How Education Almost Ruined My Mind

“Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training”  (Anna Freud).

I’m 10 years old and really excited. I’m in fourth grade and it’s field trip day. Our class is going to visit the Super Computer! Now this is a fancy machine with a program that will tell you what you’re going to be when you grow up. All you have to do is answer some questions.

We arrive and get in a single file line. One by one we each take our turn. When everyone is done answering their questionnaires this massive machine prints out a document for each kid with a list of future careers based on the personal information entered. Everyone is very animated as they’re getting their results back. They’re told they will be biologists, veterinarians, doctors, accountants, lawyers Etc..

Finally, my report comes. Now mind you, at five years old I was ‘diagnosed’ (probably by the original super computer) with dyslexia and put into a special school where you trace letters in the air with your fingers so you’ll visualize them in the hopes that you’ll stop writing them backwards (sdrawkcab).

Apparently I caught on and learned to write all my letters in the correct direction because this is the first year I’m integrated back into regular school with all the ‘smart’ kids. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I already have a complex. However, I think maybe this Super Computer with its super powers might just prove everyone wrong!

As all the kids are oohing and aahing at their results, I’m handed my sheet of paper. Now mind you, at the bottom of everyone’s page is a list of possible career choices, each one on a separate line. There is no list at the bottom of my mine. There is only one line; one choice; one possible career path; one option for my future. The results of the supercomputer predict my destiny in bold letters:

Insulation installer.

I’m mortified as I see those strange words staring back me. What is a 10 year old child to do with this information?

Now my father is a carpenter so it can’t be all bad, I reason. I begin reflecting on the few times I accompanied him to work. And each time just as I was about to dive into that big pile of squishy stuff he’d say: “Stay away from that stuff, that’s insulation. If you jump in in, you will be itchy for the rest of the day.”

‘This is it?’ I ponder. ‘This is my future? When I grow up I’m going to be installing itchy squishy stuff? And isn’t this typically a job only a man can do?’

I do clearly remember hearing the commercials where I’m told I can ‘Bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan,’ which is good news. However, I’m a very literal child and I have to ask my father what the commercial means since I don’t really understand why anyone can’t bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. (Asking is a bad idea.)

But the truth is, my little heart is crushed that day. Not only do I feel misunderstood by all the adults and teachers in my life, but now even the super computer can’t figure me out!

I’m sure you’ve had someone in your life who hurt you or left a lasting negative impact. (Hopefully it wasn’t a super computer.)

Even though this story is funny, it’s a reminder of the overcoming power of God in my life.

Today I can laugh because I know God is in the business of using bad situations for good. I know He can make victorious endings out of difficult beginnings.

He’s way more than a Super Computer.

 

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