An Interview With John Taylor Gatto
The first thing I discovered was that the types of learning that are measured by standardized tests are not real learning at all. To do well on a standardized reading test, for example, does not mean that you read well. There are approximately 150 categories of information that a complex passage of reading delivers, and the standardized test covers approximately six of those categories over and over again.
“Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste,” said Buddha. If that sounds like nonsense, then read on as I tell you how I and my wife, Janet, came to do nothing with our farm, on purpose. It might help you understand what Buddha had in mind.
Bill Pody was our love guru. He drank twelve Pepsis a day, smoked three packs of Marlboros, and occasionally ate — usually a cheeseburger. He was forty-one. He lived in a lime green trailer next to a short, concrete silo. From my farm we could see the silo presiding over Pody’s hill.
Thanks to prison, he settled for sitting, munching applesauce doughnuts, and watching his candle burn. No bleeding-heart bullshit, no prayerlike mutterings, no beseechings or lamentations from Everett. He’d come a long way, after a long wait, to do a simple thing, so he shut up, sat down, and did it.