My daughter’s future

“you talk about education as if it has done you no good. shouldn’t you give it a little bit of credit?”

a distant acquaintance who I only see when coincidence put us within radius of each other commented over coffee. We do not see each other that often and neither of us cared. friendships have different levels- ours was that when fate decided to bring us together, we talk about all the injustice in the world and the changes we want to take.  and then we go on with our lives.

this is about eight or nine months since we last talked. neither of us cared. nothing much has changed- he still thinks the world is plotting its own ruins and I still think I could do better in making other people’s lives better before the world self-destructs.  he asked me about my daughter and I told him everybody gets her what she wants, so I assume that she is one happy baby. “she is pretty smart- but I guess all mothers say that to their kids. but, she really is pretty smart.” I heard myself saying.  I told him that I have considered homeschooling for her for a while now.  he said I will make a very terrible teacher, in a matter-of-fact tone.  “sending her to school will limit her potential, that I know for a fact.” was my reply, ignoring the weight of what he just said.

it was for that statement of mine that he blurted out his thoughts above.  “It helped you get where you are now.” he added.

“It made me cocky.” I told him, truthfully. school made me think I was better than most of them.  it took 25 years for me to correct that misconception.

“Exactly.” he smiled and looked at the few people passing by the coffee shops. “Kids need to go to school for a reality check.” he saw me open my mouth to disagree so he raised a finger to shut me up and continued. “It is in school that one realizes that the world is not fair. there are people smarter than you and you are smarter than some people. others will be more popular. the authoritative body has favourites. someone gets a medal they do not deserve. others like you; a few others do not.  opportunities are given but only few seem willing to take it. kids get exposed to this reality in a controlled environment where it doesn’t break them. unleashing your daughter into the world where you have no control on how it treats her can be destructive to her.”

“I could name a number of successful people that were homeschooled.”

he grinned at me with an I-cannot-believe-you-are-making-that-argument-look. “just because you have not heard of home-schooled people growing up to be failures does not mean they do not exist.  you have to think a lot about this, it is a decision that you will not be able to undo when she grows up.”

he left me with that thought.  it makes sense, what he said. it makes an awful lot of sense.  it is a decision I cannot undone, so Grape has to figure this out with me; it is her life, after all. but how do you put some sense into a 1.5 year old?

i stared at my coffee, long after he was gone. playing God is a difficult job.  no wonder humanity is screwed.


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