TBH

TBH

People are constantly commenting how they wished others would be more honest – you know, “honesty is the best policy” and all that. All over social media now, more and more people (young and older) are posting “TBH” or “TBH About Me” as their statuses (To Be Honest) , meaning that Person A is either asking others to give him/her permission to comment something honestly about them or Person A is asking others to comment something honestly about them.

However, too many times this attention seeking TBH process seems to backfire on Person A. I’ve noticed that many people are using TBH to either a) have an excuse to insult others or b) fish for compliments to boost their ego. Unfortunately, when the TBH isn’t sweet and confidence boosting, we’ll, that’s when the drama and insults begin.

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A: TBH About Me

B: TBH You’re so awesome I love you!

A: Omg thank you love you too!

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A: TBH About Me

C: TBH you talk too much sometimes!

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A: Are you kidding me b*#&@ and you don’t? You never shut up! Am I not allowed to talk? Like what? You own the world? *&@# off! I feel crap about self now. Thanks a lot.

Um….. What just happened? “YOU WANT THE TRUTH? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

Apparently, there are even apps where people can go on and TBH all over the place to random strangers! Like HOOOOOWW is a stranger supposed to give you honest feedback about yourself? Huh? Huh?

Part of me sympathizes with such individuals because really……. How little attention and love they must be receiving if they feel the need to reach out to strangers in order to read nice things about themselves and feel okay.

With the number of past students I have, some who are teens or older now, I have a lot of younger generation posts showing up on my social media feeds so I see this kind of thing happening almost daily and it’s both frustrating and concerning.

TBH there’s nothing I can do about this, except to teach my own children the importance of self-love and self-acceptance, to give them so much love (but not spoil them) so they don’t ever feel the need to practically beg strangers on the Internet for attention, and ensure they understand that honesty is good but to also remember to say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

It’s also important to teach them, before they say anything:

  1. a) Is it true? Get your facts straight and don’t gossip
  2. b) Is it useful? Is what you’re about to say useful to that person? Do they really need to know? and
  3. c) Is it kind?

If your comment or TBH isn’t any of the above, THEN SHUSH !

Pistachio

Xxx

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Weekend Zombie

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You know when you’re in the middle of a TV series marathon and it seems like a great idea to do an all-nighter since the next day is a weekend anyway therefore there’s no reason to wake up early so you do but then the sun starts rising and shining ever so blindingly and the roosters are crowing and the dogs are barking and suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore?

Yeah.

Apparently, I have gotten to that fun age where sleeping past 1am is not optional anymore, unless I plan on being mostly non-functional the following day, and anything later than that…… well, forget about it.

The children and I have had a few late nights recently, the weather in Bali has been questionable (sunny, rainy, windy, freezing, boiling), and as of last night, we’ve all kind of had enough. There’s snot, there’s coughing, and there’s just overall exhaustion. None of us can even…..

In conclusion, we shall all be blobs today because we need it and we can.

Pistachio

xxx

2018 – The Year of Out (a brief summary)

So Busy

My blogs always seem to start with something along the lines of, “Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written……” because I tend to go MIA for months at a time then return with way too much to say. So here we are again.

It’s been about five months since my last post and a lot has happened since then. Nothing bad…. Just, A LOT. But then again, having two children, running a homeschool, and constantly delving into new, and old, interests and obsessions, has kept me rather busy, hence the A LOT.

So let’s make it slightly less less chaotic and break it down into points to cover the last few months, shall we?

  1. The Hobbies – Better known as The Obsessions

Over the years, I’ve gone through quite a few different phases – carpentry, sewing, artwork, songwriting, blogging, story writing, kickboxing, studying….. There’s more, but I’ve lost track. Two years ago, I decided to teach myself the guitar so I could write music. Last year, I decided to teach myself some piano. This year, I decided to move away from music and do something more active as my “thing for the year”, so while simultaneously searching for dance classes for my 6 year old girl, I swiftly decided that I, too, would start dance classes. A week later, we were both signed up for (separate) ballet classes! Yay! And it was going really well for both of us until I broke my toe a month ago (different point) and alas, I bid farewell to my ballet career (for now). R however, is still going strong and is amazing! I so love watching her in ballet classes ♥️

