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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 14th 2012, 06:05 PM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ool?CMP=twt_gu

This just slapped me across the face. I don't really have time to elaborate at the moment (but I will), and it's a bit longer than your typical Guardian article, but I'd love to hear some opinions on this piece.




   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 14th 2012, 08:24 PM

what the heck? You won't go to school because you... didn't want monotony and zero individuality? That is all I'm getting from that. HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE U.S. DON'T LET YOU HAVE INDIVIDUALITY. School is the epitome of monotony. Suck it up and go to school, you whiny brat.
   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 14th 2012, 09:39 PM

I've got to agree with Kyra. She came off as a whiny little brat. That crap about the bell hurting her head, and being afraid of being lost in the groups of people because they are all dressed the same. Good god get over yourself.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 14th 2012, 11:00 PM

I'll just echo what has been said above. She comes off as a whiny brat who didn't like feeling even slightly uncomfortable and therefore complained to her parents until she didn't have to go. Normal people get over stuff that she thought was too much. She needs to get over herself.
   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 12:16 AM

im gonna agree with everyone else. get over yourself girl.




   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 01:14 AM

School is just a part of life, it may suck, but get over it.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 01:38 AM

Good for her. She'll get a G.E.D., go to college, and be just fine.

I can't blame her at all for refusing to go. High-school is a cesspit, filled with the biggest sociopaths you will ever meet in your life. Most people just don't realize that they have a choice.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 02:57 AM

And the parents never thought to simply homeschool her? That would've saved a lot of this shit from happening.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 05:52 AM

Special Snowflake Snydrome is a beautiful thing.

As a homeschooled person, I will admit that if your truly feel school is restricting homsechooling is the way to go.

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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 12:52 PM

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Originally Posted by Koharuchan View Post
And the parents never thought to simply homeschool her? That would've saved a lot of this shit from happening.
This was my thought after every paragraph. I can't imagine they chose random ass behavioral clinics over simply home-schooling..

This is all not to mention that were she to get to university, she would be a social wreck.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 05:26 PM

She seems like a whiny little brat, I hate school too, but I go. You don't have a choice in the matter. Go to school, Get a job, and Retire. It's all part of life.
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 15th 2012, 06:57 PM

This is my honest opinion: Several of you guys sound a bit like brats too. Yes, going to high school and continuing in the "normal" path is one way of going about life. Several years ago I would have agreed with many of you and said that it was the best or maybe even only way of succeeding in life. (and maybe that she was self centered, needed to go, etc)

Now, the more I leave the time I was supposed to have finished high school behind the more I learn that that is not true. When I was 15 I stopped going to school for various reasons, and eventually got medical leave to drop out.

Since then (if we're ignoring the several hospitalizations and attempts to return to school because it was what I was 'supposed' to do), I've:
-had full time work that I've enjoyed
-saved thousands of dollars and built a small investment portfolio
-read over 300 books and continued self education in other ways
-volunteered in political campaigns
-traveled by myself to multiple countries
-lived with my siblings in other provinces for short periods

And generally, well, had a good life. Eventually, yes, I will go on to higher education but I no longer feel that I screwed up when I left school. In some ways I am "behind" some of my peers, but in others I function better. There are alternative choices out there.




Anyway, this article isn't about me, and neither is the thread, so on the topic of Jenn Ashworth, just in case you missed these salient points:


-She later graduated from Cambridge University.
-She's published more than one acclaimed piece of writing.
-She says herself of the time period she describes when she was refusing school: "I realise I'm not painting an attractive picture of myself. I'm sure I was hard to like, hard to love, during those years"
   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 16th 2012, 12:03 AM

I agree with what was said above - high school SUCKS. It is filled with stupid people who literally make it their life mission to tear you down. You do have a choice, but hers were just... stupid and self-involved.
I also agree that they should've homeschooled her.
I also agree that you can have a successful life without going to school. Would probably be easier if you had, but it's not COMPLETELY NECESSARY.
I hate high school. Come 16, I'll figure out what I wanna do. But it's for way more reasons than "I'm uncomfortable". And also, "it's normally bright and academically advanced people. That was me." I can just picture some pampered blonde putting her hand over her mouth and laughing fakely. Oh my effing God, get over yourself, you whiny brat!!

