suffocating – from the day


On people having trouble breathing.

A few facts- ish:

For roughly 90% of the people who go to the doctor, it’s not a medical reason.

Approximately 75% of tutor’s workload is with kids with high anxiety/stress

Many doctors report higher # of appointments during finals weeks.

The global rate of suicide is one every 40 seconds.

School affects some 90% of people.

Bullying carries on in so many ways for so many years.

Two comments:

very common: I have test anxiety.

not so common: I just figured out that I make myself or decide that I’m sick, because being sick in my room is the only way I get space and time to think for myself.

[most people don’t take long enough to figure that out.. and if/when they do.. there’s often too much assumed/accepted shame involved to admit it]

The requirement that a child go to school for about 6 hours a day, 180 days a year, for about 10 years, whether or not he learns anything there, whether or not he already knows it or could learn it faster or better somewhere else, is such a gross violation of civil liberties that few adults would stand for it. But the child who resists is treated as a criminal.                   – John Holt

what are we thinking?

perhaps we are watching the worst war – right before our eyes.

the death of our children.
right before our eyes.
by suffocation.

Because schools suffocate children’s hunger to learn, learning appears to be difficult and we assume that children must be externally motivated to do it. As a society, we must own up to the damage we do to our children…in our families and in our schools. We must also be willing to make the sweeping changes in our institutions, public policies and personal lives that are necessary to reverse that harm to our children and to our society.          ~ Wendy Priesnitz

via Lucas:

Instead of embracing the diversity of the human mind, we have stigmatized the very differences that are so characteristic of humans. 

The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) declared war on the introverts, and the educationally challenged among others and has attempted to define what a normal human should be. An extroverted individual who works well with people, progresses well in conventional schooling, and will succeed in a conventional job.

in Stigmatizing the Human Mind

The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on – because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions. ~ Noam Chomsky

Susan Cain’s – quiet.. the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking is perhaps an eye-opener to people who believe the book definitions of introvert and extrovert.



Perhaps it’s more about where you get your energy. Some people get their energy from solitude, some from people. It’s not that we can’t and don’t all do both, but different people prefer, and even require, different degrees of each. Who’s to say who’s is better. What’s normal? School has been designed for perhaps 10% of people in the world. Why do we keep insisting/accepting that it’s normal? There is no normal.

Some quotes from her book:

The most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist.
Extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves s independent and individualistic, not joiners by nature.

Solitude is a catalyst to innovation

Without great solitude, no serious work is possible. – Picasso
We’re often so dazzled by charisma that we overlook the quiet part of the creative process.

Some quotes from others:

“It was at home I learned the little I know. Schools always appeared to me like a prison, and never could I make up my mind to stay there, not even for four hours a day, when the sunshine was inviting, the sea smooth, and when it was joy to run about the cliffs in the free air, or to paddle in the water.” ~ Claude Mone

“People will always try to stop you from doing the right thing if it is unconventional.” ~ Warren Buffett

The anxiety children feel at constantly being tested, their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace, severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and drives them away from the material being studied into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don’t know.” ~ John Holt

“We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls.” ~ Robert R. McCammon

“The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that the way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.” Jules Henry

“Think of the things killing us as a nation: narcotic drugs, brainless competition, dishonesty, greed, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and — the worst pornography of all — lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy. All of these are addictions of dependent personalities. That is what our brand of schooling must inevitably produce. A large fraction of our total economy has grown up around providing service and counseling to inadequate people, and inadequate people are the main product of government compulsion schools. – John Taylor Gatto

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

“All I am saying can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” – John Holt

What is the purpose of industrial education? To fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence? Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States and that is its aim everywhere else. – H. L. Mencken

“I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.” – John Taylor Gatto

“Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends upon knowing that secret; that secrets can only be known in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags.” – Ivan Illich

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” – Ivan Illich, “Deschooling Society”

“It is absurd and anti-life to be a part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry.” -John Taylor Gatto

“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.” -George Bernard Shaw

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”     ― Isaac Asimov

Is this not enough for us to wake up and realize – that we are guilty, daily, of suffocating perhaps 90% of people?

[ie: Josh, Jacob, Jessischool to prison, Ericawar on kids, schooling the world, ..]

they want me to change

That matters.

created a society johann

breathing matters


shared by carol on fb…
from David Graeber‘s revolution in reverse:

p. 3 – alienation

In the twentieth century, death terrifies men less than the absence of real life. All these dead, mechanized, specialized actions, stealing a little bit of life a thousand times a day until the mind and body are exhausted, until that death which is not the end of life but the final saturation with absence.

— Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life

For a long time I was genuinely puzzled as to how so many suburban American teenagers could be entranced, for instance, by Raoul Vaneigem’s The Revolution of Everyday Life — a book, after all, written in Paris almost forty years ago. In the end I decided it must be because Vaneigem’s book was, in its own way, the highest theoretical expression of the feelings of rage, boredom, and revulsion that almost any adolescent at some point feels when confronted with the middle class existence. The sense of a life broken into fragments, with no ultimate meaning or integrity; of a cynical market system selling its victims commodities and spectacles that themselves represent tiny false images of the very sense of totality and pleasure and community the market has in fact destroyed; the tendency to turn every relation into a form of exchange, to sacrifice life for “survival”, pleasure for renunciation, creativity for hollow homogenous units of power or “dead time” — on some level all this clearly still rings true.   – from crimethinc

suffocating from the daythe death of us..


Luke Gromen (@LukeGromen) tweeted at 6:44 AM – 29 Nov 2018 :
70k died of drug O/D’s in 2017. Combined w/this week’s Economist article showing the US’ suicide rate continues to rise even as the global average falls, it suggests something is very out of order in the US. (


karoshi – death by overwork




the death of us – suffocating from the day – et al

when you’re in a space and you feel like you don’t belong (w/o compromising your fittingness by playing all the supposed to ness of polite smiles et al) – depression

when you feel like you don’t belong in all the spaces – suicide

searching for a cure

ie: cure ios city