travelling school of life …. and the THROW-AWAY SINGLE-CHILD ONE-NIGHT-STAND PUSH-UP SCROLL-DOWN CLICK-AND-BUY-SOCIETY¶
In about 2 weeks I’ll be gone away from here. I’ll be
leaving my life here in Germany. I’ll be travelling and
experimenting with something new…
I’ll be travelling round in a group, learning from my
travelling mates and from others, exchanging skills and
knowledge, trying to network and promote ideas, visions,
dreams… trying to make people be heard, trying to bring
new and old ideas together and let them melt together
into something … well, better … :-)
trying to bring the positive news back to the media and some hope
to the people out there in this planet…
I’LL BE TRAVELLING…
But right now I am still here, sitting in the underground
train in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, Europe…
… WELL, PLANET EARTH IN THE END…
It is the first day after summer vacations finished and all
around me there’s young students coming back from their
first day of hell after a long paradise season – at least
that’s what it seems when I hear them talking.
“How was your first day?”, I hear one boy asking with an
ironical smile. “Great” the other one replies with sarcasm
and makes a face like he’s been punished strongly.
I am sitting next to a group of girls around fourteen,
each one of them is wearing earphones listening to
I-really-don’t-wanna-know what kind of music.
Every once in a while they talk something about clothes
and about what-I-wanna-buy-next-in-which-shop…
Actually it’s more shouting than talking – or at least much
louder than it would have to be if they just took their
earphones out for a second!
I think back… Back in the time I went to school
(which is only like 3 years ago) I felt so … CAGED…
.. into something strange I that couldn’t really understand…
and couldn’t say why I was put in that cage, who put me
in that cage … couldn’t even find words for it, as it
seemed so … „normal“… to me to be in a cage.
They told me many things about the world but no one
ever told me: why why why is it necessary to be here?
Cages are normal, cages are normal, cages are just so
normal in this world. Yes, I was imprisoned, and now I
think I know why…
Nobody around me meant to steal my freedom for bad
reasons or doing me wrong. No, they thought they’d be
doing me good, they were doing the best they could do!
Maybe it was, I don’t know, even now. What I know is that
I believed them, as I loved them, I trusted them, stop-
ped thinking and listening to my own feelings, which kept
telling me: it is wrong, it is so wrong!
It was even more a prison with no way out.
Everyday getting up in depression,
all day hanging round with people who were not really inte-
rested in what they were supposed to learn but all of
them probably feeling caged in a prison like me…
and they, not finding words for it either.. fleeing into
glitter-glimmer-media-worlds… making fun of everybody
who was telling them that this virtual world was no way out…
People kept telling me (-and still they keep on-)
that I can be happy, that at least I had the chance to visit a school,
that I had the chance to learn something…
And, yes, in a way, it’s true. And I am, well, anyway,
what else could I do than just try to be happy?
And well, I did learn a lot and I can be happy about it…
Even though it is not the things that I wanted to learn.
The same people kept telling me also that this time in school was
supposed to be the free-est time of my life and later,
when I’d be older I’d think back upon this time and know
what this freedom was worth…
SO YOU KNOW WHAT? I AM STILL HAPPY THAT IT IS
OVER! No, it was NOT the free-est time of my life.
And if there is people saying that and really meaning it,
really being even more imprisoned all the rest of their life,
then I am feeling really sad and sorry for them,
and happy, so much more happy that I broke free.
Not giving a shit about all your prisons of schools,
universities, and all these institutional cages.
I know what school is trying to teach to people:
just do it, don’t ask, there is no oher way to do things
than what you are told!! DON’T THINK FOR YOURSELF!
How else should you function in your job later on?
How else should you be an efficient fast worker making no
trouble? Unconsciously contributing to the day-to-day
destruction of our planet and our life’s perspectives?
Maybe I am just not grateful enouph… maybe I should
think back and say, “How happy I am that I could go to
school and learn so many things… poor kids in Afrika don’t
learn anything at all!”
