Convo Between Child and Education Reformer

by beccaborrelli

John James Audubon (1827) Baltimore Oriole, 1 & 2. Males, 3. Female and Nest. Icterus baltimore. Plant Vulgo, Yellow Poplar. Liriodendron tulipifera

Child: How does a bird know the way to build a nest?

Education Reformer: Why it goes to nest school and takes a series of tests.

Child: Mkay… how bout a honey-bee buzzin’ over flowers, what does he do?

E.R.: Why he pulls out a pollen collection manual.

Child: Hm, so how does the bear know it is time for her winter sleep?

E.R.: Why she consults her calendar of course.

Child: Wow. How can a mother deer teach her fawn to find food?

E.R.: Well we look at her value added scores.

Child: Really? I guess I just thought… I mean, you know… they were like programmed on the inside… to kinda just know how to do that stuff.

E.R.: hehehe… you’re a cutie. So young and impressionable. Who told you that? Some hippy?


Child: I dunno. I guess I didn’t think birds fought with each other over the right way to fly south. Right? I mean aren’t humans animals too? Didn’t we used to be connected to that inside understanding stuff like the bird? It just seems like we’ve forgotten a lot about our insides. Wouldn’t the answers to education reform be where the bird finds it? I’ve never seen a bird flit about looking for data before nest building.

E.R: Look sweetie, I know it seems that simple because you’re young. The world is rife with people who cannot be trusted to follow a good inner voice. It leads to anarchy. There is misery surrounding us, and it was created by humans who were allowed to do what they like: The insane. The poor. The unemployed. The criminals. See what happens when we let them listen to their inner voice? Clearly people do not know the right way to do things like the bird. That’s why we created solutions. Systems. Rules. Control Measures. 

Child: Sheesh, wouldn’t a honey-bee forced to use a pollen collection manual and report back gains to some system get all stressed out n’ stuff? You know, and then what he did naturally would be like all fake and uncomfortable. Plus he would get punished if he didn’t “do it right!” If I were that bee I would definitely get crazy, lazy and violent. Maybe all three! What if the solutions are causing the problems to begin with?

You know after lots and lots of bees live under systems, I bet they all forget that once upon a time, they lived in a deep communion with each other. Then the saddest thing EVER will happen! The bees will believe this big stupid lie!… That they are separate from each other, and also separated from the knowledge it will take to learn, work and live harmoniously. They will think they need to be organized and standardized for their own good! You know they won’t even be able to describe how to do basic stuff like hive building without a manual. They will be so rusty, scared and angry. They’ll start blaming all their fear on each other! Then they will start fighting even though they all just want the same thing. ohhhh… I need my blankie.

E.R.: Did you just say the word “communion” back there? How old are you? Look, even if that’s true you aren’t considering that the world is very complex now. We cannot just let people start listening to this “voice.” We don’t even know if it’s there. Clearly we can’t touch it, see it, or measure it. If we get rid of our systems, people will become shocked. We will have chaos and anarchy. The world is held together by systems, we cannot just wave a magic wand you know.

Child: Welp, I was thinking maybe we could start you know teaching that in schools.

E.R.: Teach what?

Child: Like, teach young kids to hold onto that inside voice like the bird has. Then maybe they’ll grow up and work on education reform like the bird works on her nest… with peace and love. You gotta admit, animals create pretty cool stuff without manuals, stress or fighting. ANNND the stuff they create is in harmony with the earth too…


Child: Hello?

E.R.: Yeah… um… I think there’s just way too much you don’t know. I would have to explain a lot to you, and I just don’t have the time.

Child: Oh, okay. I guess there is a lot I don’t know about systems. Maybe I thought that would give me a cool perspective on helping out schools.

E.R.: It’s okay kiddo. There’s never any harm in dreaming.