Last edited by oldaccount; January 16th 2012 at 12:08 AM. Reason: I had more to say xD
   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 16th 2012, 09:01 AM

In many ways, I felt like school for me from ages 11-18 mostly held me back. I could have achieved the same, or if not then only slightly lower grades, by doing it myself at home with some guidance, and I would have had MUCH more time to do other things I wanted. Of course, some good things did come out of it, such as a handful of decent friends, decent grades, and not having to spend 11 hours of my day with confrontational parents.

To be honest though if I was home schooled, my parents, especially my step-dad would probably make it 10x more intense than school. He's Chinese, that explains it for most people... no need to elaborate.

Overall, school was sort of a "break" for me, despite me going through a lot of hassle/bullying issues/racist teachers when I went there. Just those 11 hours a day I had guaranteed to spend away from my dysfunctional home is really enough to justify going to school for me.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 16th 2012, 09:13 AM

Wow. That is not a reason to refuse to go to school or bunk school. I bunked school due to bullying which did on occasions get physical and telling the teachers never did a thing. I started faking being ill, and missing the bus and the train - not because I simply just refused to go to school , I refused to go to school to avoid the daily torture and torment from the bullies. People like the girl in this article disgust me - refusing to go to school because you have to stand out in the cold ? Wow you must be really hard done by. How about spending a day in the shoes of a bulling victim who is tormented and tortured every day who refuses to go to school due to bullying and is most of the time forced to go to school to face the bullies. That is a reason to refuse to go to school. Not because you have to stand in the cold or the lunch line for 40 minuets. Wake up call to jenn ashworth - that is part of school life. bullying is not.



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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 16th 2012, 05:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banshee-Screamer View Post
Wow. That is not a reason to refuse to go to school or bunk school. I bunked school due to bullying which did on occasions get physical and telling the teachers never did a thing. I started faking being ill, and missing the bus and the train - not because I simply just refused to go to school , I refused to go to school to avoid the daily torture and torment from the bullies. People like the girl in this article disgust me - refusing to go to school because you have to stand out in the cold ? Wow you must be really hard done by. How about spending a day in the shoes of a bulling victim who is tormented and tortured every day who refuses to go to school due to bullying and is most of the time forced to go to school to face the bullies. That is a reason to refuse to go to school. Not because you have to stand in the cold or the lunch line for 40 minuets. Wake up call to jenn ashworth - that is part of school life. bullying is not.
I completely agree with everything you just said. I know firsthand how it feels to be bullied, and I did exactly the same thing. Faking sick and begging my parents to let me stay home just to escape a day of beatings from the other kids, the teachers never lifting a finger to do a damn thing about it. That's what's wrong with the school system, bullying is being tolerated. This girl, however, was not a victim of bullying. She just didn't want to go to school. Oh, boo hoo. I stand by what I said before, they should've homeschooled the girl.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 19th 2012, 02:51 PM

I feel like the only one that doesn't really see a massive deal with what the person in the article did. And this is coming from an education student. I don't necessarily agree with how everyone involved went about it, but I do kind of think she may have more issues than the link lets on. She even says she doesn't know how to explain it. Regardless, the type of school she described at the end (and probably the type of school she should have gone to) is more like Existentialism where students basically create their own curriculum and learn on their own.



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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 19th 2012, 11:37 PM

I got one feeling from reading the article, disgust. High-school wasn't fun for her because the bell violated her ears and she didn't get the individuality she wanted. She complains about being a social outcast as though it were not her fault, such as when she described not knowing what a blowjob was but could quote Shakespeare. She seems to take as little responsibility as possible and blames her dreadful experience on anything and everything else.

With that said, the other people involved could have handled the situation differently, although that cannot excuse her actions. I don't know why her parents did not home-school her, which makes me believe there was an additional reason that she did not elaborate but certainly beat around the bush. I have no sympathy for her high-school experiences because other people experience much worse for years yet they come to school day in and day out. Her article is filled with whining and wanting recognition by labelling herself as a "school refuser", as though it were a diagnosed terminal illness and people should feel pity for her. Her whining of waiting in the lunch que for 40 minutes is absurd. If you don't want to wait, then pack lunch, buy it elsewhere before school starts or don't eat at all, each is a viable solution. Standing outside in the cold twice a day is equivalent to saying she was placed outside by the teachers for ventilation then brought back into the greenhouse.