But oh what a question to ask:
could I not have learned much more, maybe, maybe?
Learned more and better if I wouldn’t have spent years
over years in this place called school… wouldn’t have spent
so much time with people, that I didn’t really like and that
didn’t like me and that couldn’t teach me about life but
only about theories… And wouldn’t have been forced to
talk so much about so many things that I didn’t
want to talk about and already forgot again,
or at least 73,48 % of it…
Yes, sorry for asking these kinds of questions and not
just being satisfied and happy but I’m young and it’s my
duty to criticize you, … you, that you set up this system
before I was born and you that put me into this cage,
not even questioning it.
IS THIS KIND OF KNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE NOW REALLY
WORTH THE PAIN I FELT FOR YEARS? COULDN’T I HAVE
HAD THAT KNOWLEDGE ANY OTHER WAY?
Yes, I am overreacting, Daddy…
No, I was not beaten up in school like you, Daddy,
thanks for at least stopping that in the 70s…
But Daddy your struggle in the 70s only changed some
aspects of school on the surface and left the concept
of forcing young people to learn things they don’t wanna
learn, “because they don’t know what is good for them,”
STILL, WHAT ABOUT CHILDRENS RIGHT OF FREE CHOICE
that „grown-ups“ claim to have? What about years and
years that they don’t have any other choice than hangin
out in those strange places which are supposed to make you
understand life better and help you find your way
– and are so cut off from life and fail so much?
Why are children put under this pressure and for what?
Just for making them function in this THROW-AWAY
SINGLE-CHILD ONE-NIGHT-STAND PUSH-UP SCROLL-DOWN
CLICK-AND-BUY SOCIETY ?!?
Just for knowing how to send applications to an enterprise,
but not knowing how to plant a carrot or about processes
of social interaction in a community? Just for being so
much alieniated from their feelings, from their roots,
from earth and sky, fire and water and healthy families
Ok, you are right when you now you ask:
ISN’T SHE COMPLAINING A LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH?
Didn’t she benefit a lot from this system?
Isn’t she for instance from Germany and doesn’t she seem
to speak English quite well for that…? Doesn’t that help
her a lot now? Yeah, right, I learned most of my English
at school. I am happy that I had some quite cool English
teachers (compared to other subjects where I didn’t learn
anything at all for years because of opposite reasons)…
And I know that in the end I am lucky and it could have
been all much worse, for sure.
But you know what?
After I finished school I couldn’t really speak,
and I learned to use English only while travellin’ round
and talkin’ to people – without that propably I wouldn’t
be so self-confident to publish this text, I’d still be be-
lieving my English sucks too much (like they were trying to
make me believe in school)!
By the way, I learned to communicate in Spanish within a
few months just by travelling in Spain and learning in a
book by myself…
Travelling taught me so much in my life… AND THE BEST
SCHOOL I EVER VISITED was the SCHOOL of HITCHHIKING
When you get to talk to a lot of different people, that
really makes you broaden your horizon and see what
possibilities there are in life and that there’s so many ways
Thinking about it over and over again I came to the con-
clusion that the child in Afrika, who doesn’t go to school,
and me, that went to a school that I hated, both have
similar problems in the end – because our problems have
the same reasons… and I decided that if I change the
situation for myself, it might help this child, too…
And thinking about the possibility that this capitalist system
is maybe less stable than people believe, let us say it
collapses some day, will I really be privileged then?
Not that I really believe this will happen so soon, but
doesn’t it show our speciliast knowledge is maybe not
worth so much if our life circumstances change? And
aren’t they changing everyday? Aren’t we facing a really
big ecological catastrophe which will force us to be
flexible? Are we really prepared for this? Won’t the people
with skills close to Nature, about natural healing for in-
stance, about how to survive with nothing, be the privile-
ged people then? Maybe?
That child in Afrika will be dead anyhow, then latest,
I guess, as the community who would have taught it those
skills it needs to survive was destroyed by imperialism,
and with the community and their language and culture
a lot of old knowledge which we could have used.
