Eradicating Individuality

I read a poem in the Frontier High School (Deerfield, Massachusetts) Red Hawk Report which I think should be read by every educator in America, especially by “special” educators.

The poem is titled “Ignorance is Bliss,” by Will Bliss, and it was published in volume II issue 4.

In this poem, in calm, simple terms, the author challenges the assumptions made by thousands of educators who are paid millions of dollars by us, the taxpayers.

“One day, on a whim, I decided to/ Maybe do a bit of reading on a/ Disorder that I’ve been told I have/ Attention Deficit Disorder is its name…

“Apparently, I have the Hyper subtype/ Meaning being still is not my forte./ I was given a 504 plan and that’s it./ After seventeen years of life, only now/ Have I sat down to learn about it & myself/ Resulting in a mind-numbing revelation.

“My most discerning qualities, what I/ Thought made me stand out from the rest/ Were suddenly in front of me, right on the page/ In a list titled ‘symptoms,’ printed in ink./ As I read on, I couldn’t help but feel empty.

“Everything that made my personality unigue/ As merely symptoms. I thought, I was sure/ That I’m that outside thinker, puzzling tinkerer/ Curiosity & energy nearly never ceasing

“Coupled with ‘an eccentric view of the world,’/ Too much feeling for the things I believe in/ And little empathy for things I do not…”

“All I can think of, over and over again/ Echoing in my now vacant thinking space, ‘Am I really nothing but a disorder?'”

I think every educator, and every taxpayer, has to ask, “Are we spending millions of dollars on a system designed to eradicate individuality?”

Personally, I think the world is insane, and a lot of people think that because they can’t adjust to it, they must be insane, but this just isn’t true.

I believe the answer is for everyone to find kindred spirits who have made successful adjustments to an insane world.

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Stephen Hartshorne worked in newspapers and magazines around New England for many years and served as Information Officer in the New Hampshire Senate under Senate President Vesta Roy. He worked as a material handler for nine years at the Yankee Candle Company until the company was taken over by corporate weasels. He is currently the associate editor of GoNOMAD.com, an alternative travel website, which gives him the opportunity to correspond with writers and photographers all over the world. He lives in Sunderland, Massachusetts. This blog is dedicated to his mom, who made him bookish.

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