  1. The Studying

Last year, I also started studying Psychology (and a bunch of other subjects) online – Clinical, Developmental, and Social – and I loved it with a passion. I studied intensely, and the entire experience was fulfilling, enlightening, and inspiring, not to mention an amazingly education journey and so much fun. (There’s a but…) But, the more I learned, the more I realised I didn’t know, and the more I needed to know but couldn’t know, the more frustrated I became at myself and humanity, and the more I isolated. So I completed the final course I had taken and I stopped. I then decided that 2018 would be “The Year of Out”, hence the ballet classes which involved my leaving the house and interacting with, you know, the world again. This was, at first, both severely frightening exciting at the same time. Nevertheless, here we are, more than halfway through the year, and I haven’t retreated back into isolation so yay me.

  1. The Music

I have been quite uninspired to write music this year. I use music and other forms of writing as my journal; a way to vent and express myself; to rage, or clear the pain, or have a laugh. But lately…………. Nada. Perhaps it’s because my life has been drama-free…. Or rather, I’ve worked to remove myself from drama-filled people and situations. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been communicating more. Since beginning The Year of Out, I’ve been more able to express myself (without music) and communicate better and more clearly. So with nothing pent up, without other people’s dramas, I haven’t really had to pour my soul out through songwriting. I think I’ve written a few songs this year, but they are noticeably more chill than my first bunch of songs I released 🙂 Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped completely – just taking a wee break.

  1. The Parenting

The Parenting has been, as always, my favourite part of Life Itself, followed closely by The Husband and The Homeschool. K is almost 11 now (wtf) and is the youngest Aikidoka  Kyu2 (brown belt) in Bali.He has been training five days a week, sometimes twice or three times per day. He’s also been cubing a lot (Rubik’s cube) and entered his first Rubik’s competition this year, along with one of his best friends. Out of almost 70 participants, they both made it into the top 25 um what wow! R turned 6 last July and I keep forgetting because she’s my baby. She had her first ballet recital this year and received a rose at the end from her amazing ballet teacher for her hard-work and commitment to dance. She is just brilliant! Between the both of them; all their classes, lessons, competitions, shows, exams, and other; well, their schedule keeps be pretty busy all week. Sunday is our only day off from any activities, therefore I am sitting here at 1am, marathon-ing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because I absolutely do not have to get up early tomorrow 🙂

  1. The Husband

The husband has been uber busy with his tattooing. He works so damn hard every single day, but always clears his weekends for us, even when he has clients messaging him. He’s encouraging me to learn how to tattoo as well, and he even gave me a bunch of his equipment to practice with, but then I tattooed myself (just a few teeny tiny ones) and he was all, “No! No more on yourself or I’ll take them away!” like I was a child (stomps my feet) so now I have to stick to synthetic skin until I’m better lol. Probably a better idea anyway lol.

  1. The Homeschool

Some of our children have left, and their places were immediately filled with new ones, so our little B1L family is still full, still busy, and still crazy fun. There are days when I just ARHGHDGFSHGJHDFGJDSH but mostly I go to bed thinking, “This was the best day ever! I am so lucky.”

Overall, my life hasn’t changed much, but it is constantly getting better and better with each day. I have amazing people in my life – not many, mind you, but they are the best humans; I have the most incredible family – biological and B1L; and most importantly….. I am so happy. How corny is that? 🙂 But you know what? Corny is good…. Every now and then.

Pistachio

xxx

“Role Models” of Today

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It’s been a while since I’ve written – I have been doing a million different things. A little warning in advance for the amount of sass in this particular blog, and here we go…

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The internet is awesome. I love it. It’s so helpful and educational and I love how it really inspires the younger generation. For example, the following are a few wonderful messages that the youth of today are receiving from their so-called “role models” from social media:

-Bullying is ok as long you call it “pranking”, and it’s ok to do so to your friends and complete strangers.

-Calling your friends bad names is ok because it shows how much you love them.

-Teens don’t need to have big dreams for their future because evidently, they can make millions talking crap and acting like apes as long as they upload it onto a social media platform.

-It’s ok to be a jerk as long as you have lots of money and a good body.

See? Inspiring! 

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FRUIT????