When I met the people of the “Travelling School of Life”
in Austria about 2 years ago I suddenly knew what I
wanted to do in my life… (-well, maybe not all my life,
but for a while): Help to build up an alternative learning
and teaching system, that can first only be an addition to
the regular school system, but one day maybe even much
better than that…
to save old knowledge and to give people the choice
about what they want to learn, and empower them to live
in a more free, more independent way.
WE ARE FAR AWAY FROM MY DREAM
- in which there would be no depressed kids in the
Underground complaining about their teachers,
but happy young people travelling and learning, collecting
impressions and experiences.
But I know they’ll travel, first in smaller circles (maybe
learning from different people in their village/neighbour-
hood or from travellers coming by from somewhere else)
and then in bigger and bigger circles
spreading infos, skills and knowledge all around the globe…
I don’t know if that dream is "realistic"… I don’t care in
the end. What I know is that the only real motivation for
me to learn is when I really want to know something,
because i want to use the knowledge for something that is
important for me to do. Not the test next week and not
the arguing teacher, but only my own mind.
And what I also know is that especially nowadays it is
easily possible to completely self-organise learning in an
autodidactic way or in a group– if first you know how
to do it and if, second, you have people that support you
and don´t just tell you that you´re crazy.
Since three years I am learning in an autodidactic way…
mostly studying design, “alternative economics” and
“project management. I deal with developments in the
organic / fairtrade /”lohas” and open source/solidarity
economy – scene(s), also watching developments in the
web 2.0 (social networking for various reasons etc).
I am learning in a practical way, while doing the projects
I want to do.
I am building up solidarity economy infrastructures with
some likeminded friends that I work for and hopefully
can one day earn a living from one day… and live and be
as free as possible at the same time.
Moreover I am studying e.g. arts, politics, psychology
and some other subjects (well most of them more on the
surface but still deeper than the average German I
suppose…). I learned a lot in the last years in this auto-
didactic way and I think there is already many things that
I could teach to people… and of course still I got a lot
of things to learn.
SO WHY I GO ON THIS SKILLSURFERS TOUR IS I want to
share ideas and visions with people, teach and learn, being
a student and a teacher at the same time.
THE NAME “TRAVELLING SCHOOL OF LIFE” was invented
by some young people moving around in Europe as a group,
visiting eco-villages and organic farms to live and learn
there together as a self-organised learning group.
We kind of liked this concept (which is only one aspect of
what “Travelling School of Life” can be and mean!) and so
we thought we could do the same thing on a much larger
scale, which means we do not only want to visit eco-villages
and farms, but also political, cultural and social projects
/NGOs, as well as enterprises or collectives or other
institutions e.g. alternative schools and individuals who
have the same “curriculum” we have.
We want to talk to them, do workshops and share ideas
and visions anf to then spread what we learned in the other
places that we visit.
We wanna motivate people to take back their education in
their own hands again – because we know that it is pos-
sible (though of course you need some self-discipline and
this can be harder than just consuming what teachers
present to you in schools and you have to learn how to
Of course mainly I want to talk about subjects that matter
for my personal “curriculum”, e.g. I want to learn
about alternative economies and build up solidarity economy
connections and co-operations… I wanna learn about
permaculture, about how to do electronical/experimental
music and many other things…
WE’LL BE TRAVELLING, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN
TEACH TO US! ;-) So that in few years, maybe I won’t
be ashamed sitting in the Underground with some flyers of
“Travelling School of Life” in my backpack and not daring
to give them to depressed kiddies or talk to them
about their learning dreams… as I know we are far away
from Utopia … BUT MAYBE ONE DAY I CAN TELL THEM:
“WELL, ARE YOU UNSATISFIED? THEN GO TRY
I also want to say that I am against child labor and child trafficking because it is against the law and we should not do such things. Kids should not be forced into any work or activity which they don’t want to do. Well, you’ve done great job by sharing some educational material over here. I just check here the great topic which taught me about education and how to get rid of problematic things.