Well kids, 18 years of compulsory education are over.
18 years of being told to sit down and shut up.
18 years of being told to speak when you’re spoken to.
18 years of being intellectually measured and placing your value and self-worth on a series of arbitrary and meaningless tests.
18 years of government ideologies being implemented through textbooks and subliminal curriculum changes; I bet you can tell me how many apples Kumar Rajesh The Third bought, but I bet
you can’t tell me who Mary Seacole was. Without Googling her.
18 years of conformity, take off the suit or the shit school jumper
or the blouse or the knee-length skirt, ain’t no pervy teacher
gonna get all offended; even though it’s their lack of self-control
and inability to control their sexual desires and the bullshit belief
that the victims are the ones responsible for all sex crimes performed on them. (Here’s something they don’t teach you at school: there are no excuses for raping someone. None. Zero. Nada. Don’t fucking do it. No means no means no means no means no.)
18 years of useless bullshit, goodbye Golgi Apparatus, hello money!
Time for loans and jobs and bills and I bet they never taught you
about exchange rates and how to get the most out of changing
your money. At least you can work out a Triangle’s hypotenuse…
18 years, trying to get you to behave, get you in a nice little line
so you’ll be a dutiful employee, a simpleton, normal, the same,
a cardboard cut-out of everyone else, a follower of the status quo.
Well kids, after all of that, all 18 years, I hope you’re still you.
I hope you’ve found joy in your own company and the company of others. I hope you have a dream, a vision, a belief, something to stand for. I hope you’re happy; well, happy enough after being mentally tortured for 18 years by the most flawed institution ever created.
I also hope you know just how goddamn beautiful you are, and I fucking mean it. I hope you realize there’s more to life than fly-by-night popularity and that crushes are little more than dust in the wind and that you are not defined by any of the tests that you take.
18 years now, wipe the slate. Start over. This is not the end, failure is not fatal and success is not final. This is only the beginning. It’s a big beautiful world out there. Trust me, I didn’t believe in it either.
Well kids, that’s the bell; your 18 years of hell are now finally over. Breathe in. Relax. And remember; this is only Chapter 1…
You Are Not Defined By Exam Results (Spoken Word)
By Ryan Havers
(If you want to read this and record it and post it, do. And also please send it to me or direct me to it!)
There is a shipwreck between your ribs and it took eighteen years
for me to understand how to understand your kind of drowning.
There are people who cannot be held quietly. There are screams
that are never externalized. If I looked at the photo albums of your
past twenty years, all I would find are decibel meter graphs of
phone calls and the intensity of your silence as you sat
smoking cigarettes in the garage.
There is a shipwreck between your ribs. You are a box with
fragile written on it, and so many people have not handled you
And for the first time, I understand that I will never know
how to apologize for being
one of them.
whether it’s makeup, a band tshirt, your fandom pins, tattoos, jewelry, your favorite ripped pair of jeans, or something no one else can touch or see like your favorite song repeating like a mantra in your head, the sound of your own heartbeat, or the knowledge that you were brave enough to get out of bed today when everything else inside you said “no”