I woke up this morning angry – angry at the lack of online security and monitoring that so much inappropriate material can be so readily available for young children; at the lack of adult supervision that these children are even able to access this kind of material; at the lack of internet safety awareness and education that children receive; at the lack of common sense of these children and teens who watch this stuff and imitate ridiculous behaviours and idolise these people; and most of all, angry at the people who upload all this OBVIOUSLY INAPPROPRIATE DISRESPECTFUL POOP on social media, completely aware of the ages of their viewers and followers, but whatevs “dab at the haters” “lol yolo” “swag” and other nonsensical acronyms and made up modern slang, you irresponsible moldy eggplants!

I mean, did you know…. That there is a reason why there are age restrictions in order to register for an account on YouTube or Instagram?

Did you know…. That there is button you can click when you upload videos on YouTube if you feel like your videos aren’t appropriate for certain ages?

Did you know…. That there’s an amazing device called a BRAIN which should help you control the things you do or say before you put it out there on social media, making it accessible to the entire world?

-Annnnnnd, did you know…. That there’s an equally wonderful app called COMMON SENSE (which sometimes comes already installed in the device but usually not, depending on the model) which allows you TO NOT IMITATE BAD BEHAVIOUR you see on a screen, or idolise those people who you don’t even know (and who are oftentimes adults and should also have already downloaded this app but clearly have not).

Did you know all that? I didn’t know that. JUST KIDDING!

I am not just angry – I’m disappointed and scared for the future of humanity…. yet again.

It’s bad enough that things like school shootings are STILL happening and alllllll the other global issues that I don’t even have the energy to go into right now, but now our children are being exposed to so much unsuitable, vulgar and tasteless content and we don’t even know. Just because the video icon seems innocent, or it’s a cartoon, or it hasn’t been flagged and isn’t on the restricted list, doesn’t mean that it’s ok.

Look, I know that practically every child nowadays has a device; whether it’s a phone, a tablet, or a laptop or whatever; and these things are great, they really are. My children (10 and 5) each have one, and this is what they use it for: educational research (reading), looking up images for drawing inspiration, music, how-to tutorials for crafting, dancing, and Minecraft, finding song lyrics, cartoons on YouTube, movie streaming, games, and designing and editing.

This is how we go about it: the 10yo has a Google account to which I have access on my Google drive (and actually, vice versa) and all settings are on safety and restricted mode to prevent inappropriate search/ video suggestions popping up. The 5yo’s device is set up with the 10yo’s account and all devices have the same security settings, which I double check every week or so because sometimes settings get changed accidentally. They have a time limit on how much screen time they get, depending on what they want it for, but I’m not overly strict. Both of my children check with me if they are unsure of whether or not a video or website is appropriate but more importantly, they both have the common sense to know that some content is just not meant for them to watch, regardless of what their friends say (“It’s so funny” “He’s so cool”) and every day I am grateful for that.

By the way, as I’m writing this, I’ve calmed down a bit 🙂 (breaaaaaaaathe Tash)

However, I can’t completely blame the youngsters for what they watch or see online -they don’t have enough internet safety awareness for the countless social media platforms available to them. Nowadays, it’s not as simple as “Don’t talk to strangers online (or meet them)”  or “That song has swearing in it” because the dangers are more subtle.

Too many songs are filled with inappropriate innuendos that warp and damage people’s self-esteem and self-worth, but they are so catchy and youngsters are oblivious to the underlying, and oftentimes vulgar, messages of the lyrics (then there are also some songs are just blatantly obscene). Song titles are innocent and many artists are very talented, but the messages they are belting out to the younger generation aren’t respectful or inspiring.

*Quick but important shout out before I continue to such people as Kidz Bop Kids and AsapSCIENCE who have taken these fun beats with bad lyrics and made them appropriate and educational for children I LOVE YOU!*

I really don’t want my son thinking that “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover” so the bar is where he should go, nor do I want my daughter thinking that love is painful but “It’s alright because I love the way you lie”

“But I’m gonna keep your jeans/ And your old black hat – cause I wanna/ They look good on me/ You’re never gonna get them back/ At least not today, not today, not today” That’s good. Teach girls that after a break up, stealing is acceptable.

I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did As long as you love me…” So abusive relationships are also fine, as long as you love me and also “It ain’t my fault you keep turning me on/ It ain’t my fault you got, got me so gone/ It ain’t my fault I’m not leavin’ alone/ It ain’t my fault you keep turning me on” Perfect, teach our kids to not be accountable for their actions and to just blame it on someone else because they’re “too irresistible”, but hey, catchy beats to dance to.

