Matthew Arnold ‘The Scholar Gypsy”

Creative Task: You are the scholar gypsy. Explain to your friends why you have decided to run away from conventional education.

Here you and I sit, in perfect rows, at perfect tables set straight and facing forward. All of us submissive to the clock, this room and to the will of this teacher. Each student is as much divided in thought and ideas as if we lived in different worlds. But here we are, bound together in silent formality, constricting our intelligence and creativity into the shape designated by a 2-hour exam. An exorbitant cost it is that we pay to stare down at this stark white sheet of paper, trying to turn it into something someone else wishes it to be. Our feverish efforts turning us sick and doubtful, all in an attempt to produce advantages for a future career in the world. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it, though I can ill afford not to. There was nothing I could write for you which might expand the soul, liberalise the mind or dignify the character that could be contained by time or instruction. So instead, I must write you this farewell letter, because I can see that some rows in front of me, you are just as restless as I am, fidgeting at your empty white paper. This is the time to free the spirit from an institution which masquerades as a salutary influence. Instead, we must bring colour to the page and listen with enchanted ears to the song that lingers at the open exit. Because I can feel a warm breeze pulling from the doorway, and I intend to follow it.

Children recreating identical images of nature Source





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