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actions & protests | education | youth


The "School Survival" site at  http://rise.f2o.org/schoolsurvival, run by a student from South Africa, boasts it is "The Complete Anti-School Site." She began the site in 1999 when she became disappointed in her school and protested its policies. The site hosts a lot of good information, and had me laughing outloud at great tactics and antics...
by Kirsten Anderberg

The "School Survival" site at  http://rise.f2o.org/schoolsurvival, run by a student from South Africa, boasts it is "The Complete Anti-School Site." She began the site in 1999 when she became disappointed in her school and protested its policies. The site hosts a lot of good information, and as an adult, who has not been in high school for almost 30 years, I still found myself laughing outloud at some of the things available through this site.

One page had a list of "insanely stupid class fun," which included many creative and bizarre things I am sure I would have utilized when I was in high school had I thought of them, or stumbled on a list like this. I remember thinking if they were going to hold me hostage in school and treat me like an idiot, I would act like an idiot and have fun. So, I remember this mindset well. The problem was that much of school was rote memory for tests and mandatory attendance for funding quotas, and institutionalized views that did not encourage discussion or thinking, really. I did fine when you gave me the book to read, some folks to discuss it with, and/or let me write about it myself. But hold me hostage for hours with nothing to do, discussing the obvious basics of things, with unchallenging teachers, and it was hard. Some highlights on the list of "Insanely stupid class fun" things to do were:
* Change seats every time the teacher turns his/her back
* After the teacher explains something, laugh really loud and say "Oh, now I get it!"
* Lick yourself clean like a cat does
* After the teacher has explained something, say "Quite right, old bean" in the typical old english style
* Sing your questions to the class
* When the teacher calls roll, after each name scream "THAT'S MEEEEE!!! Oh, no, sorry."
* Page through the textbook scratching each picture and sniffing it
* Address the teacher as "your honour"
* Sit in the front, sniff suspiciously, and ask the teacher if he's been drinking
* Present the teacher with a large fruit basket
* Claim that you wrote the class text book
* Stand to ask questions. Bow deeply before taking your seat after the teacher answers
* Laugh loudly at everything the teacher says. Be sure to snort and make weird noises while you laugh
* Tell your teacher that you don't do homework, because of your religion
* Ask questions while trying not to use any nouns or make any sense. ex: I have a question: When you said that we should get that thing over there with the stuff on it, did you mean the thing that, you know, had the stuff with the (mumbles) . . . over there. . . .Well, do you? (nsrt)
* While taking a test get up about halfway through and point at the teacher or one of your peers and scream "You ruined christmas" and then storm out of the room slamming the door on your way out. (ScottBaioFan)

Another highlight of the site was the page "How to effectively waste time." These tactics could be as effectively applied at minimum wage jobs you do not care about as well. Here are some of the highlights from that page:
* Collect school notices (stuff that gets sent to teachers with info on meetings, etc). Make your own ones that look similar, and distribute to teachers. If you can forge the principal's signature even better....Like tell certain teachers you hate, that times have changed, and that they don't have a class (when they do). They either won't show up, or will get confused and go ask, which will make the principal confused, which will make everyone confused....There, you've successfully confused everyone. Feel proud :) You can take this further and make notices saying there's no school on a specific day for whatever reason.
* Use a phone, before class, call the school and ask to speak to the teacher you have next period. Say it's urgent. If you're a good talker you can keep him/her busy for a long time...
* When there is a sub and as usual dont want to do jacksquat, have someone raise your (or a friend's) hand and say you or your friend lost a contact lense. The sub SHOULD agree and have the class help you find it. All you got to do is pretend to look. Before you know it class is over.

The young woman running this fantastic webpage is constantly exhibiting incredible levels of responsiblity, saying things like "There used to be other things like gluing the teacher's coffee cup to the desk, or putting slimy stuff on doorknobs on this page as well, but I removed those. Things like that may waste a bit of time (like, 5 seconds), but are likely to piss the teacher off, who will then be less likely to tolerate less irritating things afterward, like the stuff on this page."

