Friday, December 7, 2012

School Stories: How to watch a movie in High School

The following is, in my opinion, irrefutable evidence that forced (compulsory) schooling sucks and will never help anybody to learn anything.  Most of the learning done in a traditional school environment is done in spite of the pedagogy, and not due to it.

When I was in my junior year of High School I was forced to watch Pan's Labyrinth in Spanish class.  I rushed in just as the bell rang, only to be greeted by Senor, my Spanish teacher, who somehow still got away with corporal punishment.  Senor psyched me out with a handshake offering, punched me in the back of my hand, and I took my seat.

He then put on the movie and probably left the room, but not before giving us some insanely easy assignment along the lines of, "Find 10 words you don't know and translate them."

Back then, we didn't have iPhones, so we had to use dictionaries! Can you imagine the horror?  No, actually it was mind numbing.  I was finished in 10 minutes and so was everybody else.  So, I did what any normal  teenager would do: I started whispering to the beautiful redhead who was sitting next to me.  It actually struck me that we were sitting next to each other watching a movie, which is a typical date sort of thing to do and I ended up construing it in my favor. I thought that it was kind of romantic to whisper to this girl while a movie played in the darkened period 6 Spanish class. Funny stuff.  That was most definitely prioritized in my mind above watching la pelicula.

Anywho, some other guy in the class makes a joke out loud about the movie which drew our attention there for a little and we all laughed. Then, I, or other classmates, might've been inspired to continue the jokes for some indeterminate amount of time until we lost interest in the film again.  Between the girl, the jokes, and the desire to just relax during a stressful day at school, I had absolutely no idea what I had watched by the end of la pelicula.  All I had was my 10 words and a clear sight of the school day ending.

Years later I did watch Pan's Labyrinth voluntarily, and now, I think it is a fantastic movie.  When I first put it on, though, I was expecting a cartoon with an antagonist looking like a 'mummy with eye balls on his hands'.  That was the only image that stuck with me and I turned the whole thing into a cartoon.  Thanks, forced schooling.

To me, it is clear as day that any coercive pedagogy is completely counterproductive for the children and can even make potentially pleasurable experiences completely vacuous.  If the person is a free thinker, then the more they are forced to do a task, the less effort they will exert on that task.  Especially people who are just now gaining their "powers" of intellect and free thought; those who are young and inclined to distractions.
The problems induced by this coercive environment are enormous.  The children cannot themselves choose who to study and learn with, which is certainly not the case in adulthood and they are forced throughout all of their formative years to study and learn about topics that are chosen solely by others.  What else could possibly result? Rebellion? Broken submission? Mental illness?  The bottom line is, schooling does not encourage people to think for themselves.

I hope that this story gives you an understanding of how the current schooling method can turn people off to even the most entertaining of events.  Thank you for reading.


Post a Comment