe
are the cardiac seeds
that I must tear apart
from the loving chest of the lambs.

Maybe… Maybe only that way…
I will recover my lost heart.

 


 

This poem was inspired on Christopher Raymundo Márquez’s murder at the hands of a deranged group of teenagers, allegedly playing the “kidnapping” game, whereas it was actually a cold blooded planned murder from the very beginning.
As one Mexican academic (golly, forgot his name…) said, we’re raising nowdays a generation of psychopaths, not only in Mexico, but around the world, by letting them enjoy fiestas bravas, violent video games like Call of Duty, watch junk TV shows without supervision…
People, we’re failing as adults, as educators, as humans as well. We’re failing, and it is showing on our children’s mindsets. We need to be more conscious and closer to our children’s inner world; who knows what will happen if this repeats again? In some years from now on, psychopathy might even become so normal it will gradually destroy the world…

In some years, the Two Thousands might as well be recognizable because of its lack of virtual humanity.

Please, people, if you’re a parent, take a moment to read Christopher’s case—all of the cases about children murderers—and think just for a moment if you’re teaching to your kid something beyond the “basics” of the individualistic bourgeois values. Something that might make them more than “successful” and “literate” people: see if you’re teaching them to be human.

Thanks for reading!

Angry teachers and robot children

28 Sep

Teachers. Los maestros. Those adults who waited for you every morning in the classrooms, ready to start another part of the educational curriculum and keep moving towards the end of the year.

Who hasn’t had in their life a teacher who once inspired them, or terrorized them, or caused them thousands of sweet dreams, or nightmares…? I believe, most of you who bumped into this post, have had at least once in their life a kind of teacher; I don’t mean figuratively speaking this time: I mean it literally. Teachers who had to wake up, eat their breakfast, prepare for school, drive several minutes to their school, endure several hours of same lessons from the same last years, call it a day and return to their respective houses once the job’s over. Those people, not the spiritual teachers or guides or…etc.

Nope, I mean the school teachers.

I want to start this little post with some childhood experience, although without lots of digression. To resume it all, I had lazy teachers. They would come, drop their bags on the desk, give a class, send us to recess, call us back, resume the lessons, end it, and let us go to school. And that was always. Every day. And with the same “Meh” mood.

https://skitch-img.s3.amazonaws.com/20081205-r6p1hhqupf1jprq3242ekj66yg.jpg

Yeah, this kinda resumes the idea.

I had very supportive teachers indeed and some of them did help me shape myself. But despite of them, I never had quite a big admiration or esteem towards these workers; I saw them as nagging, lazy people who wouldn’t care about education or the children, and they were always my—and many other people’s—target to blame when my grades weren’t good or when I learned nothing. I even received some few pedagogy classes before and all the apparent to-be teacher students were girls who would say “Oh yeah, education’s facing a great problem nowdays” but later turn and give a damn, as they’re obviously into it for everything but changing the world. They’re just there for job, money, easy career, etcetera. I just met like two or three students who did want to actually cooperate to make a better world.

And because of all of this, I believed (notice past tense here, before somebody complains) that many teachers around the world are this way, that they weren’t fun and stuff; you could say some haven’t changed at all, and that they help in absolutely nothing to change education…

Until now.

In Mexico, we’re living a huge movement of teachers who are protesting against the educational reforms that will strip them from insurances and that will turn completely our education into little workers’ factories instead of humanity developers. According to this Spanish article, this bill is similar to the No Child Left Behind bill proposed by Bush time ago, so any North-American reader may get an idea of what this is about.

This bill will strengthen the requirements to become a teacher and will bring a system that involves teachers taking tests to keep their job or not. Many teachers have no problem with this—they, at some degree, agree that several teachers don’t do their job correctly and that inherit their posts instead of gaining it honestly (one of the syndicates it’s filled with corrupt people who didn’t even study education, just got the job thanks to several inside contacts), and this must be changed—, but they’re against making a standard test, as every state and school has different context and problems, and thus not all of them will be the same. They also expected this bill to solve a huge problem that has been haunting Mexico for many ages: the quality.

