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New York University students :

education is indoctrination


The following is an excerpt from In, and Of, by Jack Haas. This book, along with Haas' highly acclaimed work The Way of Wonder, offer alternative ways of viewing the education system. In short, education is indoctrination.


"I can say now, with absolute honesty, that I did not learn a single worthwhile thing about life and living until I left school. Not one. Not unless you include the brief course I took in typing, and the one-week canoe trip I went on in a high school outdoor-ed class, which was a singularly life-altering episode because it showed me that what I had been experiencing as a youth and young man, and calling life, had nothing to do with life at all- not compared to the beauty and silence I experienced on that trip into the austere comfort of the northern Ontario lakes, with the lonely call of the loon, and the feel of the breeze on my face as I was falling asleep outside.

             I consider it an insult to my existence that I donít even recall seeing a single moon-shadow until I was twenty-two years old- and I know the exact time I saw it because I remember being shocked that I had a shadow at night, and I could not believe the moon was its cause. Not that I hadnít seen shadows at night. Oh no, every porch and every street corner in my neighborhood had a blaring light on it, making certain old Luna never got to sing her song.

             That canoe trip was the beginning of the end for me, for it was then that I had begun my romance with the wilds. I had fallen in love with the earth, and it would not be long before I gave myself to that love, left humanity behind, learned to own nothing but what fit into a backpack, to care for nothing but to sit on a remote cliff and stare out to sea, and to wish for nothing but that a few other kindred souls were there beside me.

 I set out to the wild lands, to the forests, and the sea, and found myself looking for a way to forget all I had been helplessly bequeathed, and to remember instead all that had been left out.

             I had no real understanding of what the word Ďuglyí meant until the first time I spent a couple of months in the towering forests of the west coast wilds, and then returned quickly to the land of pavement, square structures, signs, lights, idiotic haircuts, automobiles, cosmetics, and functionless clothing. Never have I forgotten the shock which these unsightly creations betrayed to my virginal sight. How my eye became so weary and sore all of the sudden, just standing on a city street, or sitting in a house, no matter how superlatively decorated. What a wound it became to my very soul to spend day after day immersed in such visual and psychic excrement.

             I realized then that the natural glories and miracles which the earth has brought forth cannot help but make mankindís constructions appear like the finger paintings of blind, insecure brats. I wonder if this is why we have been so eager to rid ourselves of the earthís great treasures- the forests and the beasts- because these make us feel so little, so unimpressive, so dumb.

             That trip to the true west-coast wilderness had put a black mark on my mind, for I now had a vision of what had existed before electricity, metal, and internal combustion engines. My prize city, Vancouver, had suddenly become a sewer, and I was now swimming in shit and quickly losing the strength to tread water, though tread it I did for many years to come as I slowly learned how to live as a free person in an imprisoned world."







Pulitzer Prize nominee Jack Haas:


What the critics have said about Jack Haas' books:


"...very strongly recommended reading..." Midwest Book Review

"The Kerouac of the new millennium." Frank Wolf (author of Blind Bay)

"...inspires us to rediscover the mystery of ourselves..." Judine Slaughter (Express Yourself Books)

"...Read in awe." Benjamin Tucker (author of Roadeye)

"...groundbreaking..." Joanne Turner (The Messenger)

" embarrassment of riches..." George Fisk (author of A New Sense of Destiny)

"...poetic and stunning..." Nancy Jackson (Dog-Eared Book Reviews)




Books by Jack Haas

to see more about the books, click on the image.




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