Now, vlogging (video blogging) is an amazing way to share your stories, talents and messages to the world and some vloggers have really inspired not only youngsters, but adults as well. I am touched by some of these people on YouTube who open up and share difficult, personal experiences in order to inspire others. I am in awe of the incredible talents of so many people that I’ve watched online; musical, artistic, scientific, physical, and ….. other. Inspiring children, teens, and adults, who make vlogs sharing amazing thoughts, opinions, and advice on different topics and are wonderful to watch! Then, there are vloggers who encourage ridiculous, sometimes dangerous, and at times just completely moronic challenges; vloggers who complain, talk badly about everything and everyone, swear, pull pranks, bully people, are disrespectful, ungrateful, and ramble pointless froth for the sake of viewers, likes, followers, “reactions”, and money. 

WHY would anyone in their right mind challenge others to: pour boiling on someone, get sunburned intentionally and turn it into art, or cut off your air supply and see how long it takes to faint?!?!?!?!?!

“It’s just a prank, bro!” LOL, you’re right, it’s hilarious: I got murdered prank, blowing up my kid prank….. How is any of this acceptable, or funny and NO – calling it a “social experiment” does not justify your disgusting or cruel behaviour.

In addition to absence of value in these messages that are influencing our children, these idolised people on social media are promoting and encouraging a whole new version of the English language which includes acronyms of like 20 words put together and a selection of new slang that irritates me to no end. Acronyms like LOL and OMG have been around for awhile, but some of these new ones just have me reaching for more coffee because I just don’t get it! Whyyyyyyy? Why you all teaching children to speak like disssssss???? I no understand!!!! 

Youngsters are communicating with each other (and in general) in this obscure language; it’s like modern Morse Code; and it’s getting a little…… OTT ;P Seriously though, English is already a difficult language to master, with all the strange pronunciations, sly silent letters, grammatical rules, spelling rules and then all the exceptions that don’t follow those rules; but with this new urban slang, the youth of today are losing the ability to communicate and express themselves clearly, coherently, effectively or intelligently. 

Personally, I already have difficulty with posts like: “OMFG i luv freinds, there the best!”  but now I need to scroll past: “dam #mcm my bae hawtaf “ and “b!%$ hbd ilu 4evr #squadgoals” or “bruh cant go out rip fml so not cool #kms i hear the partys gonna b lit af” OMG WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING, CHILD?!?

Here is a short guide to help you decipher some the things our our children are messaging, posting, and saying:

THESE YOU MIGHT ALREADY KNOW

ASAP – As Soon As Possible

LOL – Laugh Out Loud

BRB – Be Right Back

OTW – On The Way

G2G – Got To Go

BTW – By The Way

FYI – For Your Information

OMG – Oh My God

OMFG – Oh My Fruity God

PM/ DM – Private Message/ Direct Message (the latter used in apps such as Instagram and Snapchat)

PPL – People

TGIF – Thank God It’s Friday

YOLO – You Only Live Once

IDKIDC – I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care

OTT – Over The Top

HARMLESS SLANG THAT DOESN’T ALWAYS MAKE SENSE BUT GOOD TO KNOW

FBO – FaceBook Official; used when a relationship status is officially changed on Facebook.

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out; used to express anxiety over the possibility of missing out on something like an event or party.

TBH – To Be Honest

IMO/ IMHO – In My Opinion/ Humble Opinion

MCM – Man Crush Monday; usually used as a status only on Mondays to show off to the world the man you have a crush on, regardless of whether you are in a relationship, married, or not.

MYOB – Mind Your Own Business

TMI – Too Much Information

IRL – In Real Life

TLDR – Too Long Didn’t Read

SMH – Shaking My Head

BD – Big Deal; sometimes used sarcastically, as in “who cares?”

NBD – No Big Deal

NTS – Note To Self; used as a reminder for oneself, but usually posted publicly, thus reminding everyone so…..

NVM – NeVer Mind

HTH – Hope This Helps

WBU – What aBout You?

RIP – used to indicate that something has failed or fallen through; e.g. “I tried to do a trick but I fell. RIP”

WDYM/ WDYMBT – What Do You Mean/ By That?

