Plato And Gatto On Divisions In Society


F. Joseph MakoDohertyEN101Writing Assignment 1September 22, 1998The Divisions In education and in other fields of life, people are separated and grouped into ?nice? sections. It has been going on for a long time, even before Plato defined his ideal society. The separating of the good and bad, intelligent and stupid, and high and low class will continue to be a part of who we are as a culture, because our educational structure requires students to learn the ?basic skills.? A problem arises because many people do not fit nicely into a box. I didn't want to be in a box. I was not Gatto's ?good? student, who waited on the teacher for instruction. (Gatto 169) I was driven to find the answer before the teacher asked the question, not so I could answer quickly, but for the reason of having time to do what I wanted. I am not one who likes following other people's trains of thought; I would much rather take a jumping point, and go off in other directions. As in the time when one of my teachers wanted a paper on an animal, and I wrote a story about two boys hunting a squirrel. I didn't like the teacher's agenda, but I did it so I could go do my own. When the class worked on mechanical procedures, as in Anyon's working-class schools, I looked for reasoning behind why. I thought in original ways, and was successful at staying out of a box. I soon found I had another dilemma, as a result of not fitting in, I failed at relating with other children therefore, was rejected by my peers. When we were all classified and pegged at the start of junior high, the other children were not pleased with the fact that I was different and placed in the high level classes. I thought it odd that most of the lower level children focused their rage on me, when I was very quiet, and rarely bothered anyone. Gatto failed to teach them to ?envy and fear the better classes.? (Gatto 168) It was possibly to create an illusion of them having a higher self-esteem by beating mine down. I just wanted everyone to leave me alone. So, I let my grades fall, but for some reason that made them even madder. As a last resort, I made everyone fear me through various violent and illegal actions. It solved one problem, but in the process, I created myself a criminal record and no one wanted to get near me for fear I might kill him or her. I was the example of ?following a private drummer,? the type teaches don't want. (Gatto 171) My family and I moved away, I grew up, and I started high school. The four years I spent in secondary school were mostly uneventful. The restrictions on what I could do during the school day were levied, as they were in Anyon's executive elite school. I joined the track team, learned how to make friends by being nice, and found a group of others like me that I fit in with. High school was very different from junior high; people looked up to me for my intelligence, instead of trying to push me down. Maybe it was because I focused my efforts on being nice and helping others, instead of forgetting about everyone else. I came to understand that school did a poor job at teaching me book-knowledge. Yet it put me in social situations that no amount of bookwork could get me out of; it took non measurable skills such as reasoning with the irrational. Facts couldn't help me out in a physical conflict; logic and experience in dealing with others helped to find a solution.The more that I think about it, the more I believe that I mostly educated myself, and learned about myself through interactions with others. School really didn't teach me book knowledge, but I learned who I am by attending. I am an exception to Gatto's lesson on intellectual dependency. I rarely ?waited for an expert to tell me what to do,? and that our economy depends on how well the public follows the advice