I consume A LOT of content. I read every day, I listen to numerous podcasts, I watch movies, TV, listen to music, go to the theatre when I can (and concerts and dance performances)–I love ideas and stories. So I thought I would take a day of the week to feature some content that I really enjoy, in the hopes that it might bring new ideas and stories to others. This will also give me a place to show a little gratitude for those creators who have influenced me and guided me on the path to a more fulfilling life.
Back in 2016, I was in an odd, limbo-y space in my life. I had quit drinking a few years prior and I was getting ready to graduate from college FINALLY, after many years of trying. The future looked wide open, but I was unsure of how to proceed. I discovered podcasts around this time and began listening to a few people who I admired, mostly people who had been writing blogs I enjoyed about self improvement and creating freedom in your own life. I heard Brett Veinotte from the School Sucks podcast on a few of these and found his point of view about the problems of public schooling interesting so I found his podcast and started at episode one (which had been recorded in 2009!).
This began a two-year stint of Brett in my ears daily. I listened to almost every episode of the show, and was able to meet Brett when he came through Knoxville, TN, where i was living at the time, in 2017 during his School Sucks Across America tour. Brett’s podcast was empowering, funny, and incredibly educational. It not only taught me all of the reasons why public school has dumbed down our society, including teaching kids to be obedient servants to the state, quashing their creativity and their spirit, but it offered solutions to many of the problems I was facing in my life. I had graduated from college, but now what? I had no idea. There was no syllabus for life.
From Brett, and his numerous guests, I learned many things I was never taught in school. Productivity, critical thinking, media literacy–even logic, philosophy, and history, which always seemed boring to me in school, became topics that I wanted to know more about. Brett introduced me to several ideas and resources that have propelled me to higher planes of knowledge, including Nathaniel Brandon’s Six Pillars of Self Esteem, which rekindled my interest in psychology, of which I am now a student. As I write this, I’m sitting in a pile of boxes as I attempt to “GTD my life.” GTD, or Getting Things Done, is a productivity model by author David Allen, who Brett introduced to his audience a number of years ago (yes, I know, I should have “GTD’d my life” a long time ago, but whatever).
The most important way that Brett and his School Sucks Podcast has influenced me was through the community he has created. In the whirlwind of 2020, myself and a few other School Sucks listeners joined Brett in the UN-iversity community, where we met to talk about the day-to-day insanity that was going on at the time. It is because of that small group of friends that I’m writing this blog now. We keep each other accountable and push each other to become better versions of ourselves on a weekly basis and I am truly grateful for them. I’m not sure I would have made it through 2020 without them, and not only did I make it through, but I am thriving.
Brett is currently releasing a top 50 compilation of The Essential School Sucks and I highly recommend tuning in. You can find the latest episodes at https://schoolsucks.fireside.fm/. Learn more about the School Sucks Project at https://schoolsucksproject.com/ and join the UN-iversity at https://sspuniversity.com/.