It’s Just a Piece of Paper

The blog Kelly Green and Gold had me thinking about how we put way too much emphasis on a piece of paper and less on the actual achievements and intelligence of a person.  (Note: If you head over there, I really like her blog, but this is not to be construed as an endorsement of Rand Paul on my part…)

On a similar topic, I happened to hear the public radio program Studio 360 this weekend.  I used to sort of not like this program, but they’re gaining my admiration lately with stories about the creativity crisis, which I also blogged about, and about getting kids excited about science.  This weekend, the story that got me excited was about Zack Booth Simpson, a high school dropout who went on to have a successful career as an artist and video game designer who is now helping scientists do research at the University of Texas.  It was a cool interview and worth a listen.  Annoyingly, WordPress won’t let me embed the little player to let you listen, but if you pop over here, it’s the final story.

When I was younger and struggling with making decisions about finishing formal schooling and doing what I was supposed to do, my mother consistently told me to “get your ticket punched.”  I love my mother and she was trying to be supportive, but that conveyor belt mentality drove me nuts.  Zack Booth Simpson not only didn’t get his ticket punched, he threw it away and made his own, which I find really admirable.  I feel like that’s why we homeschool.  I want my kids to make their own paths in life and not feel like getting a piece of paper on someone else’s terms will be the one and only path to success in life.

2 thoughts on “It’s Just a Piece of Paper

  1. School dumbs children down until they believe that the height of achievement is being a cog in a wheel. Which is one of the many reasons we home educate.

  2. I had the same dilemmas about completing my certification. The assumption is that with certification comes ‘experience’. When ‘experience’ is what you’re looking for (or in the case of schooling, an education), then the paper just doesn’t mean all that much, esp. when you take into consideration that most papers only mean that you have a minimum of knowledge – not the max.
    Great post – wonderful topic!!
    ~h

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