If It Happens, Kill Me

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my future, and what I want to do. At this point, one thing is certain, I want to be in education. That sounds simple enough. The trouble comes when I start saying I want to jump in the sandbox and get my hands dirty and start working towards making our education system a better one. Of course, who wouldn’t say something as empty as that.

Last week I saw a movie called Waiting for Superman, a very informative documentary on the issues revolving around our Education system and education reform. But the film gave me a weird feeling about my own future. One day, years from now, I could be a talking head, in a video just like that. And I wanted to ask a favor of you, my friends, that if that happens, kill me.

The list of people fighting to make our education system better could go on, but here are a few big ones. Bill Gate’s Gate’s Foundation, George Lucas’ “Edutopia” out of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York, former Washington D.C. superintendent Michelle Rhee, DoneWaiting.orgDoris & Donald Fisher Fund, the Foundation for Excellence in EducationThe Bush Foundation for Education. And I couldn’t forget Perpich Center for Arts Education, could I.

The trouble is, when I look at that list, I don’t see a huge group of people working with one another to make education better. What?! You say. I know. What I see instead is a pile of football players, all clambering to get their hands on the elusive “better education.” And I’m afraid, terrified, that I’m going to end up in that same pile, come 2014.

I have a lot of ideas, and a little bit of a plan. Right now, this very minute, I want to be a fly on the wall of the Ed Department of U, where they are currently doing studies and discussing education reform. I want to be contributing to discussions, offering my opinion, actually doing studies of my own, and writing grants, and lobbying, and organizing, and having meetings with heads of unions, and congressmen and women, and doing press conferences. I want to have that Masters in Education and have a book published about how terrible things are, how we need to do something about it. And goddammit, I will not give up, I will not give in to pressure from any side.

All those foundations I named up there are awesome, amazing, incredible organizations that are doing really good, important things for our country. I wont deny that, but I’m still seeing a complete lack of competence and efficacy here in the real world. I will be writing more about my own stand on this issue in the following year and so on. But until then, I’m imagining myself, 10 years from now, like so many before me, at a town-hall meeting, or a board meeting, or a union meeting. And I’m sitting there, silently, as people talk bull-shit and banter, and I can see it happening, right there. My heart breaks and falls in a pile of mush on the varnished wood floor, and suddenly, from there on out, the fire in my eyes is gone, my words sound empty, the machinations of a forgotten dream.

And if that happens, please, break into my house, put duct-tape over my mouth, drag me to the basement of some dark, far away, abandoned house, and tie me to a chair, and leave me to die.

I wont stand to become just another talking head.

Posted in Blogging, Soapbox by Preston on November 10th, 2011

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