Instead of listening to their pleas of changing several aspects of the content and the school conditions, they preferred to ignore them and keep going with a bill that might fire a teacher in any moment, that will strengthen the children’s competitive attitude and make them competent for the industrial world, and which might even privatize the whole educational world…which means that now parents and teachers must pay for every classroom need. The government will have no responsibility. At all. So this is no education reform: it’s a labour reform. The evaluation will be a final evaluation, and not a progressing one that’s actually watching what’s going on the classrooms.

https://i2.wp.com/www.zoeinstitute.com/clientimages/45863/single-mom.gif

And it will be worse for single moms who can barely keep their children.

But let’s try to focus on the main problem: the content won’t change. It will still be the same repetitive thing that tells them “worship this hero and don’t do otherwise”, “do this math problem, or else”, “you’re an A, you’re a B”… Instead of more cultural programs that challenge the spiritual growth and that feeds a critical analysis. It’ll be the same “hurry up if you want to be somebody in life” process. And let’s not even talk about how they’re now making public schools teach religion too… (Sorry, it’s in Spanish, but you get the idea).

Religion in Public Schools

Again, the image explains everything better. By the way, the image redirects to a nice site of political cartoons, just in case you’re interested.

I am no expert in education systems. In fact, I just took some pedagogy classes in my first days of college, (from where I got my frustration with some future teachers), but I’ve become very interested in this topic because, now that we’re undergoing the awakening of an educated era that no longer believes the lies of the media and uses logic to uncover the truth, it’s vital to avoid greater catastrophes and not become the puppets of cynical people, and this can only be achieved with a well-educated mind and a well-shaped spirit. And I believe everybody, not only teachers, must analyze these problems before it’s too late. It’s not only the education institutions that should worry about this, but everybody. We must keep ourselves informed so we know what they’re teaching to our children, not only in school, but also in their houses.

I’ve felt that our children today are a bit far more aggressive than before. And the bullying phenomena it’s a sign of that disease. They no longer respect people as they were never taught to respect themselves or their surroundings. They might not love others because they don’t love themselves—it’s an insecurity cycle—. They’re not taught to respect, to see themselves as equals between each others, to appreciate other cultures and heritages, and, more importantly, that their future is strongly intertwined with the other people. This is my greatest pet peeve about education today: they teach you to be afraid of being different, to compete in order to survive and to be afraid of your future if you don’t get this grade, instead of being humans that must learn to harmonize with their surroundings and help each other with their different talents and points of view. If everybody thought in gray, this world would be gray and dull, and we need multi-colour visions to expand it and make it lively.

HD Colorful World Wallpaper

Imagine every flower is a child. The field is this pretty thanks to every little colorful brain.

We’re social creatures. We weren’t born to be alone. And school should teach that: to solve your problems with logic, ethic and remembering you’re part of this world and that you must protect it with your talent. They teach us to swim only with the sciences, but rarely humanity studies. And only arts can help people keep caring about the world.

I’m sure many of you have seen images in the internet that spreads the pros of education in many countries around the world, or articles that explain the success of some systems above the others. This article, for example, and specially the last quote from the first page, resumes excellently, the success of the Finnish education (…alright, the second page resumes everything, the first one just had this nice quote ._.). And they don’t stop repeating this: winners don’t need to compete. Education is our salvation!

In Japan, and although I’ve heard that the schools over there are also stressing, demanding and not too different in ideals from here of building obedient workers, they teach children communion with group activities, like cleaning the school with the called souji time. This rooted in an ancient Buddhist belief of morality equaling cleanse. And again, communion and harmony between students is the key of this activity.

You can even make it a race game. I could become the Scrubbity Race Queen!

So everything seems to indicate, in my opinion at least, that school’s success lies not on excellence, but on feeding the spirit of the child with games, without pressure, and making him remember this: everything is communion. Everything! It’s the opposite of what’s been done in the USA, Mexico and other countries. We’re pressuring them with exams, comparing them between each other, and even humiliating them when it’s time to give them their exams (I remember how coldly a teacher told that This McChild got a 0 approval in his exam and the creepy silence that followed…). No wonder why many children don’t like school. And this cycle will keep going and going because the very same parents, with same competitive education, won’t give them an education based on critical analysis, and will just drop their educative heritage into their brains.

Stressed student

Quickly! Study if you don’t want to become a C, Miss B!

