I am fed up with the way society judges me and how other people put problems and obstacles in my path. My university is one of them. I am writing this as a report has come that many students have been mentally stressed and some in tears at the standards of the exams that they are doing in GCSE and A-level.
One of these is an education blogger called Jade Bowler, who has 190’000 followers on You Tube. She was reduced to tears at the undertaking of her exam and it’s enormously demanding content. I can’t believe that she had to take a 42 page exam paper. That is horrendous just for an A-level exam. Even I couldn’t take that much in.
In the time that I have been politically supporting education reforms I haven’t asked for this much change. Micheal Gove became education secretary in 2010 and implemented a number of reforms, but I think he may have made a few errors in his part. I did want a big change to the way exams were set and the curriculum in schools, especially a better choice of options in what they could take. At the time it was very lax and mentally unchallenging.
I remember when I sat my GCSEs in 2001 the content of my school’s curriculum was absolutely boring. A few years before in a test of intellectuality a 7 year old passed a GCSE paper in an experiment to see just how dumbed down they were! When I took my test papers I found them to be full of multiple choice questions with no mentally demanding puzzles. To add to the embarrassment I was in an all inclusive community comp which wasn’t even for intellectual pupils nether. It was just a dustbin for the retched deplorables of society.
I am not defending of my Conservative friends policy ideas. There are some that I disagree on and parts of the education reform are one of them. I think we should scrap some school examinations altogether. Psychologists and neuroscientists like Sarah-Jane Blakemore think that pupils are being tested too early in life. Claiming that their brains are not ready for it in their adolescent years. In my experience with mental health problems I have been drained and distraught by difficult things in my studying. It can destroy you to the point of giving up on your school and your life.
Let me remind of the impact of a demanding life affecting your mental health teachers and educators. I value my mental health more than my grades. It’s imperative for a student to have a healthy lifestyle and a good strong mind. You don’t get good grades by force feeding information into the minds of your students.
As a man I am amongst a very vulnerable group of people. Suicide in men is twice as much as woman. I am an autistic person with a mental health that is susceptible to break downs and melting into a state of depression. I read somewhere that the average age of a neurodivergent committing suicide is 36. I am three years away from that age. If I am broken before that or within that year then what chances are there that I could die from a depressive episode brought on by a difficult teacher who couldn’t be bothered to listen. Would that teacher be able to carry that guilt on them?
Education misjudges you unfairly and I don’t compromise for the sake of what my teachers expect of me. In the first term at Royal Holloway I have had countless disagreements with my tutors and difficulty with my study plans. I set out to concentrate only on my objectives in my studying. I wanted to put my efforts into only certain areas of the course that I wanted to do well in. The tutors who were in a disagreement with me were not very good people to work with. My palaeontology tutor was like a ‘revolting gargoyle’ and my geology tutors were not very cooperative in coordinating an effective study strategy.
I have just had the results of my modules and they have been a hit and miss. From what I can show you about this is to try and get your tutors to get their lesson plans sorted out straight. Your tutors need to coordinate things straight and for your benefit you have to make sure that they are working in a straightforward manner. Remember it’s what your objective is that matters, not theirs. You need to challenge these people in order to do better for yourself otherwise you’ll be taken for a mug.
My results are a reflection of bad management on the university’s part. I have passed half of my 8 modules, two have condonable fails and the other to have non-condonable fails. Despite my complaints to the tutors about the organisation of the course modules and how I was struggling for me they left too late for an intervention from the disability services to help me. In response to this I am not going to take any resits or rerun the first year with the modules that I failed. Instead I am going to transfer my past credits from my other university to compensate for the bad marks.
While that stands I am going to take an ever bigger fight against them by threatening them with a complaint for their lack of support. If the department can’t coordinate things right for me then they ought to be charged. People who undermine their students like that don’t deserve the tuition fees. And let’s talk about the way they deal with the mental health of those people in their classes.
I am not going to have my academic career ruined by some judgemental people who think they are better than I am. I am a creative intellectual with a positive and persistent nature. If I have a problem with my situation I find a creative solution to get out of it. I would lend my creativity to the troubles of our education system.