WYD – What are You Doing?

ORLY – Oh Really?

Bruh – nickname for “bro” but mispronounced

Fam – used for close friends that are like family

Squad – used to describe your close friendship group; e.g. “(pic of beach holiday) squad goals” = Future aspiration for my group of friends one day.

Lit – adjective; cool; awesome

Gucci – adjective; cool; awesome

Straight fire – adjective; hot; cool

Savage – adjective; cool

I’m weak – That was so funny (therefore I am so weak from laughing)

Extra – adjective; overly dramatic; over the top

Noob – an amateur; beginner

Woke – adjective; to describe being highly aware of social issues

SPOKEN AND WRITTEN (TYPED) ACRONYMS AND SLANG TO LOOK OUT FOR

BAE – Before Anyone Else; a term of endearment usually used when dating; also short for “baby”

Curve – verb; to reject someone romantically

HMY – Hate My Life

I can’t even – I’m speechless

KMS/ KYS – Kill MySelf/ YourSelf

Lit – adjective; when describing a person, it means highly intoxicated

Low Key – adjective; secret; private; don’t tell anyone; e.g. “I low key have a crush on him.”

MFL – Fruit My Life (you know what I mean)

NSFW – Not Safe For Work (or school or home if parents around); used to let other people know when a topic, conversation or content to share is not appropriate at the moment because authority figures are present

Salty – adjective; to be bitter about someone or something

Sip tea – mind your own business

Skurt – verb; go away

Thicc – adjective; used when objectifying a curvy female body

Thirsty – adjective; to be desperate for something (usually sexually)

Throw shade – verb; to give someone a nasty look or say something unpleasant to/ about them

Turned/ Turnt – highly intoxicated

9 – a parent is watching me

99 – parent is gone

HASHTAGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

#ana – anorexia

#deb – depression

#sue – suicide

#svv – self-harming behaviour

#thinsp – thinspiration (content that inspires a person to want to be thin)

So! In conclusion, (because I am exhausted) GET WOKE PPL! Communicate with your children and get to know what they’re watching/ reading/ listening to so you know what’s going on. Educate them so they can be aware and make better choices online. Introduce them to more inspiring and educational content (preferably content that uses proper English too 🙂 ). We do our best to raise kind, loving, well-mannered, children, but we are not their only influence and unfortunately, many youngsters will choose to emulate the behaviour and language of a savagely lit vlogger who is totes phat and is woke af and them weak than their boring parents or teachers.

We can’t control what is posted on the internet, but we can educate and raise awareness.

Please, let’s do something about this ASAP because TBH, I can’t even.

x Pistachio x

Label Boxes, Not Children

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Those who know me well, would probably be aware of how much I dislike labels and boxes. Not in the stationary-related way, because that, I love; I mean in the labelling-people-and-put-them-into-little-neat-boxes way. Nerd, bully, good, bad, black, white and so forth. Humans are not little colourful binders that I can arrange on my shelf. We don’t fit, and we shouldn’t have to.

Labelling begins at an early age and it starts with two very simple labels: Good girl/boy and naughty/ bad girl/boy. 

What I would like to emphasize, to all of us parental types, is that when we say these statements, we are telling our children that he/she, as a whole person is “bad” or “good”, like food that’s “rotten” or “fresh”. When we flip out, and our mouths move faster than our brains than comprehend, we unintentionally lay a foundation within our children that they can only be one or the other: good or bad, and the more often we instill this black and white foundation of thinking, the more likely our children will grow up believing that that is all they can be, thus that is what they will become.
So I urge you, please, to remember that when you are about to tell your children that they are “bad” or “naughty” , that they are not. Remember that it isn’t your child that is upsetting you and is being bad, it is their behaviour or their words, and that these things can be changed and they do not define who your child is as a whole person. Positive and healthy communication isn’t only reserved for adult conversation. In fact, instead of constantly pointing our waggly fingers outwards, let’s bring it back to ourselves; instead of only pointing out their behaviours/words, why don’t we point out we are feeling.
Instead of “You are so naughty!” how about “Your behaviour is really disrespectful and inappropriate and it’s upsetting me.”
Instead of “You’re being a bad girl/boy!” how about “The way you’re talking to me right now makes me really sad and disappointed, because it’s rude and hurts my feelings.”
 
