Through the eyes of a five-year-old child, much can be distorted. The large, yellow bus that was used to transport me to my first day of school could have very well be seen as a large, yellow monster, coming to eat me alive. My usually loving parents were seen as evil, clan ruling dictators, sacrificing their own child to some angry god. And school-a useful institution, perhaps, but also a dreadfully boring one-was seen as an evil torture chamber, and it was all out to get me on that fateful first day...
It was bloody cold outside, and I damn well hate the cold. Not that it mattered to the tribal leader of my clan, who had forced me into sacrificial dress clothes and booted me out of the village to where the monster that was going to carry me to my doom was supposed to arrive. I pulled at the itchy, rough material with a disapproving frown. The clan leader had said that these would keep me warm. I snorted to myself. It would be warm inside of the stomach of the monster that was supposed to come here and eat me, so therefore the woolen sacrifice socks were unnecessary. As were the shoes.
I started to pull them off, much to the displeasure of my tribal leader, who came out of the cave waving his arms and screaming. I tuned him out and continued pulling off my sacrificial shoes. Dammed if I was going to be eaten by some monster and then taken somewhere even more horrible to boot.
"UGGA BUGGA HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!" The tribal leader waved his arms more and looked stern. I continued to ignore him, and managed to get one of the tight fitting shoes off. Much to my displeasure, the tribal leader came over, and much to my butt's displeasure, spanked me lightly before putting the shoe back on. My eyes swelled with tears as he yelled more incomprehensible things at me and stomped back to the cave. How dare he! How dare he send his own daughter off to die a miserable death, and then be sent straight to Hell-
My train of thought was lost as the huge yellow monster rolled up, its mouth yawning open in front of me. My eyes bugged and my feet planted themselves firmly in the ground. There was no way I was letting that thing eat me.
Sadly for me, however, the tribal leader's wife came out of the cave, and smiled cheerily at me, waving me off to my impending doom. I sighed sadly and took a step towards the beast. Even my mother didn't want me! I looked back at her hopefully right before I allowed myself to be swallowed up by it. She was still smiling and waving, so I braced myself and stepped aboard, relinquishing myself to the beast. The mouth closed behind me and I took a seat on one of its numerous teeth, looking nervously at the other children who had been sacrificed to the god called Education. The journey had begun.
The trip was long and the trip was hot. The air stuck to me like latex on Michael Jackson as I slumped down in my seat, trying to remain unnoticed. I fidgeted with my satchel, which contained all the things that I was supposedly going to need for this worship session. A pencil, some paper, a few pictures books, my packed lunch and a pack of crayons. I pulled out the red crayon and stuck it in my mouth contentedly. Red was my favorite color, and it was only fitting that that would be the crayon that I would decide to chew on. The girl across from me giggled.
"Why are you eating your crayon?"
I looked up at her, my crayon hanging out of my mouth limply. I shrugged.
"Tastes good," was my curt reply. She giggled again.
"You're funny." She hopped across the monster's esophagus and onto my tooth. "What's your name?" I took the crayon out of my mouth and placed it back into my bag to respond.
She sat with me and became my friend, and I was glad to have someone that would die with me once we were sacrificed. The last thing I wanted to happen was to die alone.
We arrived at the giant temple (which was, in fact a temple-I went to a Catholic school and there was a church attached) and stared up at it in awe. There had never been anything scarier but yet so...inviting...in my entire life.
"Do you think they're going to kill us in there?" I asked innocently. Jackie blinked.
"...I hope not...I wanna go home and play with my horses..."
I nodded. I wanted to go home and play with my horses too, but sadly, there was this to contend with.
We both went over and pushed open the giant wooden doors, entering the building along with a mass of hundreds of other little dinners for the future cooperate ladder to devour. From there, a lady, who must have been running the torture chamber, came over and lead us not to a tiny little room inside, but outside to a trailer in the back. Jackie and I looked at one another, confused.
This must be where they prep us for sacrifice...my confused mind thought. I balled my tiny little hands into fists and steeled myself for the horror as the lady opened the door and let us into the small, white building.
I was surprised. The interior was bright and colorful, and the alphabet was pasted festively over the wall, along with the numbers. There were little tables in the corner, where other students were already sitting and eating a morning snack. I cocked my head, puzzled.
This was school?
A huge weight was lifted off me then, and my heart felt lighter as I slipped into a seat. There was going to be no monster that was going to come and eat me, there was going to be no sacrificial ceremony, and there was going to be no torture!
Sadly, I was mistaken-well, about the torture that is. We sat down and had to start learning the most evil of all the things the Education god stood for.
I knew perfectly well what a table was-it was the thing that served me dinner. I knew that a table came with chairs, too, but that wasn't the right answer. This was a times table, and this is how we learned multiplication.
All I knew is that I wanted some damn candy served to me on that times table or I wasn't going to do anything.
It was around that point that I made my current view of education-it is an evil, conniving "god" that from the very beginning has locked me inside tiny rooms and crammed my head full of useless knowledge in a lame attempt to fill an insignificant mind with even more insignificant facts. I knew then, as I waited for the end of the day, that all was lost. This is how it was going to be forever.
Finally, however, the end of the day came, and I was able to leave, bolting for the door with this epitaph ringing in my ears-
"See you tomorrow!"
Those three words-the knowledge that I was going to have to come back again and again and again-was the clincher for me. Lodged firmly in the back of my mind as I allowed myself to be swallowed up by the giant yellow monster again was the belief that the god of Education was a heartless, cruel, diabolical being and that the place it was held in was even worse. I scowled as I pulled my workbag over my lap and sat on the monster's teeth, waiting to arrive at the village of my tribe.
My parents were going to be in for a big talking to when I got home.