My fever when I woke up this morning was near 100 and after Advil has gone down exactly a degree. My normal temperature hovers around 97.8-98.0, so you can go ahead and add half a degree for a more accurate reading of what my temperature is making me feel like. (Urgh, I'm getting all migrainey too, which means even typing is loud and I have tinnitus going on above that.)
My mom also runs a degree lower than normal, too, so it's not just me. My brother's temperature is pretty normal, though, but then-- he doesn't share the low-blood-pressure problem that my mom and I have either.
Blaaah feel like shit. Okay, time for discussion/introspection; I'll start with a statement: I'm not a going-to-school type of person. Let me say first that I did well in grade-school, and mediocre in middle- and high-school. I was in the gifted program at every school I attended; it was not doing the homework that made me get mediocre to completely dismal grades.
But I did not graduate highschool. This is partially due to my getting sick for eight months during my senior year, and my teachers recommending that I just get my GED, but there's more to it than that. Even before that, I didn't get the best grades, although I was obviously smart (on both Academic Quiz Bowl and Academic Decathlon teams) because of the reason already mentioned: the second I was outside the classroom, I lost interest in my studies.
I just plain didn't do my homework, unless the homework was just reading. I read every single page of every text book I had from middle school on up (although not always when I was supposed to be reading such-and-such page to such-and-such page, because usually I was past that point already); my thirst for knowledge was that strong. I always did just fine on tests, though, heh.
So it's not that I don't want to learn things, because I do. I enjoy learning things so much that I still have a sort of hungry thirst for information. It drives me to do things like read 400-page books on the Ottoman empire or on Healing With Water or on whatever other subject happens to take me while I'm at the library or online ordering books.
But I don't enjoy learning at other people's paces. It's not that I think other people are stupid, because I don't. I know plenty of other people who are quite intelligent. It's that other people can't hyper-focus and devote eight hours in a row to nothing but avidly reading a book.
And I don't enjoy getting tested/graded on how well I "learned". It's not that I don't do well on the tests-- I do, pretty uniformly, actually-- it's that I think the idea of grading students on their performances discourages the performance as a rule. It's for these reasons that I gave up my dream of becoming a teacher in the traditional sense and dropped out of college.
One of the books I'm reading right now is called Land of the Spotted Eagle
, by Luther Standing Bear. It's an auto-biography, but it's fascinating because it details the life of someone raised in a Native American environment not
on a reservation. I'm going to type up some choice passages from the book, regarding his early education (and education in general in the Lakota tribes of the time):
[Lakota] education could not be confined to a certain length of time nor could one be 'finished' in a certain term of years. The training was largely of character, beginning with birth and continued throughout life. [...] There was no 'system' no 'rule or rote,' as the white people say, in the way of Lakota learning. [...] Children never had to 'learn this today' or 'finish this book this year' or 'take up' some study. [...]
Never were Lakota children offered rewards or medals for accomplishment. No child was ever bribed or given a prize for doing his best. [...] The achievement was the reward and to place anything above it was to put unhealthy ideals in the minds of children and make them week. [...]
In the course of learning, the strength of one small mind was never pitted against the strength of another in foolish examinations. There being no such thing as 'grades' a child was never made conscious of any shortcomings. I never knew embarrassment or humiliation of this character until I went to Carlisle School and was there put under the system of competition.
I'm not entirely sure I'm getting across what I want to get across but--
I'm not a going-to-school type, because I'd rather learn the lessons as life sees fit to teach them, rather than as whatever ideal the professor/state/federal government decides is best to teach.
Not to knock those of you who are going-to-school types, because somebody needs to or there'd be a shortage of doctors, nurses, teachers, et al, but it's just not for me. I toy every so often with the idea of going back, but I always end up at the same conclusion: even were I to maintain enough interest in my classes, I would be limited to what I was supposed to learn and nothing more and I just don't want to live that way.