Jordan Galloway
February 15, 2017
"Beyond School"
1020 words

Education beyond the school system is essential to growth. I won't deny that the curriculum teaches us things that I personally wouldn't bother to learn myself, such as theorems or anything past my basic time tables; but it's also bland. When I started to take with me what I was learning in school and going deeper is when my knowledge started expanding.
I was always smart, as my teachers would say, and definitely had the potential but I never took school seriously. I always found myself in situations that never benefitted me in the end. I was attending school but was never taking in what was being taught to me; too focused on other things such as fighting, smoking, or just wandering the halls. The experience and consequences is what changed my life around. I started to realize that each bad situation I got myself into was the more stress I added into my life. Everything I did there was a consequence for it, it was a continuous pattern but I only seemed to "learn my lesson" for a certain amount of timeā€¦ that was until I eventually got kicked out of school. As many times as I got put on suspension, once I got back in school the "lesson" I learned went to the back of my head. It was when I got kicked out of school, I truly learned the value of education and being on a certain level.
When I got expelled, I not only missed out on my school work but I missed out on events too, wasn't allowed on school grounds, didn't see the same "friends" I used to hang out with, and felt like I was behind. I got assigned a tutor at the White Plains Public Library where my teachers would send me work that they were doing in school. Most of the time the tutor wouldn't understand how to do certain things, like science or math. I personally felt like the tutor was a total waste of my time, but I knew I had to graduate so I pushed myself to understand and do research on my own. Every day, at 9'oclock in the morning I would be in the library typing away on the laptop, reading, then writing quick notes, reviewing, pushing myself to really get it. I sent in my papers and my tutor would get them back; for the first time, it was all A's. The grades somehow motivated me to keep pushing myself, and because I wasn't doing anything else with my time, once I finished my work, I would research other things that interested me or something I read about in an article. I would read things about skin, natural hair, music, the arts, then it eventually went to researching things about colleges, majors, how to make money, the stock market, black history, career choices, CEO's, autobiographies. I learned things that are hidden from us, that aren't taught in schools; I even learned new words. What's amazing is I still can't say I learned everything, there's so much more.
Now I was more eager to be in school because I felt like I had gotten my mindset together. As I learned more, my demeanor started changing. I didn't come off so aggressive anymore, I actually became the calmest I've ever been in my entire life. "There is no greater godliness than to transform yourself with the Way, no greater blessing than to escape misfortune" (Tzu 6). I got introduced to things like Yoga, Pilates, and meditating. I knew more about different things; I researched how to properly set goals and began set short-term goals for myself, one of them being to get back in school. I didn't realize the change in me though, until people started telling me I'm acting different, but mostly from my journal. It was the difference in my entries and my writing that made me see I was becoming a new individual. On a cold morning in January with my disappointed but supportive parents, we walked into my superintendent hearing that was set for that day. The superintendent read through my records out loud,