From my years of working with children as a teacher, mother, adult person, big sister, friend and alien companion, a few of the important things I have learned are:
-Children (and other living creatures in general, actually) will respond better when approached with love. Not coddling, but love; gentle (though firm) and honest (without aggression).
-Children understand more than we give them credit.
-Defense mechanisms are formed very early on, and if we attack (verbally or energetically), they will react and defend in whatever way they know at that age.
In saying all of this, I am reminding myself just as much as I am trying to get the message out. Especially living in Indonesia, where we may hear a lot of nakal this and nakal that when describing children. So let’s remember that no matter what, our children are not “bad”; perhaps they’re upset, hurt, frustrated, or so sad, but are just unable to express all of these emotions in a way that doesn’t involve a tantrum. Sometimes our little mini-me’s are far from perfect, but so are we – and at times, their behaviour and attitude can be downright poopy (at any age), but it doesn’t mean they are poops.
In conclusion, I have been listening to too many high-pitched, irritating cartoons in the background and my vocabulary needs a booster, so I’m off to do some studying.
Sending you all much love and smushy cuddles.
Pistachio x

Finding the Balance…

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These rocks are balancing better than I am. Rocks.

I have never been very good at finding the balance that everyone speaks of, but what I’ve been struggling with lately is sleeping.

Most might find this amusing because one might think, “If you’re tired, go to sleep.” Simple right? Yes, but my brain doesn’t work that way.

Those who know me, know very well that my life is almost 24 hours child-centered – my own and my homeschool little ones. When my hours aren’t spent with children, it’s the environment – the cleaning and organising (note, I don’t say cooking because that just doesn’t happen). So come 9pm, when little ones are tucked up in bed, it’s my turn.

To study, to work, to watch back-to-back episodes of whatever, and sometimes, most times, I forget about the sleep part that’s supposed to come at night. Just as I throw myself into my children’s lives and education 110%, the same throwing goes into personal work and studies.

Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to find the balance where sleep becomes important, but for now, those hours are my peaceful me-time, where I am unbothered, nobody is looking for me, and I can delve 110% in my current interests.

I’ll let the rocks do the balancing for now, and I am going to go study.

Pistachio x

Why? How? And Everything in Between

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School: – an institution for educating children.

Education: – the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.

Learning: – the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.

*A note to say that the following does not apply to every school or institution. The following is opinion and experience based, although I have done some research before I even began rambling.

According to these definitions that I googled, it seems that a school is a place where systematic instructions are given. Well! No wonder most children hate school. Where is the learning? Where is the experience? Where is the critical thinking and problem solving? Where are life skills? Where is the preparation for reality? Where is the freedom of choice? Where is the self?

“Sit down. Open your books. Copy the work. Repeat. Now here’s a test. What do you remember? Bad memory? Obviously you aren’t intelligent = fail.” Memory is tested and intelligence is measured in numbers and letters.

Today I sat down with my children and I asked them, “Why am I here? What is my purpose of being here?” The answers they gave (after a few seconds of confused silence) were wonderfully insightful.

“To teach us about life.”

“To show us how to be brave.”

“To let us be ourselves.”

“To make sure we don’t end up like some of those grown ups out there.”

“To teach us how to be independent and responsible.”
“To give us a safe place to be when we’re not at home.”

“To learn real stuff.”

I was almost brought to tears by the amount of trust and love that I felt by their words. Not one of them said, “To teach us how to do division.” Then I asked them, “Why are you here?”

“To learn how to deal with emotions.”

“To learn how to look after ourselves so we don’t grow up lazy.”

“To learn about things we really want to learn about.”

“To know more about everything.”

“To know me.”

“To be happy and have fun.”

“To learn what’s happening everywhere.”

This is where it becomes absolutely clear that Bali One Love is not a school. So what are we? What category do we go under? I’m not sure yet. All I know is that all of us – the little humans and the bigger humans – want to be here. we choose to be here, and that is powerful.

Every subject and topic discussed and learned here is subjected to questioning before any lessons even begin: “Why? Why do we need to learn this? Why is it important? How will it help us in the future?” and I explain for every single one.

However, those are just the regular subjects of Math, English, Sciences, and Arts. Necessary, sometimes incredibly interesting, but sometimes incredibly not. These basic subjects are vital to the foundation of a child’s learning, but they are not the only components of a solid foundation.

