I don’t mention this often, but I Philip, did not enjoy school!
However I must hasten to say that I love learning in general and still do! Did you know that in Utah, it is illegal to swear in front of a dead person? Also due to precipitation, for a few weeks, K2 is actually taller than Mt. Everest? They don’t teach that in schools… and probably with good reason. Moving on…
Getting back to ME, the thing I didn’t like about school was the company of my class mates (I’m a terrible person I know). Looking back it probably wasn’t one hundred percent their fault (it was), I just always felt like the odd one out. I went out of my way to reinforce the point externally as well (think long hair and an active interest in maths & science and you won’t be far wrong).
It would be easy to put my alienation down to hormones, growing up etc, but I’m 25 and I still get in this muddle sometimes. To an extent I ended up dehumanising them, reducing my empathy to zero just to get through the week. If I didn’t treat them like human beings, the disconnection felt bearable.
It wasn’t until university that I finally felt like I made some real legit friends. It turns out I’m an anxious introvert of sorts, I’ve accepted that now and sorta made my peace with it. Although I wish I had had some means of connecting with likewise individuals at school when I was younger, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it infinitely more if I’d had someone to discuss horrible histories with. I could have used some kind of wierdo-radar system to detect them (it still bemuses me that the government still refuses to invest in my genius ideas… Think of the children)!
The round about point I’m trying to make is that the norm isn’t for everyone (or anyone really)! Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behaviour, and they are classic uses for excuses. How would boys and girls actually develop mentally without the pressure of culturally formed views being imposed on them? I feel lucky in someways that my mum was the main provider in our household. It forced me to view things differently and means ultimately that I probably don’t view the opposite sex the same way the majority do.
I’m not sure why exactly I’m writing this (well thought out) post, I just felt like ranting and writing. I guess its better to write it out than to fade away!
Years later I’m now living London (currently watching Highlander for the 20th time). I have my fantastical select group of weirdo friends (all three of them), my loving family back North whom I visit as often as pos (and call virtually everyday). I have my amazing job and tasty little flat in Wimbledon. Things are going well for middle Philly (I think of my life like a musicians discography, I reckon I’m up to about Help! Rubber Soul and Revolver just around the corner… Nice!)
Anyway that’s my textual rant over, well done you if you got to the end!
Featured image taken from: http://www.mezzacotta.net/