In fact, this is the thing, and my opinion: schools are supposed to give you the information and ways to handle it for your own good and society, and families are supposed to educate you in a way you can socialize and become a better person. Both have same responsibility of incorporating the child into society, and although I bet many parents around the world do a wonderful job with this fight (many single moms, for example,  break their back for the best of the children), the contexts always vary, and there are drunken parents, neglecting parents, etcetera…and sometimes because said parents’ educations was poor too. It’s a cycle.

And it becomes a double burden for teachers: they raise and educate these children. Many parents send their children to school, expecting to see them return as future geniuses, whereas in home they did not even receive tools or motivation to study, read, become curious, love the world… Anything that helps them more. And also, some parents leave their children watching TV, with this mentality: “They won’t be watching porn or something wrong, so they will be ok and I can return to this business in the meantime”. And they don’t know that some shows can, actually, shape their mentality for the sake of the powers’ agenda, despite looking “harmless”.

So the teachers aren’t the only ones influencing the children education: parents, environment, and TV–Oh goodness, the TV…!–shape the minds too, and if not watched over properly, it can lead to disgusting results.

For more interesting drawings from these images, click on this one to see some few others from the same author.

In here, teachers don’t mind an evaluation. Thing is, education’s not only a teacher thing, but also an environment thing. You see, how can a teacher make a good class when you do it in the outside, with few materials, in awful conditions, and when the very children didn’t eat breakfast three hours ago, and thus dooze off or barely pay attention? How do you expect to get good grades and excellent students when the poor children can’t even afford food to wake up their brains, must walk miles and miles to get to the building, or have a family to feed and must work? The government will evaluate only the teacher’s performance, but not the quality of the institutions or the content of the programs themselves. And it’s hard to make progress when the children are almost starving when they arrive to class. Or when the roof will almost fall above their heads…!

https://lh3.ggpht.com/-rPqIdtAnMmg/UWWjZb6y9MI/AAAAAAABK1M/w-bBasxTy6g/s1600/Maestros+escuela.jpg

…Or when there’s no roof at all.

Worse thing of all? The media’s demonizing these rural and abandoned teachers, calling them “vandals” and rooting the cops that beat them up. They make them look like lazy people who have nothing to do, and make fun of them. One of our networks is the worst offender, not only having a long run of sexist shows, racist jokes and overly religious programs that impede involvement of any other type of thinking, but also calling these teachers the “attackers” of Mexico.

They don’t want to change the education system, and even released a “documental” that blamed teachers as the cause of the low quality education in Mexico, ignoring other important factors, such as this one: the fact that many children educate themselves with TV too when their parents are working. And this network’s shows are as educative as Jersey Shore. And Keeping up with the Kardashians. And Maury. Specially Maury. In fact, highlight Maury, never mind my other examples, and I rest my case. So they really expect to have responsible, critical children when they only dump garbage in their brains. And stereotypes of teachers and schools. Seriously.

marchas-monumento-revolucion- carrusel_phixr

Damn those vandal teachers! They just threaten the country with their machine guns and sticks and shields and cars…! They need some good lesson!

I believe the American system is a bit similar to the Mexican one, considering the government here loves to base itself in many American systems. I read several articles and they mention similar issues. Yet, I believe their problems are less severe than here, considering that these rural teachers are condemned, physically attacked and deprived from their sole insurances if they dare to speak out against the system. It’s either my way or the way to your funeral, baby.

In my opinion, schools are the houses of humanization. You send your children to there so they can help you with half the job of humanization. While our role as family is to make them sensitive and humane, the schools must give them the knowledge and tools to help them keep what they learned to love: the planet, the people and themselves. Ken Robinson makes an interesting comment about how school kills this love of life—this creativity—to prioritize the “useful” subjects, like math and sciences, because they’re the ones needed to enter into a competitive world. Children gradually lose their creativity due to this anxiety of future and put into crisis by telling them that they won’t make a living with artistic existences. They’re taught to stop being human and to worry a lot. They’re taught how to survive, but never how to live.

http://theteemingbrain.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/factory-school.jpg

We. Love. You. Big. Brother.

Here’s a video of one of Ken Robinson’s conferences, specifically the one that touches with the creativity issue.

