Fast or Slow? My story of High Achievers

In a class of high achievers, why was I there? I was there because I scored well on my standardized tests and finished my math before anyone else in my class. I was there because my teachers suggested that I take an accelerated program with all Advanced classes, and encoraged me to excell. That sounded neat to me at the time--cool and interesting. What I wasn't in store for was the rest:

* 4-5 hours of homework every night (in Junior High School!), as little as 2, as much as 6.
* no time to spend with my friends outside of school and extracurrecular activities.
* always encoraged to give --> 110%, whatever that meant, since that is above and beyond one hundred percent--the most you can ever give. That means that we were called to give not only what we had at that age--what was customary--but also what was uncalled for: being above and beyond the call of duty. Unjustly forced to work away 3 years of my life with no social life, and no one to check up on how things were doing at home.

By the time I reached High School, I wrote this song:

"City Highway"

I've got an idea for another song,
as I strap on my bag and I bustle along--
Too bad I've got no one to sing it to...
...because, I'm...

Rushing along on the city highway,
pushing everyone outa' my way,
Three blocks from the county byway,
I can't stop to say:
"If you slow down,
you'll only get mowed down!"

I can't stop in this train of mind,
I'm caught in the traffic,
I'm trapped in a surging crowd,
I'm trampled down,

I'm...rushing along on the city highway,
pushing everybody out of the way,
with the country line just three blocks away,
They say, "You mustn't stop
and if you slow down,
you're bound to get mowed down."

I've thought about the lie society's telling me:
"go with the flow" and "time is money,"
the pursuit of these things doesn't satisfy me,
living free from these helps me live more enjoyably.


Above is the most of a song that I wrote in High School called "City Highway." I wrote it while walking home--feeling rushed by life--and while singing against the noise of the traffic.

( And yes, to future commenters and readers, I do like to use humor in my posts/guides. I find it therapeutic, both for me and the reader. I encorage you to laugh along when I make jokes, and then get ready to handle the serious stuff as well. ;) )

And what's all that hard work for? When did I get to benefit from any of it? I got a scholarship in college that I lost. None of the great papers that I wrote were read by anyone except for my teachers. All that talent, drilled and exercised to a pulp in school, but never used to learn about life and what it takes to succede in life, and never used to benefit the community at Large.

Why is that? I knew of some very creative and innovative young students in 4th and 5th Grade, who had a global love-giving perspective that would put many of the great thinkers today --> to shame!

Why is it that we drill the heart and soul out of our best and our brightest? Maybe we could learn more from them, by actually listening to them and helping them to achieve THEIR dreams!--NOT the ones we impose apon them! Their dreams of saving the world and making the world a better place by loving and caring for one another, working together, and helping eachother in times of need.

I am many years removed from there, and have had many troublesome life experiences since then. I have been frustrated with my life goals and my dreams--society doesn't seem to support them or encorage them. They encorage us to spend money and then to pay off debt for the rest of our lifes like slaves in the feudal system all over again, but they rarely encorage us to use our insight and our minds.

Hopefully, in this online community--and other truly philathropist communities like it, we will be encoraged to use our gifts and our talents to benefit one another. (And not get sucked away by a textbook, homework, and classes that don't directly benefit anyone but advertising companies, recruiting programs, loan sharks, and educaters' pockets.)

Why is it that companies and employers rely so heavily on grades and resumes? Have they been endoctrinated that much? The true test of a person is who they sit with at lunch, who they greet on the street, what they say to a friend in need, and who they be when no one else is watching. I would rather have an honest idiot than an cunning crook as an employee, if you ask me.

( Here, I'm writing to Americans and to other cultures who treat their high achievers similarly. )

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