Why I Felt Too Cool For School

Dear Michael and Caroline,

I pretty much never really actually wanted so very much to go to school either.
School was away from home, where I had my own room, right near the kitchen and the bathroom and the den with the new TV.

School was in a building really long and tall, with stairwells and an auditorium and a boiler room.

School had all those other little kids, too, boys and girls, cute and less than cute, all coming out in the halls at the bell to go here and go there.

School had all those teachers, too, who got to tell you what to do, whether you could go to the bathroom and had to do homework or take a test.

Worst of all, I guess, worse even than how far from home school took me and all the strangers in the halls and the bossy teachers, was school was where you had to stay put.

You had to stay in your seat and listen and learn and some day you would suddenly walk out the door all smart and educated.

And here was the problem for me. I never really wanted to sit and listen (I’ve never changed all that much since then, either, have I?).

No, I would look out the window and daydream about playing baseball and, later on, maybe when I got to be about 12 or 13, I started to pay attention to those intriguing creatures called girls.

In school, I always pretty much wanted to be somewhere else so I could be doing something else. I wanted to be out playing baseball or stickball with my friends or watching some monster movie on TV or maybe in the park climbing a tree higher and higher until the branches grew too short and thin for me safely to go any higher.

And all the while, as I sat in class, a prisoner, bored, seeing no point in this activity, the teachers would be talking, talking, talking, and I would once again find myself utterly incapable of the one act expected of me, namely listening.

No, I never wanted to listen to anyone, because to me listening meant obedience and behind beholden, and I preferred my freedom and independence, the freedom to imagine my life as I saw fit, and the independence to live it as I saw fit, too.

And now we get to the real problem here. I was too young for school, too immature, completely unprepared for its demands, too undisciplined. I should have started school at maybe 18.

I say 18 because that’s when I went to college and started to like school.

P.S. – See Part 2 tomorrow.

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