School: A Trauma

This is to the teachers who put me on a pedestal
The only ‘justification’ they used bordered cultural and racial
This is to the classmates who sectioned off by sex
With girls to the right and boys to the left
This is to the headmasters who signed off on those papers
Took bribes from the parents of bullies and of haters
This is to the schools who employed psychos and sociopaths
Who used professional jargon and OCD to disguise narcissistic wrath

This is to my primary years when they used my childhood as role-model
Simply because of my efforts in becoming fluently bilingual
Only to have the second-language suppressed by dominant-race
Even though my native-tongue was one they could not embrace
They forced me to mimic their language and failed to educate
They could not teach etymology and when asked ‘why’ they couldn’t explain
Yet on paper they were marketed as highly-educated professionals
Though all they could do was emulate and copy-write outdated originals

This is to my secondary years when I finally learned about bullies
As it started from the head of school, then leaders, teachers, faculties
Colonial caucasians exploiting money from local families
Written off by those with smiles playing God as they stole society’s money
Then invested it in schools abroad and bought over those same brand names
Built capitalist institutions here and confused ‘school’ with ‘money to be made’
They enforced this competition on the innocence of youth
And when students refused to cater then we were mentally abused

Tip of the ice-berg, it gets worse, so read on if you dare
And don’t say I didn’t warn you — I did my part to care
Nonetheless if you must continue then be braced for the truth
Of what actually happened all those years in an atrocity of a school
That was sold on the premise that the highest-paying students would succeed
But it’s twenty-plus years of debt and scars that till this day still bleed
Parents sold their properties and skipped meals for their kids
Just to get them an enrollment that was later listed for bids

Corporate debentures per student is six times the annual salary
Of an average working-class resident who’s trying to raise a family
But those debentures are returned for it is money from the company
Whereas personal debentures are what bureaucrats use for their own properties
So to the parents of that school who never got what was paid for
I’m sorry to say but you were all ripped off by a school charging more
Than the typical secular international schools that are actually known globally
And not just recognized by one curriculum in one far-off remote country

Now we’d love to keep this civil and not make it a national issue
Unfortunately The School crossed that line when they stole cultural values
Warped it into an institution that they disguised with fake theology
Not the real experience of God or Christ, not even the Trinity
All they did was find a translation of whichever colonial edition
Worked into a white-male patriarchy that exploited this local system
None of the teachers even bothered learning to speak our languages
No, they just gave detention or punishment because THEY felt ignorant

When confronted on injustice by both students and parents
Then the teachers would kick up a fuss by whining and playing victim
Using a technique absolving them from all blame
But now that arrogance and classism is all over the school name
Alumni are still traumatized from homophobes and racists
Twenty-year-olds on anti-depressants trying to heal from such bullshit
Students are forced to listen to teachers ‘praying away the gay’
Then to ‘justify’ the homophobia they also discriminated gender and race

Till now, you still employ teachers, whose word-choice is so poor
That students couldn’t learn from them, our thesauruses taught us more
Teachers who were so small-minded that even eight-year-olds
Had more exposure and life experience than their indoctrinated hold
Your teachers asked minority students if parents were flight attendants
Your teachers did not critique the anti-semitism in Merchant of Venice 
Your teachers told us that ‘gay’ was a synonym for ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’
Your teachers stood up for the bullies and constantly blamed the victims

It’s 2020 and you’re trying to rebuild amidst a global pandemic
Trying to recover your losses as if the only liability is economic
No, no, it doesn’t work that way, remember what you preached?
The notion of ‘loving money breeds evil’ is what you teach
Yet the moment teachers are asked to sacrifice and reduce their salaries
Then all hell breaks loose within the school then leaders raise the fees
All the while employing faculty who ‘claim’ the same philosophy
Of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion, sacrifice, and of humility

Is any of that true for you or is that just your PR department
Writing on the website in order to acquire a pay-check?
If you call yourself a school then why are your teachers indoctrinated
By corruption, by colonialism, by caucasian expectation?
If you call yourself international then why do you only speak English?
Then ask students to expand yet serve detention for alternative language?
If you brand yourself on education then why has there been no change
In the experiences and memories of countless students who’ve left that place?

You, old school, are founded on nothing but lies
Painting your walls and buildings as if Prince of Darkness can be disguised
Then buying ideas from nations where you have never even been
Paraphrasing ideals from people you’d never make an effort to meet
You sit there in your glass office so insecure you need security
But if you’ve done nothing wrong then why install CCTVs?
Or do you think you’re so valuable that people would rob you?
Sorry to state the obvious but even thieves deem you no value

You’ve got multiple departments who are paid to grow your accounts
As the lawsuits and liabilities left you with unpayable amounts
All hidden behind the smiles of students you exploit
Families you manipulate in order to enjoy
The popularity and fame that was founded on lies and hate
On the pains of all who built your brand so you and your teachers could procreate
So employees could marry and populate an already over-populated city
All the while imposing such values on continuously-struggling families

You’re so far gone from discipleship that you’ve worded it as ‘followers’
Etching and engraving names of capitalistic corporate investors
Placing trophies, certificates, achievements on your walls and on your shelves
As if you’re building a seminary, not school, forgetting your God only had twelve
Twelve disciples completely committed to ensuring love, truth, justice
But your teachers got so caught up ‘in love’ they engaged in dysfunctional romance
You’ve all lost sight and ignore the truth just to stay ‘in love’
Then deflect using colonial theology saying ‘God’s given more than enough’

That same colonial theology that is misinterpreted by pharisees
Whose lives and lifestyles and choices they make are pure hypocrisy
You claim to follow a trinity who was made human and walked around in rags
Who spent more time in pubs and brothels having dialogues, not shags
Then you yourself dress up in Channel or Dior and even approve of H&M
Even though the theology you preach goes against such exploitation
So here we all are, wondering, do you actually know your theology
Or was that just interpreted with synonyms so you’d get a moment on TV?

