Lessons

On the first page, all is detailed and organized

I must take notice of every word and rule,

making sure my focus never drifts from them.

Yet I enjoy every direction it takes me.

It captures my imagination with stories

that open my eyes to humanity's greatest questions,

allowing me to strive for the ideal.

It then names all the world's dauntless rulers and endless conflicts

which now stretch themselves out on timelines for all to see,

and later provides me with puzzles which can only be solved

using a list of distinct figures which always form some kind of link,

and tools that allow me to explore what is beyond the horizons

or that which is deep inside all living beings.

I now turn to the next page.

There are no words, no directions.

Only vividly detailed pictures

ranging from a teenager racing away from a classroom

where everyone howls from laughter and points

to a toddler staring in the direction of a door

waiting four hours for mom to return.

Next there's a worker trying to catch a bus,

racing around a metropolitan crowd that takes no notice.

And it ends with a withered old woman sprawled across a field

where dozens of bodies have been destroyed and thrown off.

I want to shut the book immediately,

but then remember it's all part of my lessons,

so I keep it open and think about what it must teach me.

If you're wondering what I was doing here, I was trying to show the difference between the lessons school provides and those of the real world as it may be seen by a student. While I'm not trying to place value on one over the other, I do think that what we learn in school tends to be something we can take one step at a time on most occasions, while much of what we face in the real world can be unpredictable, and the steps you take aren't so obvious. I was told there were some problems with the structure and wording when I originally wrote this, and I did the best I could to correct it. However, if you see anything else you think could be improved upon, feel free to let me know.