I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about things that land people in really unfortunate life situations. Or how those situations and lifestyles are perpetuated.
The more I study, the more I realize that poverty begets poverty. If one's parents are poor and uneducated, it is often likely, without the intervention of a good school and quality teachers and parental pushing in an education oriented direction, that one will also end up poor and uneducated.
Hence, places like the projects exist. Neighborhoods in Harlem and the Bronx, and in every major city churn out generation after generation of impoverished people. White and black. Immigrants and natives. People with similar brain capacity, but dissimilar life opportunities. Contrary to antiquated belief (and still some right-wing-ultra-conservative-belief) stupidity and ignorance aren't hereditary, strictly speaking (obviously I am not talking about hereditary mental illness, or other disabilities caused by biology or genetics, nor did I mean to just call people with mental illness stupid...you get what I mean).
Here are a couple of things that I don't understand.
I get that sometimes kids are going to school, and what they are being taught seems pretty irrelevant. They feel like teachers don't care about them. That school is hard. They are falling and staying behind. The thing I don't quite understand, however, is at what point it ever seems like the best idea to just quit. How the most logical thing becomes dropping out.
"I think its time to really take charge of my life and quit school forever. Education? Get real. Fast food is where it's at. Americans are only getting fatter, and therefore I shall be entering a solid industry, with plenty of room for growth, and spectacular job security."
I mean, there are many schools in the country that have drop out rates of 50% or higher. Which means, there are millions of kids who somehow think that quitting school is a good life decision. Which I find wholly baffling. Perhaps, I simply have forgotten about the severe irrationality of youth.
I forget that I EVER thought it was a good idea to wear studded belts and army cargo pants. I remember convincing myself that science was bullshit, and that math was the PURE science (slightly ironic, since I can't even remember how to do long devision, and simple algorithms totally befuddle my mind). Because how did I know scientists weren't all liars? (the obvious irrationality of that thought does not escape me). Like take a nucleus for example. If scientists had never before seen a nucleus, maybe it wasn't real. I realize now that it was entirely possible that scientists had actually seen a nucleus, but my rural education misinformed me.
I actually still don't know if scientists have ever seen a nucleus. Thanks, college.
I am the American science/math failing statistic.
I understand that kids drop out for lots of reasons: the family needs more income, pregnancy, drug habits, drug selling incentives, and whatever. Anywhere from 8-10% of high school students drop out per year.
The other, I suppose somewhat related thing that I wonder about, is hardcore drug abuse. Such as meth. Or heroin. How exactly does ANYBODY ever even try that stuff? At what point does one think, "You know what? I think I'm just going to go ahead and give meth a shot. I've certainly heard a lot of success stories surrounding meth, I hate my teeth and wish they were rotten, I enjoy open sores, and I'm really ready for the emaciated look."
NOBODY doesn't know that meth way sucks. I mean, I understand kids giving weed, psychedelic drugs, and even coke a shot. But man. Meth. That doesn't ever turn out well for anyone. Designer drugs can be passed off as glamourous. Just look at Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins. But do a quick image search of "meth addict," and "coke addict," and you get very different results (please, PLEASE don't take this as me giving coke the thumbs up. Just saying that I slightly understand people doing coke, whereas meth just blows my mind). I realize that most people probably aren't starting with hardcore drugs. Obviously. And that people are seeking the most intense, cheapest high possible. But meth?
I guess every now and then I consider removing the breaks from my mountain bike, and bombing the steepest, fastest hill I can find. Which I guess is sort of like meth. And I suppose thinking about throwing my $3k mt bike off of a cliff, and buying a Walmart Schwinn is about like quitting school.
Never mind. I get it.