Do you, as a multi-cultural international school, accept students from all classes and cultures?
Or do you view students of other religion and income as ‘contaminated vultures’?
Are you taking money from the same people you shun and call it a ‘conversion’?
And aside from converting currencies did you also convert the conversation?
Did you walk away from the fundamental truth that Christ is a spirit, not a person?
That God is the extroverted quality and introverted Jesus came as human?
Have you ever learned to read other languages, philosophies, or religions?
Or did you take advantage of Grace and Mercy to avoid rather than fight your demons?

Have you forgotten that in an international school there are people from other countries
Who speak multiple languages and bring values from different cultures
Whose families and ancestry likely have much history
Histories more vast, much deeper than your country’s
So please, just quit your ignorance and stop selling naivety
Even your white-washed theology intercepted the nativity
Your curricula is already scrutinized for suppressing the indigenous
And at present in 2020 you do the same to this city’s natives

So if you’ve any dignity and even a shred of integrity
Then you’d know your hands are tied so why do you insist on trying to lead?
How can you guide (y)o(u)r lead ‘da’ ship into righteousness, away from all this competition?
What moral compass misguided your direction and set your sails against God’s winds?
For years you’ve sought and leaders have come but were only faced with rejection
Because you were not ready to face the battles against your Satanic demons
So you employed only those who spoke your language but knew nothing of oppression
You didn’t even realize that you literally just translated an existing system

The irony in all this is that the school was worried about student depression
When it already had our sympathy and pity for whoever justified its discrimination
Teachers thought they cared about children but really used us as deflections
Unwilling to get therapy for teachers, the school just put students on medication
Essentially, those teachers have little concern for learners’ education
If anything, they’re more influenced by ‘conversion’ and ‘eradication’
For some egotistic reason they truly ‘believe’ that they’re so different
As if they’re the only institution selling outdated white-evangelism

You and them stood on stage singing “Break every Chain”
Well, y’all broke your chain of command, mate
You broke the chain that bound you to Christ
Then ran off into the dark of the night
You took your own vision out of your mission
And instead building students you focused on building pensions
The moment your heart, souls, and minds made that flip
Well… that’s exactly when it all began to slip

See, “Blessed are the persecuted” does not mean “persecute in order to bless”
Nor is “do unto others as you’d have them do” a reflection of karmic process
You even misconstrued “fear” for “respect” when it’s “respect of God” and not “fear”
Because perfect Love casts out all insecurity so why are you so scared?
God is the Head does not mean Man is the head, for God is an ungendered spiritual entity
Christ is an experience and experiences can’t be forced, yet your school is now a seminary
So can you please rethink and reassess what you sell because you’ve no right to preach
You’re not Jesus nor do you’ve theological licensing so… stick to your M.Ed and. just. teach.

 

MG

Language Barriers

Personal true story (5-minute read)

“Oh my god, did you read about the winner-chill on the innernet?” one of the girls shrieked. “It’s like the biggest one of the error. Apparently the chill is even hitting eye-rack this year!”

Winner-chill? Innernet? I felt like they were speaking another language.

What was a winner-chill? Honestly, I thought it was when someone wins a victory and then gets to chill afterwards.

And innernet, as if there was an unconscious net on the inside of us, catching our thoughts and dreams.

Biggest of the error…eye-rack…alright, they’d lost me there. Lost as I felt, I kept listening to the conversation, hoping to pick up more clues as to what they were on about.

After about ten minutes of back and forth, I finally understood they were speaking about the cold spell that they’d read about online. It was one of the coldest of the century; even some generally hot countries in the Middle East were having an unusual temperature shock!

Winner-chill… winter chill. Right.

Innernet… internet. Oh goodness, I had a lot to learn.

Error was apparently “era”, and an eye-rack was not, in fact, a rack where people placed their eyes. It was a country, Iraq.

I felt so dumb.

For me, the English I’d learned was either through reading or watching legitimate news channels. You know, those channels where people sound “pretentious” just because they communicate to be understood. They don’t speak just for the sake of expression, rather their words have meaning.

In this situation, the language my schoolmates spoke was known as “common tongue”, a form of syntax and pronunciation that met the bare minimum requirement for English verbal communication.

At the time, I had not yet been educated in the use of this language, having come from a background where the English I’d learned at school was a watered-down version taught by teachers who’d studied it as a second (or even third) language.

At home, I came from a family of high-achieving academics who refused to “dumb-down” their vocabulary. I had no choice but to raise my standards lest I be sorely misunderstood by those in my physical vicinity.

At that age, my written expression had far outpaced my verbal ability to articulate. I would write about advanced phenomena that my conscious mind didn’t even comprehend, yet my mouth could not accurately convey what I knew I wanted to say.

Finally, by the age of twenty-five, a linguistically-gifted friend observed an interesting occurrence within my syntax: all my life, I had been speaking “translated English”. Every word I wrote mirrored the language used in textbooks translated from European languages, and those I spoke actually made more sense when reworded in another language.

It had taken me twenty-five years to realize why I’d spent my life misunderstood and displaced…

Language is like art, or music. Just because the creator (or speaker) knows the meaning behind what is portrayed does not necessarily mean that those on the receiving end can digest it.

You might like your drawing, or your symphony, but to someone else, that drawing might be a scribble; that symphony may be a cacophony.

Why limit ourselves to expression when we can work towards communication? If we are misunderstood, chances are, we’re using a different language.

Dialogue goes both ways, not just one speaking a “foreign language” and expecting to be taken seriously.

Learn more languages (or improve your English), you’ll find better ways to be understood.

Peace,
MG