By Simon Finnerty

HAS A CORNISH PASTY EVER RUINED YOUR LIFE? ME NEITHER. BUT IT ONCE CAME VERY CLOSE.

Let me explain. I’m from a small pocket of council houses in North Liverpool and there isn’t much to boast about. It has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in Europe, there are high crime rates, as well as high unemployment and heavy drug use and very, very little to look forward to. Every school I’ve attended has closed within three years of me graduating (no direct correlation has been found… honest) and yet somehow, I’m expected to use that education to determine the rest of my life.

Think of it this way – If all goes to plan, I’m expected to retire at 68 and that’s going to happen in 2058. And yet, I’m supposed to thrive and survive for the next 43 YEARS based on an education system that didn’t have the ability to last 3 YEARS as a recognised establishment of schooling. Odd, no? Pretty much everything I’ve ever learned through “Prescribed Education” other than the rudiments of mathematics, reading and writing has either been forgotten, or is outdated…

Old-Fashioned Education

My problem with the education system is that it focuses only on teaching the past and the current, it recognises academic ability on providing predetermined answers for a strict set of questions that haven’t really changed since the Industrial Revolution. And also, they were penned by wealthy land owners on the assumption that if you got the questions right, you could operate X and Y machine at their company, earn money and live miserably until you died. Alternatively, if you got the question wrong, then you didn’t get the job and you’d earn no money and live miserably until you died.

I was told at age 13 (by a terrible teacher and an even worse human being) that I “would NEVER amount to anything” because I couldn’t bake a Cornish pasty in Food Technology. That broke me. I made an honest mistake that any child of that age could make, but the nature of the education system was to teach by enforcing one principle – You are either right or wrong, and it’s only through the fear of being wrong can you hope to be right. That’s frightening thinking.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer, a poet, a footballer… I wanted to be a god-damn Power Ranger. And now that I couldn’t make a pasty, it all came crashing down around me and I realised the odds are that I probably won’t be Power Ranger. And if I knew what was good for me, I better fall in line fast and learn how to operate heavy machinery.

Enter the internet. Enter globally accessible content. Enter the University of Internet.

Stay tuned to hear less about a life-ruining Cornish pasty and more about the effect technology has had on my life.

 

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