Sometimes I feel as though everyone gets it but me, and I am always the lost one.
I feel like they do not see me as important. My dreams are dashed.
This lyric from Lauryn Hill always plays in the back of my head every time I step into a class.
Word by word, lyric by lyric, sentence by sentence, Lauryn Hill’s message in The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill helps us understand that education does not stop in the classroom.
She brings it back to where it has its biggest effect: LIFE.
Education is actively thinking about life.
Psychology tries to understand what causes us to behave a certain way in life.
Sociology tries to understand the development, structure and function of life.
Business teaches us how we need to order our lives financially.
Science tries to understand the physical make-up of why we are living beings.
Philosophy tries to conceptualize the purpose of life.
These examples are different areas of study in a college institution. Each area shows us a diverse perspective on life.
Getting an education is not about getting you the best job.
It is not about you knowing every fact about every single historical figure.
Carter G. Woodson said “real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly; to learn to begin with life as they find it and make it better.”
Hill puts Woodson’s view of education to the test in her album.
The teacher in the interludes talks about love: what it is, what it means, and how we approach it.
The discussion encourages the students to get other people’s perspective on love and establish what love means to them.
This leads the students to understand the positive and negative aspects of love, but it leaves them thinking about how to make love more effective.
I assume that a majority of college students do not realize that their classes are showing them a different way to look at life.
With that assumption, has our education system been focusing on the wrong thing?
Lauryn Hill and Carter G. Woodson have shown us that we have been “miseducated.”
As a young child, I always thought that going to college would afford me the opportunity to have the best job.
That was what I was looking for when I chose my school.
Once I got to college, I realized learning in college was less about obtaining the job, and more about understanding life.
I have taken what I learned in class and brought those views into my daily interactions with my peers.
I listen to the different views, opinions, and philosophies, and I come to understand that we are all here to receive an education.
We are here to think for ourselves and understand this life that we live in.
“Those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning,” Woodson said.
This means that I am responsible for the education I receive.
It also means that I am obligated to constantly challenge my understanding of the world around me.
My education will not stop here. I will not be the lost one.