In high school, I always found it difficult to fit into the system that was in place to keep us on the straight and narrow. Always rules. Rules for this and rules for that. Do this and do that. It seemed my brain was not able to comprehend the sheer abundance of rules and regulations because I was always being pulled into line for not conforming to what was expected of our fragile teenage beings.
English was a desirable subject for me. Not because of the morose selection of literature we were handed to read, but more so due the fact it allowed us to be expressive with our writing. One such occassion, we were offered an assignment which allowed a touch of freedom that was not normally part of the “system”. Yes, we were given free range to write about whatever we saw fit. So, with this in mind, I instantly set about writing something that would create derision and controversy.
That night, I arrived home and began to pen my first piece of erotic literature. Ok, it wasn’t the explicit depiction that I would write in years to come but it was still taboo and a little out there. Besides, they said we could write about whatever our hearts desired. So I did.
The story itself was based on Elizabeth, a boarding school student who had become besotted with the new headmaster. She was going off the rails due to the resentment held against her parents for packing her off to a place in which she despises with immense passion. I won’t go into too much detail but yes, it was explicit to an extent and perhaps crossing the line for a student but at no stage were we advised what not to write about so I was, in effect, sticking between the guidelines or the erm, “rules” as they say.
i submitted the short story two weeks later on the Friday afternoon and the following Monday was summoned to the headmasters office and sat down. It was here that I was asked if there were any problems at home. Had I been exposed to anything that perhaps I shouldn’t have? Was I unhappy? It was also at this moment that I was suspended for one week and ordered to spend time with the guidance officer upon my return.
I was duly handed a note informing my parents of my suspension and sent home. Naturally, I failed to go home, instead choosing the confines of the local library where I would read for the day. Our home phone was disconnected at the time so the only way of informing my parents was to have the note from school signed and return it the following morning with it signed. Naturally, I forged my mothers signature and, as was the case in the early 90’s, they took my forgery as gospel.
Each day for the rest of the week was bliss for me. I would leave home in my uniform, then duck into the local shops, change in the toilet and then head to the local library to read or on some days, the local shops to sift through music magazines and then the local record store to drool over all the CDs my heart desired. It was an elaborate fix and my parents were none the wiser to my suspension or my indescretiob. I still to this day fail to see what I did wrong? I was only following the guidelines after all.
Perhaps this is the problem with our education system? We are always given rules and regulations to follow yet never allowed to truly express ourselves for fear of stepping outside the square and learning to think for ourselves. Life is about doing what you love and what you think is right. Forcing people to conform to out of date rules is exactly what is wrong with our society.
Should your child have an expressive mind then allow it to blossom in every possible way. Never restrict your children or those around you.