The State of the Educational System Today.

I have recently received the notice as to my rejection from the Scotland study abroad program offered through my school.

My anger is infinite. My anger is the volcano which burns the forests. My anger is the lightning which splits stone, and the stone that carries the mountain with it as it falls. My anger is the force of a gun, strained into thought. My anger is the surging sea.

But in all fairness, I don't care very much. It's what I've expected. I'll be honest, my gpa is far from exemplary. Good, but far from exemplary. But it's why my gpa is low that this whole thing kind of makes me angry. You see, my gpa is low, not because I'm too stupid to perform otherwise, but because I don't have any care to. I've long since learned that grades are essentially meaningless. Certainly, they are a crudely effective indicator, but as I see it they should never be treated as anything else.

The methods available to the current society to test the intelligence of an individual are all woefully lacking. The idea of writing a paper is essentially the idea of turning in a subjective work to be subjectively judged. You can never be sure if you're going to get a good grade on the paper, no matter how well you write, because you can never be sure what the teacher is looking for. Tests, on the other hand, are also crude. They encourage the taker to cram knowledge that will promptly be forgotten, and focus on specific topics that generally represent only a fraction of the real knowledge involved in the subject.

In order to illustrate the difficulties, let me give you an example. A teacher decides to give his students a test. He tells them ahead of time, as many teacher do, what kind of topics he considers important, and thus what material the test will cover. Three students go home and study.

One student gets an excellent grade. But then, he spent exorbitant amounts of time memorizing principles by rote, and he has no understanding of these principles or ability to connect the dots. He is an idiot.

One student gets a terrible grade. He is very intelligent, and spent his time studying the material. Unfortunately, he was not made aware of which specific portions of the test he was supposed to study, and as such gets every question wrong, regardless of the fact that he knows every other aspect of the subject well.

One student gets an okay grade, because he properly crammed for the test. He promptly forgets this material, and when he graduates with his degree, he will know very little of what he actually studied. He is also an idiot.

Do you see the inefficacy of the concept of measuring knowledge in our society today? We have bound an abstract concept, intelligence, up into a series of letters grades, tests, and papers, which are really not a fair judge of intelligence. This isn't even taking into account that intelligence appears less to be rote memorization, and more the ability to memorize more quickly and more efficiently than others. Even apes can be taught sign language. Even idiots can be taught physics. The difference between the idiot and the genius, is that the genius understands this, and while our tests do make an effort at judging this understanding, it is far too easy to slip past the system without understanding that education in general is suffering.

On top of this is the fact that education in general has been highly cheapened. Once, men went to college to learn, and only the most serious of scholars, the people endowed with the most willingness to learn, ever went. They went by free choice, and they learned because they wanted to. Nowadays, society is increasingly structuring itself to the point where men and women need a college degree simply to be ordinary, simply to catch up with the basic level of living. The side effects of this are obvious. Now, students spend their weekends partying hard enough to kill any grain of knowledge or gain in critical thinking skills that they built up during the week, and look upon their studies not as a joyous upward mobility of the intellect, but rather a dreary and tiresome job, a task to be completed and resolved as quickly as possible.

Since my years in high school, I have kept the love of knowledge and intellect closer to my heart than anyone I have yet known. I am constantly now either sharpening my intellect or resting it for the next day's labor. I am prudent in my vices and voracious in my attempts to learn and build anew. I understand that grades mean little, and that they never have. It is true that many geniuses have had problems in traditional school. I make no claim to be ranked among them, for I am a foolish teenager. But I can understand their pain, because schools are increasingly geared, not to teach, but to give the appearance of teaching. Those that suffer are those that wish to learn.

In my pursuit of true knowledge over falsity, I have naturally ignored my grades. I churn out cheap papers to give the appearance of acquiescence, and then spend the time saved reading, thinking, writing, processing, creating anew. I spend the excess time learning. Perhaps it is not in the fields in which they want me to learn. But who cares about what they want me to learn? I only care to learn at any cost. Behind the efforts of my homework, and my social life and necessary relaxations, I spend my time reading philosophy (of which I have recently taken an interest in eastern philosophy, with quite wonderful results), and working on my novel.

This being said, if there was anyone more fit to make it into a competitive program based on their worth and will to learn, it would be myself. I try to be a humble man, though I fall short in this on many accounts, but there is one thing that I flaunt, as I have flaunted since I was a child. I am smart. I am fucking intelligent. I am perhaps one of the smartest students in this school. As a child, I was mocked for my intelligence, a mockery that I have since learned to ignore. I make no apology for my mind.

And it seems to me, that my mind is exactly what should be getting me into this program. Many aspects of my application were excellent. There was only one place in which it lacked, and this was my gpa. Should I be penalized for deciding that writing a novel is more important than writing a flimsy essay on some topic for which I have no care for or aptitude with? Should I be penalized for realizing that there is more to the world than an arbitrary letter? Yes, apparently.

