I will be very frank with you. I hated school! Not learning per say, but in the preliminary stages of my intellectual and academic development, say between the ages of 8-14, I could not stand to be in a classroom. Id like to say I wanted to be at home (like one of the beautiful homes for sale in Olympus Country Estate). The fact of the matter is I was more concerned with making friends, video games and sports – all of which I was spectacular at doing. I was not so sterling at being a good and disciplined student. My, mother believing so staunchly in my intellectual capacity and potential was particularly frustrated by my academic performances. Although she did later go on the record as saying that she also believed that I was not particularly stimulated and captivated by the course work and the content of our lessons and curriculum, therefore as would make sense, I did not invest much time and effort. I feel as though the average child is this way. We would rather engage and propagate what we enjoy, have little concern and regard for what we do not and rarely have the presence of mind, gravity of understanding and personal resilience to go on to excel at what we do not enjoy. I think some people continue like that into their adult years.
I had the magnificent fortune however, of having a patient and understanding family. More importantly, I had the magnanimous fortune of having teachers that were patient, understanding, insightful, and who were keenly aware of the fact that they too were once children and perhaps were not as perfect as society always intends and strives for us to be – especially since adults themselves have the hardest time doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. They were very much able to break through the typified methodologies of pedagogy, discipline and routine, in order to find the best way to penetrate my hesitancies, disinterest and very apparent trouble with attentiveness. These teachers showed me, us, what many could not, or rather chose not to. They showed us that we are all deserving of an education, and that the system, all systems, were not always necessarily designed to accommodate all types of minds, personalities, cultures and ambitions. For the first time in ninth and tenth grade, I was captivated not only by education but by school!
Three teachers in particular stood out for me during my high school years; all three for three distinct reasons – although they effectively all culminate in the aforementioned sentiments.
The first and most light-hearted was a gentleman by the name of Dan Schectman. Dan was a true burley man. He was lord of the outdoors, and loved to camp, hike, run, hunt and all of the like. He was an active older gentleman, seemingly closer to sixty years old than fifty, but there was no real way to tell. He was my 10th grade gym teacher! While we mostly played whiffle ball, badminton, kickball, dodge ball and most of the typically drab and overplayed games associated with physical education class more often than not at my high school, Dan decided to teach us far more pragmatic and enjoyable activities. The first of which was learning how to throw tomahawks. Yes, I did say tomahawks. While this did not put many parents at ease, we could not have enjoyed it more. That was just before he taught us how to shoot a bow and arrow, make fire from stone and make shelter from leaves and branches! One word: Awesome. Just Awesome.
The other two were far more sane, and academic influences. Byron Davis, homeroom teacher almost every year of high school and my 12th grade American history teacher, as well Malik Mubashshir, my 10th grade Ancient Civilization, History of Muslim Civilization, and my introduction to African Studies teacher (a course I designed myself by constructing a curriculum with him and being certified by the Pennsylvania Boar of Education). These gentlemen taught us what was and wasn’t on the curriculum, but more importantly they taught us that we could decide what was true and what was not, and that information was only that, information, until we used it for something more! They took the world and placed it in our hands, and those lessons I don’t think I could ever forget.
Im not sure that you would want the exact same for you child, but what I do know is that with schools at and around Olympus Country Estate, you have the choice. Whether its Woodhill College, Doxa Deo High School or CVO School, you can decide on a quality education for your offspring, from which they can expand their temporarily petite horizons, to the grandeur of vast knowledge, learning, and the profound love of it. I cannot imagine anyone who would not want their child to love school. Even if you don’t, please trust me when I say that loving the one thing that I spent more of my life doing that any other, has made me a better, happier, and more successful person.