30 Bananas a Day!

Why am I here?

Why did I think a mainstream university would suit me?

I am so far off the conventional realm of things.... This is not a good idea.

Why do we go to school, anyway? What IS school?

Who came up with it? When did it become the “norm” to go to school?

Don't get me wrong. I love to learn. We are born to learn. We are curious creatures.

But when did this “school” thing come into action?

Can't I just learn from experience?

Can't I learn from exploring the world on my own?

Can't I learn from hands-on activities? ...From touching, feeling, and creating things?!

Why do I let some man in the front of the classroom control my life?!

We are being forced to learn things on a certain schedule and in a certain way.

There is something unnatural about that.

Something about this idea irritates me.

We are curious creatures. We need to learn at our own pace.

We need to learn what we WANT to learn at certain times in our lives.

Here is a great quote by John Holt:
"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him, He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense ... School is not a place that gives much time, or opportunity, or reward, for this kind of thinking and learning."
(There are some great info and quotes here: http://www.blog.lifewithoutschool.info/2007/09/unschooling-quo.html)

When I have kids, I am not putting them through school.

I will teach them basic concepts when I feel the time is right (reading and math) but as for everything else, it is totally up to them. They can learn at their own pace. They can learn what they want to learn.

If they want to know about the solar system, we can go get books and learn about it. We can go to a museum and they can look through a telescope and we can discuss it. We can make drawings and sculptures... anything that they want to do to learn about it.

If they want to do yoga, we can go to classes.
If they want to climb, I can teach them. We can climb outside and learn about the rock.

If they want to learn about plants and animals, we can go exploring. We can visit farms. We can watch movies (Planet Earth, anyone!?) We can do anything to help them learn.

Whatever they want, they will learn about it. At their own pace. With all the time in the world.

Thats what learning should be about.

"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience." -- Anne Sullivan


I am EXTREMELY interested in natural health. I came here to UTC to study nutrition. I know, I know... its a mainstream college... They are going to teach me about the food pyramid and a lot of BS. I was planning on just sitting through the class and trying to resist argument after every statement they make.

But why would I even want to put up with that when I could learn what I WANT to learn somewhere else?

The classes here make me cry everyday. Education should not make a student cry. Learning should be fun. Learning should be something that one is excited about!!!

I keep looking at the descriptions for the classes at the University of Natural Health. It's an online school. As I read the information about the classes, it excites me! The feelings I have are similar to a child waiting for Santa to deliver presents on Christmas. My mind is craving that information. I want to learn it. I don't want to wait! I am ecstatic about learning this information. Isn't that what learning should be about!?

Online classes seem to be optimal for the lifestyle I want to live. I can get sufficient sleep (which natural health is all about!!!) and start my classes when I WANT TO START THEM! I can focus when I WANT TO FOCUS! I can climb, make art, and travel when and where I want! I feel that it will be perfect to suit my needs.

Some people tell me that I need the college experience to be around the people. They tell me that it's not just about the education, but about meeting people. I can understand that. BUT. I am part of this AWESOME climbing community and I meet new people everyday. I meet people at the health food store and I meet farmers at the farmer's markets. I meet people everywhere I go who share common interests. I don't need college to meet people. I have TONS of friends and they multiply constantly.

I am so sick of conventional education.

I want to learn things... but not in the way they want to teach me.

Let me learn what I want to learn!

I crave this knowledge. I LONG for it.


For the record, UNH is over $10,000 cheaper than UTC. Also, I could get a side job at the health food store or something and bring in a little spending money for food. I am glad that I am standing up and doing what I want to do.

Support me if you want. I am doing it either way.

