The Gross National Debt

Monday, May 7, 2012

This matters too

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Ask me, these more than two decades later, what happened on a given day in school and chances 99.99 percent are I won't have a clue.
The most dangerous things on earth.

That I learned valuable things in school is a given. Without school, I'd not be able to pen this column, write the books I've authored and run the newspaper where I am hijacking the internet feed for personal purposes, i.e. these ramblings.

School was incredibly valuable and I do not in any way demean the value of a solid scholastic education when I tell you the following.

But everything you need to know, you will not learn in school.

I suggest to you, the majority of things you need to learn are not learned in a classroom setting. You do learn a number of these things at school, but not through direct teacher-to-student instruction.

I skipped school a few times in my life to go hunting or fishing. What'd I miss by not being in class those times?
Intellectual content of the average political party faithful.

Not a thing.

Nothing.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada.

What did I gain by giving school the brush off?

Memories that last to this day. Walking miles through fire breaks in Colquitt County with a loaded shotgun while Jerry Sumner and Dad panicked 'cause they couldn't find me.

Seeing my Mom write a note to school asking my absence be excused as I had come down with a case of "buck fever."

Hitting pond after pond after pond and catching bass after bass after bass.
One happy young'un!

Figuring out that if I skipped school to have a stereo installed in the truck and didn't bother to bring a boat, fishing gear or hunting gear with me, I had a whole day to kill and NOTHING to do cause I couldn't go home either. I was in class at 11 a.m that same day.

There's more, but you get the idea.

So I tell you I am proud of what I relate next.

I took my kids out of school Thursday and Friday of last week and hauled them to the Northeast Georgia mountains. Up yonder, they played on a beach, saw some giant rainbow, brook and brown trout, handled a leopard frog, leopard frog tadpoles and a leopard frog string of eggs. Jesse rafted a river. Susan caught striped bass, several, for the first time. They both got to see, for the first time, a fish cooked with the head still on.

They got to see mountains up close and personal.

They learned things that can only be learned in a classroom with trees for walls, rushing water for a floor and sky above for a roof. While their classmates pored over textbooks, my kids were getting wet and sun-dried. They were putting their hands on wild things, some of which strenuously objected to being handled.

Considering the activities we engaged in, you can even say my kids were in harm's way. People are injured and killed in river rafting. Striped bass have pulled people out of the boat they fished in, including our Nottely Lake guide Jeff Garrison, a combat-wounded veteran.
Coming later this month.

But crossing a street is also dangerous. Riding in a car is dangerous.

I absolutely do not want my kids to be hurt, but when the pain comes and come it must, I want my kids to be experiencing life to its fullest. That means rafting white water and rassling giant fish and handling toads.

As much as I and my kids love to read, books are only vicarious living. I say read what others have done and then go out and make your own adventures for your own stories.

I note here, both my kids are on honor roll and are respected by the faculty and staff at the school they attend. If that wasn't the case, I cannot be sure they would have made the trip to the north Georgia mountains.

But they went. They made memories that will last beyond the memory of missing those two days of school.

They learned the kind of lessons that we all need. This planet is what we have, all we have and it has treasures and wonders beyond anything our imaginations can generate.
Josh and a monster striper.

My kids are learning to look beyond.

If you are a parent, what are your kids learning?

Take your kids to tangle with some big stripers.

Josh Garrison
www.fishgarrison.com
404-308-1863
706-745-4802

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