I'm glad she went to university, perhaps she found the individuality she wanted.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 19th 2012, 11:37 PM

All of these stupid as heck comments like "oh she's whiny" are stupid. If you didn't get that article, I have no faith in the world


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 19th 2012, 11:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxAJxxx View Post
All of these stupid as heck comments like "oh she's whiny" are stupid. If you didn't get that article, I have no faith in the world
I didn't get the article, could you please explain it?


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 20th 2012, 12:23 AM

There was this "uproar" in the UK about some celebrity chef stealing food from Tesco superstores recently. Of course... everyone totally berated him, online, offline, on TV, forums, chat rooms, etc...

People totally overlook that there are genuine psychological conditions that lead to this type of a-typical behaviour. I'm not saying those people are therefore faultless... but being a bit more understanding and giving such people a chance can go a long way.

I can't possibly understand why some people are terrified of small spaces, or terrified of the dark. Do they think monsters will jump out at them from thin air, like they're 5 years old or something? It just so happens to be that those are phobias that are better publicized, and therefore more accepted than some other "conditions", such as the one apparently described in this article.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.



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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 20th 2012, 03:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxAJxxx View Post
All of these stupid as heck comments like "oh she's whiny" are stupid.
Stupid comments are stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxAJxxx View Post
If you didn't get that article, I have no faith in the world
Since you understood the article, can you explain it?


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 22nd 2012, 02:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDF View Post
There was this "uproar" in the UK about some celebrity chef stealing food from Tesco superstores recently. Of course... everyone totally berated him, online, offline, on TV, forums, chat rooms, etc...

People totally overlook that there are genuine psychological conditions that lead to this type of a-typical behaviour. I'm not saying those people are therefore faultless... but being a bit more understanding and giving such people a chance can go a long way.

I can't possibly understand why some people are terrified of small spaces, or terrified of the dark. Do they think monsters will jump out at them from thin air, like they're 5 years old or something? It just so happens to be that those are phobias that are better publicized, and therefore more accepted than some other "conditions", such as the one apparently described in this article.

Yes but phobias won't go away if you keep avoiding them. School is a part of life. Bullying however is not. I would totally get it if she was being bullied at school but she wasn't. She simply did not want to go to school. Nobody wants to go to school, nobody exactly likes school, but refusing to go because you simply don't want to go because you dislike school ? Tough shit you got to go to school to learn.



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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 22nd 2012, 07:53 PM

yaaaaay she went to Cambridge and achieved a good life. Well good for her.

Yet, to those who are congratulating this, imagine if every child just stopped going to school because they didn't feel like an 'individual' or they hated the organised fashion of school. You'd a lot more failures than successes. You'd have a lot more people wishing that they stayed in school rather than dropping out. This girl had a good amount of luck on her side. She obviously worked hard but it's something that people shouldn't really be advocating.

Of course i'm not saying "Children should have no choice blah blah blah" or " they will never know what they truly want". Most definitely not saying that. Individuality and happiness is something that everyone should strive for. On the other hand, you should never put all your eggs in one basket. That's stupid. It's like putting ALL your money on a numbered black and hoping for a win. If you win it makes it look like the greatest decision ever. Yet if you lose (which is going to happen more often than not) then you look like an idiot.

So I say again, good for her, she deserves the happiness she has now but was it the best way to go about it? Probably not. School isn't the only path to success but it sure does help of you make the most of it.


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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 22nd 2012, 09:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonsteroids View Post
yaaaaay she went to Cambridge and achieved a good life. Well good for her.

Yet, to those who are congratulating this, imagine if every child just stopped going to school because they didn't feel like an 'individual' or they hated the organised fashion of school. You'd a lot more failures than successes. You'd have a lot more people wishing that they stayed in school rather than dropping out. This girl had a good amount of luck on her side. She obviously worked hard but it's something that people shouldn't really be advocating.

Of course i'm not saying "Children should have no choice blah blah blah" or " they will never know what they truly want". Most definitely not saying that. Individuality and happiness is something that everyone should strive for. On the other hand, you should never put all your eggs in one basket. That's stupid. It's like putting ALL your money on a numbered black and hoping for a win. If you win it makes it look like the greatest decision ever. Yet if you lose (which is going to happen more often than not) then you look like an idiot.

So I say again, good for her, she deserves the happiness she has now but was it the best way to go about it? Probably not. School isn't the only path to success but it sure does help of you make the most of it.

People are congratulating it? I missed that.



