What I learned in high school

I spent four of my years in a building

Of wood walls and cement floors

I spent four of my years in a building

Told it was wrong to want out


I spent four of my years stuck in two dimensions

Learning how quickly hope can vanish

I spent four of my years stuck in a world that was not my own

Believing in a myth, in a lie:


School would make me a better person,

A smarter and prettier me

School would fulfill me;

The only path save misery.


But how could this be so when school was a building like any other?

An immutable plan, laid out in the land,

Created to keep us in line and on time?


I've spent four of my years in a building,

And so far this is what I have learned:


I've learned most work has no meaning

It's just reading and repeating

I've learned to paraphrase and summarize so well

I've learned to think what others thought but no reason behind why they thought it,

I've learned to mouth their words without opening my mind.


I've learned sitting and not speaking,

I've learned wide-eyed adoration,

I've learned I should never question,

not the man and not the plan.


I've learned to half-ass my homework,

I've learned to pretend I really don't care.


Maybe I have learned not to care.


I've learned that I am only one,

One amongst a sea of many,

That I am no more noticed than I should be.


I've learned that I could make a difference

But that I'm too tired to try -

I've learned the power of giving up,

the adrenaline of failure.


I've learned that different thoughts are wrong,

That big dreams are too unwieldy,

I've learned that we should stick to what's simple.


I've learned that I am judged every minute of every day,

That the clothes I wear reflect me much more than what I say.


I've learned that I don't come to school

To get an education.

I've learned that education only comes with graduation.


I've learned my place is amongst the stacks of old books

Collecting dust in a far off library,

Listening to the words of strangers passing by but never voicing my own opinions -

I've learned that I am small,

I am not even a voice.


I am just one, one amongst a sea of many,

And I have no right to want something more.








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