Escape

I still remember a question one of my teachers asked us on our first day of high school:
“What’s the use of studying?” “Who can answer this question?”
We were puzzled and stayed silent for a while; nobody actually dared to utter those words of truth but not exactly of wisdom we had in mind, that  is, we had never thought about it, we were there because we had no other choice. He was waiting.  Someone eventually attempted to give some vague answers like : “to have a job“,  “to be better people” etc., but he wasn’t satisfied at all and kept shaking his head. When none of us could come up with fresh ideas, he said with a smile at last: “to escape from prison“. We looked at each other in amazement.

Ignorance is a prison”, he added , “because inside that prison you don’t understand and consequently you don’t know how to act. In these  5 years we have to organize the biggest escape of the century. It won’t be easy. Remember, they want you to be dummies, but if you climb over the wall of ignorance, then you will understand without asking for help and you won’t be deceived easily. You will be free. Who wants to join in?”

This episode came up to my mind when I read that only one adolescent in twenty fully understands a text. And I think of the other 19, who struggle to escape the prison and risk to be sentenced to be ignorant for life. A democratic country must save them, above all because it is right, but also to avoid the greatest risk : weak minds demand “the strong man ” to guide them.

(free adaptation of an article from Corriere della Sera)

11 thoughts on “Escape

  1. How very apt! In particular, these days we have erected newer prison walls – of screens of all sizes and shapes. To climb out of these, look around and bond with real people has become yet another challenge.

    • I do apologize for such a late reply, but I have been so absorbed for school reopening that I had to neglect blogging for a while. You are right, there are far too many walls and we keep on erecting new ones, freedom frightens us.

  2. A very intelligent and wise teacher, as you are 🤗 It is true, our society needs education, learning, studying, and leaning, as I’ve learned something new once more 🙏 If it could happen all through the world, it would be a better world as ever. Grazie mia cara insegnante 💖🙏🥰

  3. Hi Stefy: Great post, so relevant in a world that is so devoid of critical, analytical thinking. It made me think of a well-known American bumper sticker that read: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Thank you for stopping by Bookshelf recently; so nice to have a visit from an old blogging friend. I hope you are staying healthy and safe during the pandemic. I hope you have a great academic year, despite the challenges that the covid crisis imposes. Your students are so fortunate to have such a thoughtful, dedicated, and intelligent teacher. Cheers. Alex

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