It is my understanding that dear Joanne would like to show her health class my blog, for reasons beyond my meagre comprehension.  Could it be that the silly woman considers me to be some sort of success, as if she’s impressed by what I’ve accomplished?  If so… come on.  Up your standards.  I suck.  🙂

Anyway, I feel I should write something “health class worthy”, and maybe even inspirational, in case she’s convinced you that I’m oh so great.

No matter how much adults deny it and say that “Your age doesn’t matter and you can still accomplish your dreams, no matter how old you are,” they still make it so you can’t.  Youth have very few rights, actually, and it’s a form of prejudice.  (Hold on, I’ll make my little rant circle back; you just wait.)  Examples?  Well, any time there’s an age limit on something instead of a skill or experience limit.  You can’t get your drivers licence until you’re 16.  If you’re 15 and drive like a BOSS, and can prove it in a test, you cannot get your drivers license.  Discrimination based on nothing but age.  So many things work like that.  All of a sudden, the day you turn 18, you’re intelligent enough to vote.  But CERTAINLY not before.  Me, I think everybody should be given some sort of “mental maturity test” where you decide things like that.  But, it would be a pain and it’s much easier to just judge the book by its cover and the kid by the number of years they’ve been alive.  Those are the big things, but you see it in little things too.  There’s this idea that, because you have “teen” on the end of your age, you don’t have as many rights and can’t accomplish as much.  This has got to change.

Everybody has a thing.  No, I’m not talking about wearing parachute pants and talking with slang only you know, I’m talking about a personal interest or skill.  It emerges very early, yet again, here are the adults deciding when and how you can actually act on it.  I’ve known I was into writing since, what, before grade 3?  Yet, until grade 10, I’ve been doing the exact same class as the kids who couldn’t care less about novels and adjectives and poems.  Now I’m in a dash 1 class, with slightly fewer kids who couldn’t care less.  And I still have to take classes _I_ couldn’t care less about (ehem, math, cough cough), just so I can enter university to take classes I like.  Raise your hand if you think this is flawed.  (Oh gosh, now she wants audience interaction.  I haven’t responded to a screen since Dora the Explorer needed to get rid of Swiper.)  Far more flawed if you think about how few people actually use everything they learn in school.  I actually did a study, (yeah, that’s right.  I, a 15 year old, performed a study.  And promptly got kicked out of the food court for it) and it proved that the majority of people could have missed much of their classes and came out A-okay.  Then, they could have focused on whatever it was they liked, and they could have been getting paid for it and accomplishing things far earlier.  While the education system is slowly picking up on that, you should be focusing on your own thing so you can get a head start without the help of formal, forced-to-attend classes.  And you need to practice your skill, work on it, perfect it.  And I’m talking NOW.  None of this “when I finish high school” crap.  “Oh sure, Laura, you can write a blog and enter writing competitions at 15 and whatever, but it’s not so easy for us with REAL, non-writing aspirations,” I hear you say.  Oh no?  What do you want to be, then?  A doctor?  No.  Bad goal.  Try this: “Best doctor in the world.”  That’s your plan.  And oh yes you can start it now.  Something like that requires loads of learning.  Learn everything you can about medicine and anatomy.  I don’t care if you’re 14 or 7, start learning.  Maybe even take a university course online, that is, if they don’t let you in the actual building.

I guess this sounds kind of crazy, the way the world works now, but I have some radical beliefs about education.  Well… this is my blog… I guess I could explain them… kind of a long sidetrack though… oh well.  I think it’s inspiring.

Can you imagine if, instead of everyone being shipped off to a school building, you chose your own courses from day one?  Now, I mean, beyond super basic stuff, like reading.  Basically, from the day you decided the human body was cool, you could go to, not a school, but a hospital building, and take your class there, where everything, tools and knowledge, was available.  As such, you can imagine how much more interactive and up-to-date classes would be.  You would be grouped, not by ages, but by skill levels.  Theoretically, a very gifted 10 year old could perform surgery.  If you think that’s a scary thought, you’re rather prejudiced.  This little guy has passed all his exams just like the other doctors, so he ought to be allowed to cut you open and fix you.

Other careers?  Mechanic.  Once your kid shows an interest in taking apart toy cars, take him to a car shop and let the mechanic take him on as an apprentice.  Kid gets to learn, mechanic gets some help.

My friend wants to be a translator.  She started to learn the languages on her own every since she developed a liking for foreign music.  (Gangnam Style, anyone?)  If she could skip most of her English Language Arts classes, (let’s face it; that chick will never be able to write creative fiction) and study under a Korean teacher, she could have that language under her belt by now.

As I said, everyone has a thing, and these things emerge early.  Go into a group of pre-schoolers and give them the option of blocks or colouring, you’re gonna see a split emerge.  I know you can’t point at the blocks kids and say, “Trades” and the colouring kids and say “Arts”, but you can help them build the road that leads to their future career with far fewer side trails.

That’s why I do extra-curricular activities.  I’m dramatic, so I do dance, singing, and acting.  I love it, and I’m better at it than people who don’t.  I don’t do hockey or soccer because I’m not athletic and hate to sweat.  That road leads to no where for me, as does the advanced math road.  Teach me how to pay my taxes and I’m set.

You should be doing stuff too, if I haven’t yet made that clear.  You jocks, you should be taking those types of sports.  Take them as far as you can, and a little farther.  You math nerds, start looking at what numbers exactly you want to work with, and get at it.  Accounting could start with working the cash register at Tim Horton’s.  I know a kid who wants to be a nano technician.  The learning starts here, and if the education system worked as I’d have it, the working would start soon after.  Alas, tis not so.  But you guys can help make it so.

Oh, any writers in the room?  YOU guys are my favourite.  Sure, most don’t consider it a real career.  Every single time I tell someone I plan on writing novels, I hear anything ranging from, “Yes, but what are you going to do to support yourself?” to “Ah, but what’s your real job gonna be?”  Ugh, rage face.  I’ve already started; I came runner up in that contest (twice), have a blog (utter failure), and have written lots of words that will probably lead somewhere.  Maybe.

But there is another issue.  Sometimes things… change.  (Buh buh buh.)  What if little Suzy sketches her little heart out, her only desire to be a famous artist (the best ever), when she realizes, on here 10th birthday, that horses are really cool and being a groomer sounds kind of neat?  Well… start grooming.  When I say everybody has a thing, I must add that many people have several things.  Your road can be split.  The fun part is making them work together.  Maybe I’ll… write a novel, then have it turned into a musical in which I sing, dance, and act, thus involving all my favourite things?  I’m also into psychology.  I use that in my writing.  Suzy can draw horses.  They don’t even have to be things that relate, really.  A dude can be into football and flower arranging.  Well he CAN.

You can also find groups who like what you like.  Get involved.  I was in a writer’s club (will be again if I can figure out when it is), and I did some role playing on the internet (not the kinky kind, the story kind).  Stuff that would make you guys die of boredom was uber fun to me.

So, I guess the message is pretty easy to take.  Do what you like.  Start now.  Do it well.  Unless it’s drug dealing or pole dancing.  Don’t do that.