Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Is School a “Prison”?

Posted by C Moon on November 24, 2007

Is school a “prison”?

According to Shim in his blog post Students or Slaves, it is so. Surprisingly many classmates in my school say so, too. Shim talks about how school has limited his thoughts, how it has made “students” machines that strictly follow the future set by the adults. He asserts that school makes students regard a certain path as the “right way.”

I do not agree with Shim’s argument. Extending his argument, any institution, organization, and system deem restrictive. It is true that school is not a place of laissez-faire, but it does serve a good purpose.

I definitely maintain an unabashed love for school and community. For me, school means not only friends, but also challenge, opportunity, and learning. I formed my dreams through my experience in and out of school.

In my childhood my visions were quite different from what I have right now. I wanted to become a professional athlete and expert in martial arts. Though I still love physical activities and martial arts, and continue practicing them, I will not choose to become a professional athlete anymore. It is not because I am not adept enough but because I want to explore more exciting, interesting fields. While taking courses in mathematics and science and exploring them further by myself, I discovered the joy of decoding the unknown. It may have been possible for anybody to find what they want to pursue in their life without attending school, but it is school which has given me the chances to explore diverse subjects, some of which I became enchanted with.

Another benefit of attending school is to have friends in various shapes and colors. Similarly to learning, one can make friends without attending school. For example, connective writing, blogging, is a good medium. But, in that way, friends one makes will be limited to his interest groups. It is both a good thing and a bad thing. Friends with similar interests will understand each other easily, and help to further their knowledge in the subject of common interests. However, it narrows down their viewpoints and limits their social network. Friends in school vary widely. Some share my interest while some others do not. Some want to become designers, teachers, businessmen, or professions that I never thought of pursuing.

Currently, I am planning to direct (or assist in directing) a play next semester, something I never imagined to do before. I took a drama class last year and enjoyed writing reports on plays and taking roles in performances. Directing is a totally new challenge to me and I hope to experience the elements of drama from a different perspective. Trying a new thing is worrisome in one sense but some level of anxiety about it is the driving force of a step forward. After all, school is filled with not only rules and homework but also challenge, opportunity, friendship and fun.

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Photo Credits: “Photo of Harry and School Friends” by cambodia4kidsorg on Flickr

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One Response to “Is School a “Prison”?”

  1. Brian said

    One argument against current system of education(although there exists many just think of the common one in korea) is that the current system is that of old Prussian style. It was used to systematically and easily train people as Prussia was a strict and pretty militant nation. The older education system is the monastic education and etc. It does not necessarily teach the materials you would think schools would teach. Oh, and I am not talking about education of bible. The system teaches 3 things. Facts, Logic, Rhetoric. You learn how to collect facts, interprete it with logic and express your thoughts with rhetoric. So basically education gives you the tools to learn by yourself….or at least that is what one of my teachers said.

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