You can find a few more thoughts that i wrote on this here: https://arawconnection.ning.com/profiles/blogs/a-few-more-thoughts

or on my blog, www.badashclimber.blogspot.com

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Comment by Tinah on February 14, 2010 at 7:24am
yeeahhh!!! best of luck to you! :D
Comment by Mattias on January 22, 2010 at 6:42am
my talk girl! feeling totally the same at this time, i have to choose where to go after high school and its gonna be another schoool!
Comment by ednshell on September 24, 2009 at 3:58pm
I was blown away when I learned about Oxford University being this way, attending classes/lectures is optional, papers deadline very flexible- if not this semester then maybe next, most learning is done thru extra curricular clubs, totally student led. I guess this type of real learning is reserved for the elite.
Comment by abandonedsoul on September 24, 2009 at 5:27am
Wow!! This is a beautiful post. I can relate to you so much and have had the same thoughts. Don't be afraid to do what you wanna do. Don't do what people say is "the right thing to do" out of fear. That's what I was going to do. I was actually gonna go to college to be a nurse even though I don't believe in drugs, vaccines and such. But I was afriad to pursue what I really wanted to do.

I just wanted to please my family and be there idea of successful. But now I am on the path to pleasing myself. I always wanted to start my own online business and now everyday I am online educating myself about how to be successful. I know I will be a success. This life I'm pursuing is the life I always wanted to live. Staying at home, eating raw food, traveling and being my own boss.

You are such a smart woman. The best thing you can do for the world is to follow your own heart.
Comment by Jourdan on September 24, 2009 at 12:32am
Ashley, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Going to school imo is kinda like taking a 4 year standardized test. Your not going to know anything when you get out of school per sea, but people believe you've handled a certain amount of rigor and are ready to be taught to do the job you ultimately want to do. I do feel some skills are developed if you make an effort but for the most part one could work 1 on 1 with a tudor and get far more done. School and society wants you to take 4-5 classes, and balance extracurricular activities. As you have said, there is a natural progression to learning. One wants to pursue more or less of something when we are ready. We only truly do things well when we are truly focused. The scheduling is all about multitasking. It has been said that multitasking is in part the fracturing of the conscious mind and leads to insanity. It also takes us out moment so frequently. Even if you are like me you will continue to get conditioned in college. However there have been some really great classes/disciplines that I think work better for people who truly like to think about things such as Anthropology/primate anthropology ecology/ performing arts etc.
Comment by Jenna on September 23, 2009 at 2:34pm
Good for you! I am currently in the process of withdrawaling from grad school to pursue something more hands on. I have always been a big proponent of doing things others may deem 'crazy" (on this site, aren't we all?? hah) and think it is so great that you are following your heart and not letting what others think about your life dictate your life choices. Good luck with whatever the future holds for you :)
Comment by Paul on September 23, 2009 at 8:27am
education is a tried and tested way of developing the intellect, even if you hate it now, it would give you a firm base,
i hated my degree and did badly, but the fact that it had beaten me made me want to understand it when I was older. The same might happen to you.
i've not looked into "natural hygiene', but from an academic person who studied a science, (no insult to Dr D intended), it appears less, maybe quackery from a distance,
a science education is very appealing, great mental stimulation, in a very tried and tested way, there are many fine teachers and textbooks in the field you are studying, and you'll miss out on this development.
Comment by Ashley Hamilton on September 23, 2009 at 8:01am
Thanks for all these replies. They help me to look forward and continue with my dreams and goals. =)

Not sure how i should tell my mom... but I will figure it out.
Comment by Peter on September 22, 2009 at 7:48pm
Schools originally came about because of religion, they were originally run by churches and they were more or less good things because they gave people opportunities to work in better jobs and not have to work in dangerous jobs as children. You don't really go to uni/school to learn as such, you go to earn a certificate (in part by learning what they tell you to learn and regurgitating it - you don't have to believe it though) so that you can work in this place or that and have a better standard living.
Schools could be good but they have been ruined over time and haven't been updated, so they still use outdated 19th century methods. School isn't all in all terrible. They have raised society up but it's time they were updated to better suit the 21st century. They are way too dogmatic for a start.
Comment by Windlord on September 22, 2009 at 3:34pm
You've got my support, Ashley; go with your heart! May I ask what it is you look forward to accomplishing in life, and how the degrees you're considering will benefit those goals?


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