In a traditional standard curriculum, does it say:

– Multiplying fractions

– Identifying number Patterns

– Accepting “No” as an answer.

– Healthy communication skills.

I don’t think so… except maybe in alternative curriculums. So what are these fascinating alternative curriculums that are going against the standard systematic instructions that we should be teaching children? Unschooling, homeschooling, worldschooling, and one more: Life. Why is life considered alternative?

Life does not begin when you graduate high school or university. Life does not begin when you get your first job. Life begins before you are even born, in the mother’s womb. Children learn real life skills from birth until their first school years; how to walk, talk, smile, laugh, throw a ball, say their name; and then suddenly, life and learning stop, and school and education begins.

Undoubtedly, schools teach children a lot: how to read, how to write, how to do mental maths, understand the human body, world history, geography and cultures, and many more – skills and information that are valuable as a child becomes an adult in order to go to university, get a job and make money and survive.

Schools also teach children: how to sit for a really long time, how to stand in straight lines, obedience, what not to do, to say sorry, not to bully, not to talk back, how to copy information from the board into a book, that there is an expectation of your intelligence and it’s based on your memory, that a piece of paper is vital to your future in getting a good job – skills and information that are valuable as a child becomes an adult and travels back in time.

People say that we are preparing children for the future, but are we really? Theirs is a future that holds unlimited possibilities with advancements in areas that many of us couldn’t even begin to imagine or comprehend. Are schools preparing children, or holding them back?

Obviously, schools are not the only place where children learn, but for many years, school is where children spend a large chunk of their day. The world has grown and advanced in unbelievable ways throughout history, in science and medicine, technology, architecture and design – everywhere except the education system.

So how is humanity growing and advancing?

We search for life on other planets yet we still can’t accept the differences between the lives on the planet we actually live on.

We have technology that recognizes your voice, fingerprints, and face and connects us to anyone in the world through a screen, yet we still cannot recognize ourselves in others and connect with people through love.

We put hours of resources and energy to prevent diseases, yet not as much to prevent teen suicide and drug addiction.

Science has allowed us to learn more about the human brain but not about the human mind.

We were taught how to talk but not how to communicate.

We can mend bones but not conflicts.
We are told that we can be anything……. But how?

Life can be tough, confusing, and painful – relationships, work, and rollercoasters of emotions – and we all grow up and learn through experiences. But if, from a young age, children are given the tools and skills that we struggle to gain as adults, then maybe life won’t be so tough.

Teachers are guides, just as parents are, and all other adults. Children look to us for guidance, advice, as role models, and to nurture, not just to give instructions and punishments.

Here, our children learn how to read and write, they learn science, geography, history and art. They also learn how to be empathetic, listen attentively, be independent and responsible, recognize their emotions and express themselves. Our children learn that bullying is not okay, but they also learn to understand the reasons behind the behaviours.

Human rights, personal rights, honesty, self-control, mindfulness, compromise, commitment, happiness, forgiveness, morals, values, acceptance, accountability, responsibility…… the list goes on. Why are these not part of the standard education at school? Are they less important than trigonometry and the properties of a trapezoid?

Humans are so much more than a brain. We are heart and soul and love and passion. Dogs obey, robots can be controlled, sheep can be herded, books can be labeled, tvs can be muted… but we have dreams, hopes, questions, opinions, and choices.

Why teach children to talk, if we don’t allow them to ask questions and voice their opinions?

Why tell children that they can be anything they want and to dream big, if we’re only going to tell them later that they’re not smart enough?

Why teach children about emotions, if we don’t also teach them how to express them healthily?

Why teach children to recognize parts of a cell, but not how to recognize signs of depression?

Why teach children to understand calculus, but not how to understand non-verbal behaviour?

Why teach children how to be nice to others, but not how to be nice to themselves?

Why teach children to make pie graphs, but not how to make healthy connections?

Why teach children that they have to say sorry, but not how to forgive?

Why do we tell children to get a good job, but not tell them it isn’t the most important thing in the world?

Why don’t we ask children what they want to learn?

Why don’t we ask children how they felt today, instead of just what they did?

Why not, instead of asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?” ask:

Who do you want to be right now?

Pistachio x