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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 22nd 2012, 10:44 PM

Sorry, this is going to be a long post because I've been thinking about this thread for a while.

I'm kind of torn about this article. For starters... it kind of screams first world problems. Don't want an education because the system kills your individuality and the bells are too loud? Ehh.

Still, I wonder if she just expressed it badly.

Personally I have experience with this. I hated going to school. People kept telling me I had anxiety. They would argue over whether the work was too hard for me, or whether I just couldn't handle being around people. I couldn't tell myself. I hated being at school around everyone but I wasn't afraid of them. I didn't feel like I had social anxiety- I didn't have problems talking to people if I had too. The school work... I'm still not sure about that. I'd been put in classes with really basic work, and I kind of assumed myself to have below average intelligence, as had everyone else at my schools. I just didn't want to do the work. I didn't want to be at school. It wasn't really like what was described in the article- I didn't not want to go because it was boring, or because I felt lost in the crowd- still, the thought of being at school made me feel physically sick.

So after three or so years of going a couple of times a week and doing absolutely no school work, in year 11, I dropped out for a year. And I hated that too. I'd always been depressed, but not being at school made me even more depressed, because I felt like I was a no hoper with no future. One day, out of the blue, I asked my mum if it was too late to apply to a school across the road from me (it was about half way into the school year). It wasn't this big dramatic, gradual thing where I prepared myself and decided to finally give it a go. I just woke up one morning and decided to try it. I kind of assumed I would get sick of it after a week and stop going. But I actually liked it. And I started getting really great marks, which I assumed I would never get, because I never thought of myself as 'smart'. I recently just graduated in the top 10% of the country and got a great scholarship to one of our best universities.

I know now, looking back, I put a lot of stress on my mum. I don't think I did on anyone else because it wasn't this big thing like in the article where I went to therapists and school officials and what not. Where I live, dropping out of high school isn't exactly a big deal. I still feel bad though, and I wish I had been able to stick to school and put real effort in in the first place. But at the time it didn't feel like a choice. I actually thought about suicide a lot so I wouldn't have to go (among other reasons) Still though, I couldn't for the life of me explain why I didn't want to go, why I eventually dropped out, why I suddenly wanted to go back or why I took to it so well compared with my previous attempts.

I will say that where I live years 11 and 12 are substantially different to what we call high school (which are years 7-10). The school was smaller and the teachers were more caring and attentive. For example, if I did something wrong they would take the time to help me improve it, instead of giving me a bad grade and assuming I was too dumb to understand the concept.

I also mentioned I was depressed, but I was still depressed when I decided to go back. That is, the school helped me overcome my depression, rather than my depression went away so I felt like I could handle school.

I certainly understand that people go through some tough times, 10x harder than anything I experienced. I also understand that in the grand scheme of things, not wanting to go to school is such a non-problem, and we are so lucky we live in countries where we are actually entitled to an education.

Still, it kind of frustrated me reading the replies which say "well, if she was bullied I would have understood", as if being bullied is the worst thing that can happen to a person and if you are not bullied you have no right to complain. Personally I was bullied in primary school a hell of a lot, and the early years of high school. Then I learned to stand up for myself, started not taking people's crap and the 'bullies' started to realise it was not worth having a go at me because I was willing to fight back. The idea that if I had been weaker and let people harrass me, it would have been alright for me to drop out, seems stupid to me. Like I said before, I didn't not go to school because I was bored of it, I didn't go because the idea of going made me break into a sweat and feel ill. Sorry if I don't have a good enough reason for some of you but sometimes emotions and how you feel defy what you should be able to apply logic and reason too.

I also wanted to say that she did pretty damn well for herself in the end. So what is really the problem? She could have just stayed in school and hated it, and ended up in some dead end job. But she didn't and now she's extremely successful. A different kind of education worked for her so what is the problem? Different things work for different people, and yes, I get that school needs to be based on the needs of the majority rather than individual sculpted to suit all the little snowflakes of the world, but her not going to school was her own cross to bare and she actually made something of herself in spite of it so I don't get what she's done that's so terrible.


To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget

~Arundhati Roy
   
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Re: Jenn Ashworth: Why I Refused to go to School - January 23rd 2012, 12:56 AM

In the end, school is whatever YOU make of it. Wanna follow the crowd and "lose your individuality?" Yes, this can happen in school. But the education and knowledge gained from school can also strengthen your individuality. It's all about how you use the resources that are given to you.
   
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