New Mexico USA





.............HOME...................................................ON EDUCATION

  ...see: Summerhill        



Thank God I was never sent to school, and forced to take the style of a fool.

William Blake


For the ancient Greeks, Education was one of the most cherished pastimes, and was embraced as a process that enhanced the quality of life and gave purpose, value and pleasure to its recipient far beyond what was otherwise possible.

In contrast to those wise elites of two-and-a-half millenia past, up to the age of 15 'education' to me was as Blake envisioned it: the precise opposite of what it pretended. The idea of school for me as a kid evoked all manner of horrors - and was definitely something to avoid: It was associated with enforced confinement, dreary and intimidating surroundings, compulsory activities that were overwhelmingly boring, meaningless or puerile, but above all it involved fear - fear of arbitrary and capricious punishment, which in my day was frequently violent.

Education, in short, was for me the very antithesis of what it professed to be and should have been. So it was by an extraordinary fluke that from the age of 15 (when I had resolved to avoid it for life), education - admitedly, in an entirely different guise - suddenly became a glorious doorway to many great things.

It may be true that I was seduced by the 'magic' of technology (My aim was to become a magician, what else?) and was victim to the corporate propaganda of which I was oblivious; and true also that I was a naive and willing slave to those upon whom I relied for my new 'education'. But at the time I was so hypnotised by the science, so awed by the gadgets, so impressed by startling new advancemnents, the burgeoning frontiers, the apparently limitless prospects... well, who wouldn't fall for it?

My mindset and age at the time (mid-to-late teens) left me primed and ready for wholehearted engagement. Anything technical would have done. I had reached such a point when I would have been attracted and seduced by any project that was alien to school. Even if those sinister corporate aspects had been laid before me in all their stark clarity as I see them now, I'm certain I would not have even flinched. I was only glad to have found at last a worthwhile and compelling pursuit - or so it seemed and essentially remained for more than a decade...

Then I discovered Hesse (and politics!)