Crayon Diploma

Written October of my sophomore year.

It all starts with a tickle-me-pink crayon.
It all starts in a cozy little classroom with bright alphabet posters hanging cheerfully on the walls, pretend fruits and vegetables jumbled in plastic cubbies, and chubby little hand slapping a bit too much finger-paint on beige newsprint. Weeks, months, years ooze by. Alphabet posters become times tables. Crayons become colored pencils. One teacher becomes eight; early bedtimes become late. School is just a conveyer belt, and we’re just packages—shoved with information, shut up, pushed on by as quickly as possible, exactly like the others.
Tell them what they want to hear. Squeeze your hopes and dreams into MLA format and trade them for a letter grade. Keep your books where your soul should be; let your heart rot on the shelf. It all starts with a tickle-me-pink crayon, and in this society—this stupid, rat-race, sink or swim, do or die society—it ends with a diploma or a noose.

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