In the Wake of Recent Events

In the Wake of Recent Events

Many people have been saying many things about the outcomes of this  election, and I know my little article will be lost in a pool of thousands of mournful articles far superior to it. But that doesn’t matter to me. I write what I feel, and this is what I feel so here we are.


 I have not been in the USA for almost a year now. I witnessed this election from the outside as most of the world did, mocking the idiocy of Donald Trump from afar. I thought, who in their right mind would vote for him?? It will never happen! I woke Wednesday to a different outcome. I woke to the fact that 60 million Americans voted in favor of a man who its racist, sexist, homophobic, and at the very least, utterly unqualified to be the president of the United States. I may not be in the US right now, but this is no time to be a silent bystander.

First and foremost, I am a human being. I am also a woman, strong-minded and out spoken. I have dreams and ambitions just like you. I am the child of an immigrant, an American,  member of the LGBT+ community, pro-earth, pro-choice, pro-gun control, and an atheist. I am also still a child, I’m only sixteen, missing my vote in this election by a solid two years. It stings. Because despite what I think I know about politics and the world, I didn’t get a say in this election. The outcome that was not my choice, but will greatly affect my future. My generation is doing walk outs at schools, my generation is protesting, my generation is educated, and we don’t get listened to. And I’m scared.

I’m scared for a world where equality is put on the back-burner. Where the color of your skin or religion defines you. Where the act of a few people leads to hatred for and fear of an entire population. I’m scared for all the strong women I know and don’t know who have been sexually assaulted, molested, raped and will never have their voices heard. A world where myself, and my friends, and my sisters, and my future children need to feel scared about who they love.

How is this the freedom that has attracted so many people to this county? Have we forgotten our roots? Are we not all immigrants on this land? Land that wasn’t even ours for taking, but violently shaken out of the hands and blood of the Native Americans, still to this day. And yet, we call ourselves free.

I fear a world where future generations may not get a chance to breathe the air I breathe today, or visit brilliant forests and natural wonders that I am able to. Because yes, climate change is real. Will they cover their mouths and noses with masks to protect themselves from the fumes of the factories near their houses, because those are the jobs we need in America?

And finally I’m terrified for the millions who voted for Trump.  For their ignorance, and lack of education required for them to absorb the nonsense in our next presidents words. I’ve lived among and befriended the warm-hearted, welcoming, and open-minded citizens of Mexico in which Trump wants to wall out of my country. They are the hardest working people, whose values we would greatly benefit from having in our society. After that, I lived in dominantly Muslim Malaysia. I didn’t raise an eyebrow, there was nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, I have found no negative stereotype about any group of people to be true in any place I have traveled so far. People are people everywhere. A month from now I will live in Morocco, but now I worry about the unconscious bias that my family will face as Americans in a dominantly Muslim country.

Without education there is fear, but that will not be my generation. Today we fear, but tomorrow we are strong. My generation may be silent in this election, but not at its outcome. We will use our words and our heads, not our fists, to be heard. Because we know love is far stronger than fear will ever be.

Why you Should Teach English to see the World

 I wrote another article for Wanderingeducators.com about teaching English. Here is the beginning 🙂 (read full article here )

Why you Should Teach English to see the World

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Ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted a job that would help people… I just didn’t know what. Up until six months ago, I was a regular high school student. I was on track for going to college, and then working a 9-5 desk job that would probably not help anyone. But then my family started full time traveling, and I discovered a world full of opportunities that were new to me.

 

(read the rest here: https://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/why-you-should-teach-english-see-world.html )

Unschool for High School

Unconventional learning while traveling

When my family started traveling my sisters (middle and elementary school) and I (high school) had to stop going to public schools. We tried to do online schooling with our district for a week or so; however, the time commitment and in-flexibility of this type of education proved to be almost as impossible to keep up with while traveling as regular school. Prior to leaving home we had already looked into a couple of methods of unconventional education and decided to switch to unschooling.

What is unschooling?

In short, unschooling can be described as the opposite of the public school system. There is no set curriculum, no deadlines, dates, or grades, and no teachers. The student is completely in control of his/her own education. In a public school, I would go to seven classes, five core classes and two electives, for fifty minutes each. Then, five hours of homework every night, tests, quizzes, finals, projects, required reading… you know the drill. Five days a week, for the entire year with exceptions of week long holidays and summer break. Now as an unschooler, I learn anything and everything I want. I can spend endless hours researching the origins of human civilization, or anatomy, or reading classics simply because I think they are interesting, and not because they are required for me to learn.

Transitioning:

For myself, the transition from conventional to unschooling was challenging. This transition is informally known as deschooling.  My sisters and I took a break from school completely after our last semester of regular school ended. I worried for a long time about how I would go to college, or get a job, or stay on the same level as my peers. I also worried about how I would be motivated to learn and what I would learn. I was unsure of how I would grow up to become the educated adult that society expects me to be without the constant guidance of the educational system.

It turn out that humans are actually a very naturally curious species. Without the restrictions of the school system, I have read, written, and been more excited about learning than I ever was while going to school.  Ironic, right?

Why unschooling is great

I don’t feel exhausted and mentally drained after spending countless hours in a classroom, and hours more at home doing as much work as possible to keep up with my 4.0 GPA and the hundreds of thousands of other 4.0s in this world all racing each other to the top of a ladder built not from excitement about learning, but from playing the system.

Instead, I feel empowered, independent, and smart. I feel grateful for an opportunity I was afraid of at first and took for granted, an opportunity to learn about the world in a way that the classroom cannot teach. As kids, we learn to play the piano, or paint, or cook, because it is what is interesting to us. Why is it that everything else we get to learn is closely controlled starting from five years old? For most of human history, learning was fluid and self motivated. This is how scholars such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Leo Tolstoy, Mozart, Einstein and Benjamin Franklin learned. I am excited to keep traveling and learning about the world, and I hope you feel inspired to do the same.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment if ya like 🙂 -Izzy

Some cool resources: 

Khanacademy.org — lessons that teach pretty much everything and lots of cool partner content

Alison.com  and Coursera.org — offer free college level courses  from prealgebra  to buisness to neuroscience

Ed.ted.com — Talks and lessons to getcha thinking

freerice.com — learn a bunch of subjects while helping end world hunger too

Goodreads.com — If you are looking for some interesting books

Overdrive downloadable library — hundreds of free ebooks and audio books to rent. All you have to do is put in your library card number.

Selfmadescholar.com — even more online classes that arn’t college level

Shmoop.com — a good resource for history, language arts, and test prep