The site also includes a "School Protest Guide." She says "If some new rule or regulation at your school is pissing you off, don't just ignore it, do something. Here's what you can do..." She highlights a few steps to protesting in school. "First of all, make sure that you're targeting something specific. Protesting against school in general unfortunately won't get you anywhere (except in trouble most likely). If it's a certain teacher that's causing your problems, protest against that teacher. If it's a new rule, protest the rule." She also says, "Make sure you have enough support." She recommends you start peacefully with a petition given to the school administration outlining the complaint. But when that doesn't work, she suggests a strike be threatened and facilitated, if necessary. She suggests all stay away from school for a day in protest. She suggests going to the press with letters, calls to local TV and print news, etc. And her good advice continues, "Make sure you explain very clearly why you're protesting." She points out if it is a rule you are protesting, you can just ignore it en masse. The guide contains a section on walkouts, with guidance on picking a cause, finding a high profile place, time and date, and spreading the word. She recommends reading her Avoiding Punishment page, which reminds students, "The more students who work together in a walkout/protest/civil disobedience, the less possible it is to punish them. As soon as you have a large number of students doing something, you can see how little power the school administration really has over students." She continues, "The school administration can however punish the organizers of a walkout/protest, in the hopes of discouraging students from organizing such things in future. But they can only punish them if they know who they are."

The site also has basic instructions on making a zine, i.e., write stuff down, lay it out, print it up, distribute it. And a page of true stories from student protesters. The issues they protested include not participating in the pledge of allegiance, the issue of school uniforms in classrooms, school funding cuts, ...She has a page entitled, "Disobey and Resist - How to disobey teachers and resist their authority, hopefully without getting yourself in trouble." She offers some interesting cheating tips, like tapping pencils or coughing in Morse Code, the "Team Effort," where 1-2 distract the teacher while another 2 cheat, and the odd Lip Balm on the Scantron tip! Her site also hosts discussions on abortion, conformity, "Christians who disgrace Christianity," marijuana, racism, the death penalty, violent games, the Middle East Conflict, etc. The site also hosts news and editorials.

I, honestly, was quite impressed by this website. I would have LOVED it as a high school student. It reminds me of Abbie Hoffman's "Revolution for the Hell of It." It had enough silliness and fun to lighten up the heavy topics, and I appreciated the creative approach to things. I liked her clear guidance on how and what to protest, I like the material she is offering and sharing on the web. I recommend this site. It is amusing, informative, educational, and makes you want to go have fun right away.

homepage: homepage: http://www.angelfire.com/la3/kirstenanderberg
address: address: Seattle, Wa USA

Reminds me of 21.Feb.2004 23:19


Fun Things To Do In An Elevator

Make race car noises when anyone gets on or off.
Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your kleenex to other passengers.
Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering: "Shut up, all of you just shut UP!"
Whistle the first seven notes of "It's a Small World" incessantly.
Sell Girl Scout cookies.
On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.
Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: "Got enough air in there?"

Stand silent and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.
When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.

Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.

One word: Flatulence!

Do Tai Chi exercises.

Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: "I've got new socks on!"

When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, motion sickness!"

Give religious tracts to each passenger.
Meow occasionally.
Bet the other passengers you can fit a quarter in your nose.
Frown and mutter "gotta go, gotta go" then sigh and say "oops!"
Show other passengers a wound and ask if it looks infected.
Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.
Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.
Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.
Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You're one of THEM!" and move to the far corner of the elevator.
Burp, and then say "mmmm...tasty!"

Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.
Start a sing-along.
When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"
Play the harmonica.
Shadow box.
Say "Ding!" at each floor.
Lean against the button panel.
Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.
Listen to the elevator walls with a stethoscope.
Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers that this is your "personal space."
Bring a chair along.

Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.
Announce in a demonic voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.
Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.
Stare at your thumb and say "I think it's getting larger."
If anyone brushes against you, recoil and holler "Bad touch!"