I'm not going to say that no one who got into that program deserved it. Two of my close friends made it into the program, and I can assure you that they deserved it. But many of the other people in my graduating class? Of this I cannot be sure. What I can be sure of, is that if you lined them up in front of me, there will be at least one idiot with good grades who is less deserving of the honor than I.


I love.

I love life.

I love being young, and I will love being old. I love eating, and I love being hungry. I love drinking, and I love being thirsty. I love to clean my room, I love to dirty it again. I love difficult endeavors, and I love easy distractions. I love writing, and I love reading. I love sleeping and dreaming, and I love waking. I love playing to win, and I love playing to lose. I love woman, and I love man. I love women in particular, and men in particular, and I love being able to tell which is which.

I love a quiet night spent in reflection and solitude, and I love a noisy night spent at a party with friends. I love to look out on the world and see the numerous colors and lights, and I love to be surrounded and enveloped by the choking darkness. I love being unlimited, I love being restricted. I love up, I love down. I love strength, and I love weakness. I love getting my way, and I love it when others get their own.

I love to exercise, I love to eat healthy, I love to continue this bodily existence, I love to smoke, I love to drink, I love to destroy this bodily existence.

I love love, and I love hatred.I love the ability to distinguish between the two.

I love happiness, and I love sadness. I love the intelligent, and I love the stupid. I love the great and I love the tiny. I love the rich and I love the poor. I love the winter, and the summer, and the spring and the fall. I love sound, and I love silence. I love to be clean after a shower, I love to dirty myself all over again. I love to speak, and I love to remain silent. I love people, and I love to mock them. I love myself, and I love to mock myself.

I love dinner, breakfast, and lunch. I love fashion, I love the plain dress of a beggar. I love hermitage, and I love sociality. I love communism, I love capitalism. I love objectivism, I love subjectivism. I love God, and I love man alone. I love dualism, I love monism. I love the philosopher and I love the sophist. I love sports, and I love the pleasures of the mind.

I love until the phrase "I love" no longer has meaning. For this reason, I must distinguish between my loves, and it is for this reason I am a man. I have found the basic principle, and I understand that it cannot be lost. I have in me the spark of the positive, a spark that is not available in many, and a spark that will drive me further than a man could dream, and yet not as far as he could wish.

I love life, and for this reason I will die. I have come to terms with this fact. It is for this reason that I will live forever.



My second vow of silence began a week and a day ago. I meant to write this entry yesterday, but as it turns out I was too busy writing other things to have any time.

The vow has gone most excellently this time around. Having a room of my own means that I have the ability to retreat completely from my friends to a place that is mine, and is mine alone. Last year, I was often forced to go to the library to achieve the same thing, a place that was dangerously close to everything that I was trying to get away from. This year, I have spent hours upon hours, locked in my room, processing information and working, and there is nothing to disturb me except myself and my own desires.

I have also refined the vow, to be less of a vow of silence, and more of a vow of anti-sociality, or hermitude. As such, I am allowed to speak with people during and around class times, and I will allow myself to respond if someone greets me in the cafeteria, or otherwise wishes to speak with me, rather than simply running away and feeling bad for the people who don't know about my vow.

I have been extremely productive in this first week, though at the same time not as productive as I can be. I think that there has not been a day that I have not dedicated at least two or three hours to writing in some form or another, because my mind will simply not sit still right now. Poems fly into my head like doves, waiting patiently to be copied. The gears of my mind constantly grind at themselves, trying to figure out exactly what it is that my philosophy espouses, and I record these musings daily. Starting with the manuscript that I printed last year of the first third of my first novel, I have begun to rewrite it, better, and with a slightly revised and improved plot. All of these things converge at once, on me, and I very dutifully record them, with as much speed as my fingers can muster.

My meditations on death have not begun yet, not in earnest. I don't have much free time on the weekdays for meditation, and my first weekend was occupied more with writing than this pursuit. Yet, already I have begun to come to terms with death, not to love it or hate it, but for the time being to accept it. I have not yet conquered it, but I am on the proper path.

Yet, for all this, I am not in the proper mindset. This year I am tortured constantly, for my closer connection with people has not only allowed me to hide from them all the more effectively, but it has also made me more aware of their presence, and my lack of sociality in this life. The weekends that I enjoy with friends are gone, replaced by work. There is a part of me that knows that what I do to myself is torture, and that I must be sure not to do this for too long, not to accept this life forever. Indeed, recent developments in my philosophy have led me to a more taoist representation of the world, and the balance that I seek cannot be found in this place. It cannot be found in the social world either, which is why I despair. I try to make a proper balance, but it is too heavily weighted on both ends, it is always either leaned in one direction or the other. There is little that I can do.

Also, I must admit that poetry is a new sphere in my life, one that I have unfortunately admitted up until this point. A creative writing class with an excellent teacher has taught me the value of the poem, and has demystified the creation of one. It is for this reason that poetry is finally making its way into my life, after many years of being left to the side.

The collision of all these things is now the vision that so prominently displays itself on my mind. It is beautiful, and true, and yet it is not done yet. It is not complete, and I must work to make it whole. I have another three weeks worth of work in front of me.