Schools were in the past highly respected places, but nowdays it just exist for the powerful people’s agenda. We haven’t taught the children to always wonder—to have doubts of everything—so they can stay on a never ending journey of finding the truth and discovering themselves. We haven’t shown them enough love to the world and the wonders of our surroundings that fill them with awe and consciousness that they must be protected. Instead, we give them orders, we make them become anxious of their future, and attack their brains by telling them “This is it, we no longer need to think it because it’s enough” by not enforcing them to think, to give their own explanation and to participate with their opinion. We must teach them the wonder of the “Why” and “How”, which are one of the best friends of the thought.

And more importantly, we have deprived them from the fun of learning. Of the games. We treat them as little machines. Not as intelligent beings that can, in many times, call “Bullpoop” on something and give a more logical explanation due to their simple minds. If you watched Ken Robinson’s video, I think then you heard his example of the girl drawing God and her reply to the teacher’s question, which was simple and creative in her own way.

ICub_face

Evil-looking robot toddler playing with a bloody-red ball. Sweet dreams.

They can no longer express themselves. They become afraid and stressed. And children must play and enjoy this beautiful time of their life before actually moving on. They must be taught to love and be loved, and games are the best for that. But it’s a hard thing when the supposed people in charge ignore you, leave you starving in the street and, to add salt to the injury, attack the sole people interested in helping you.

Children must discover themselves and their talents. One of them might become a future Mozart—a Mozart that could soothe and humanize people who listen to his music—but the fear will deprive his chance of studying music and studying something he doesn’t want. Why? Because he was taught he might go nowhere with arts! And despite studying that science—let’s say, economics—, who knows if he will go anywhere? He might not have the talent. He just chose it for the money, and that will make him take risky decisions that might break his brain (jobs are brain-breakers, indeed). He wasn’t taught how to be a human, just to become part of the system if you want to live. They weren’t interested in discovering his talent in humanities, just in making him part of this factory.

This image resumes it (and if you click on it, you’ll get a better explanation):

https://gs1.wac.edgecastcdn.net/8019B6/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lteusu0d0K1r54seio1_400.jpg

No fair. The bird would fly to the top while pretending to climb…!

This is, as well, the Mexican Education Reform in a nutshell. Some teachers have different needs and problems than others, so none will be the same, specially if the rural teachers are always put aside by the big powers.

It’s an awful irony, especially because the people who want to transform these kids into little machines will also suffer consequences: without doctors with ethics, businessmen without knowledge, or overall people with some heart at all, how can they trust they won’t stab them in the back as they stabbed them? They’re teaching children to care about competition and defeat others to advance—to become mercenaries that will stab others to achieve his goals, and the ethics will be aside. And no one, even less the powerful people, will be safe in a world without attachment, without ethics and, more importantly, without a heart.

This is a talk from Noam Chomsky, in where the first minutes he mentions how the children are educated to not question the system and just keep going.

So, yup. Turns out I was quite unfair to my teachers. Indeed, many of the teachers can be employed unjustly for different reasons or simply don’t act as if they cared. But I must also be fair with them: these “lazy” teachers are victims too. The system they’re into is not fair to them either. It’s dull, it’s tense, and it’s heavy.  They are always under stress and don’t tend to feel lots of motivation with a job that doesn’t propose something fresh and even stimulating to them; they’re forgotten and, in this case, put aside. Or if they try to make the children think, they might face problems, just like these protesting teachers in Mexico.

You could say they’re afraid too. They must keep a family, their houses, pay rents, food, etcetera, and they might lose everything if something goes wrong, so they might become afraid for the children too, but mostly due to having other mouths to feed. They’re humans too, and need help of society. We need new reforms, and certainly beating up teachers won’t help it. Even less if they remember that the country was shaped thanks to these “vandals”.

But I repeat. I know nothing of the educational systems around the world. I investigated, yet I am no expert on systems, and this is more of an opinion I wanted to share to see if it helped somebody, or if somebody could help me expand it or correct it. And more importantly, and just so we all can do something before it becomes a greater problem, to let the world know about the struggle of the Mexican teachers and make them an example of the limits a man can take before, finally, becoming fed up with the injustice and the dehumanization that’s, slowly, sucking the life from the planet.

Hope you can help me build the truth of the 21th Century Education, O Reader.

Any comments, opinions, corrections, etcetera, are greatly welcomed, especially because I want to expand this topic with people around the world.

*All images redirect to the original sites they were found, and some do send you to some interesting places, in case you’re interested*.

Edited so I could add this link that can explain more to English readers about the Mexican struggle.