It’s been a long while since I sat down and blogged.  I’ve been preoccupied with writing another edition of my Men, Djinn, and Angels series and regrettably have not written about the pressing things on my mind. I have waited far too long to share my thoughts and I am very much in shock and awe at how public-school systems throughout the US have such poor and similar cultures.  So, I want to share- and I have a lot to share. This may take a few blogs, and I hope that I can entice others to share and start a nationwide, perhaps, a worldwide conversation regarding the educational system. 

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I would like to preface my blog by saying that the school systems are run and operated by some of the brightest minds in the nation.  I’m talking about principals who have multiple degrees and make six figure incomes.  With that, there are school boards with elected officials and superintendents who are also well decorated with degrees and accomplishments, and who also work with other elected officials to create policy for school systems.  Then we have federal input; the president even appoints someone to his cabinet for education.  The point is that the education system is a huge business that is run by some of the most intelligent people we have to offer.  So, when I say that it is painfully obvious that the school systems and their cultures are designed to function as they do, I do not understand how anyone could reasonably refute my claim.  I have come to believe that what we see as flaws in the educational system are not flaws at all; they are intentional and well-placed snares that create and sustain an American caste system.

Please take for an example this one school on the West Coast area called Graham-Central High School (This is a fictional name); where the population is 19% African American, 8% Asian, 33% Hispanic, 11% Pacific Islander, 22% white, and 7% other.  The average family income is under $40,000.  The African American principal is in his late forties; a flamboyant man who can be oddly animated and presents a decorum no different from his fraternity brothers two decades his youth. 

I was at a football game in support of the school with a friend who teaches there, when I became annoyed with the principal’s frequent commercial breaks during the timeouts and sometimes between plays.  In these commercial breaks, he boasted about the school’s accomplishments.  “Did you know that Graham-Central High School has the lowest dropout rate in the state?  Did you know that Graham-Central High School is ranked 19th in the state for attendance?  Did you know that Graham-Central High School has the highest graduation rate in the entire city?”

I wanted to stand up and say, did you know that Graham-Central High School just yesterday lost one of their special education students who walked out of class and out of the building without anyone noticing?  Did you know that student is dealing with autism?  Did you know that the student should have had a one on one assistant, a teacher’s aide, or someone trained to work with children dealing with autism in class with the student, having an eye on that student during his entire school day?  Considering that recent event, I was utterly annoyed that the principal, Mr. Golden (also a fictitious name) would spend so much time making these announcements at the Homecoming football game.   

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As the story surrounding the student who walked out of the classroom goes, for some reason, the student just decided to leave class.  There was a teacher in the room with fifteen other students who also had special needs, but he was limited in what he could legally do.  When the student left the room, the teacher could not go into the hallway to bring him back – such an act would have led to disciplinary actions for leaving the class unattended.  He did, however, use his radio to call security – the four-man crew to protect the two-level building and its 18 hallways, 8 bathrooms, cafeteria and gymnasium; not to mention the ten unlocked doors that allow easy access in and out of the school.  In the end, there were no working cameras and no one to stop the student from exiting the building.  After four hours of looking through the school, the staff contacted the police who still could not find the student.  The next day, it was discovered that the student was found six miles away from the school walking down the street.  It was after 8 p.m. and the student had been missing for nearly nine hours. 

I only wish this was the worst story I could tell about Graham-Central High School, but it is not.  I am just baffled at how the public accepts what happens in the school system and I remain convinced that these are not flaws and the Dr. Goldens of the educational system are strategically placed where they are.

As a student going through the typical American elementary and secondary education, I learned mythology; only Greek in junior high. In high school, I learned that the Greeks were not the only people who had myths. I learned that the Romans and Native Americans had myths as well. During my freshman English class – A Survey of Literature – I read a Native American myth called The World on A Turtle’s Back and a Roman myth that had something to do with Minerva.  I learned then that  Minerva was the Roman equivalent to Venus and then my teacher assigned the class to read The Odyssey – not excerpts from the story, but the entire story. During my Sophomore year, I remember reading a one-page story about Native American Myths in my American Literature class. Junior year, I was given a world literature class and we read the Iliad. I never understood why the high school curriculum gave us these stories out of sequence, being that The Iliad comes before The Odyssey. I suppose that it had to do with reading The Aeneid which came afterwards. My teacher stretched out those two stories to cover more than a quarter of the school year. In other words, Roman and Greek mythology covered over 25% of my World Literature class, Hamlet covered another 25%. I did not read an Egyptian myth until I was two years into college.

Years afterwards, when I began to work in the school system, I questioned the curriculum. By then I understood many things about the way school curriculums are set and surprisingly enough, I learned that they are made with a ton more flexibility than people would imagine. I also learned that curriculum is set like a dictatorship in some parts of our country, and in other places it’s a type of cultural caste. I saw how schools in the poor neighborhoods gave reading material far below the reading levels – sometimes for good reason (What’s the point of giving a 10th grade level book to a 7th grade level reader who just happens to be in the 10th grade?). Sense I worked in a selective enrolment school – an insult to the idea of public school system, but I admit a necessary evil – I was able to have the flexibility needed to teach toward state goals that demanded developed critical thinking skills over the need for basic education. As a unit of mythology was part of the curriculum, I took the chance to have students comparison and contrast different myths. This was not my invention, it had been done before, but I chose to them compare and contrast creation stories from Egyptian, Greek, and Native American mythology to the Biblical Christian account. What I discovered in the preparations of these lessons, influenced me, I’m sure, more than the students.

I later developed a theory that is the underlining message to my Men, Djinn and Angels series. In Men, Djinn and Angels – Awakening, it is not fully developed, but by the time, the third book is published, the theory will dominate the story line. It goes like this: First of all, most of the myths Roman, Egyptian, Greek, Sumerian all tell a story about the same people. These people were real and existed during ancient times, perhaps before written records were made. These people were admired, and that admiration became legend and that legend became myth. As the stories were retold multiple times by people who added and changed various details, different characters emerged and various traits from the original person were split and shared among new characters. Creativity was involved in the retelling and in some cases, the original characters were turned into symbols. As we tell the stories and read the stories, we pass down a variety of codes that have some important significances although we may not consciously know what they are.

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Let’s take for example the story of the Watchers from The Book of Enoch and compare it to the Titans in Greek mythology. How similar are they? The Watchers were taken by the angels and placed in a prison where they are to remain – some of them for 70 generations – whereas the Titans were placed in Tartarus after their war with the gods. Then we get to compare Nimrod who is mentioned in the Bible and according to historical sources, was captured in a war against a Semitic King, cut into multiple pieces and buried in multiple places so that his followers would not have a burial-place to enshrine. He is called the mighty hunter in the Bible – the same title bestowed on Orion. His death was the same as Osiris and Uranus – both cut into pieces and the pieces scattered. The Babylonians’ Gilgamesh includes The Great Flood, the same as Irish mythology and multiple Native Americans. The Egyptians tell a story of Sekhmet, the lioness goddess who punished all mankind when they turned against Ra. This story does not involve a flood, but it has the same concept – purification of the human race through death and destruction. There are other stories that draw comparisons to the immaculate conception and the birth and resurrection of Jesus that could call into question the authenticity of the Christian belief.

The question that continues to come to my mind deals with the possible meaning to them all. If we could somehow combine history and myth to get a single story, what would we find? Why do we cling to these myths if not for some higher purpose than entertainment? Is it possible that there is some connection between the myths, the multiple religions, quantum physics, occult science, alchemy and the Hermetic principles? I can’t prove it, which is why all of this is just my theory, but I believe that somewhere in the fragments of truth is a deep knowledge that humanity has lost and as a result, we are unable to tap into our dormant abilities. It is written that each generation grows weaker and wiser. This is a very interesting statement as there are multiple ways to show weakness and few to show wisdom.