Intelligence is not predicated on knowledge; at least, not necessarily. Literacy is not a measure of insightfulness. Linguistic fluency is not a measure of mindfulness. Math is not a prerequisite for spirituality. (Many a potential English teacher did not become one for lack of qualifying Math grades.) Dictates can hobble. Autonomous Synthesis is not easily achieved. Even within the strands of any given curriculum, in any given grade, a natural separation ensues. Our timetables are the order and divisions of attention. We put on or doff off the required roles of science, biology, art, drama, English, French, Spanish, home economics or even Math students at other (older) Gods' demands. Fragmentation is endemic, even in the classroom. Recall grades being posted? Recall names for detention on the board? One teacher creatively called it, 'The Banner of Shame'; were the motives perhaps misunderstood? Junior High can have the dubious or salubrious effect of further dividing and stratifying ego-bound potential. Paradoxically, being 'bound' denotes plus or minus. A grade! Stasis, wont, or want of mobility is implicit or explicit; one is made aware that there is more, and the fear is that one may never be good enough, or arrogance becomes such that one intends to better everyone else, or the fun is that there are lots of friends to party and go places with. We herein are happy to drop some prepositions in relations. Decidedly. Others we adhere to with captive identity. In, or out? Recall the phrase, non-u? We may even adopt a political stance. Or?
Grade Seven through Nine captures children of uncertain maturation and segments them into streams and field-days and collusions and competition. At Elementary, sports day may be fun. At Junior High it may be much more serious. You represent the school.
"Why, why are we archaically still subjecting students to an age equals grade school orientation?" writes Angela. Indeed, depending on being identified, we are so defined.
Even as adults we may retain the habits of Junior High as invigorating or enervating as is our wont. Grades! Sophisticated judgement abounds. Cliques and badges and clubs and groups and causes and try-outs make or break us. We find succor in the eyes of others, or we may be crushed by a glance. And some of us, individual, undeveloped in caring, lead with our ego. Strength of energy and of being and of dominance is not the same as strength of character. We experiment with who we are; some adjust unwittingly to the expected. Or we entrench who we think we are; damn the consequences. The angry young man draws his own portrait. Penelope further develops her faithfulness. A star is born. The bully is 'always' a jerk. Change is like a congealing soup; we become more certain that we fit, or not, and we gravitate toward like-minded ingredients. Or not.
Indeed, we might inculcate ongoing judgements. Rather than be evaluative (a single pie is unpalatable, not the entire cook) we are naturally bound to competition, grades, our chronology, and fairness. A moment in the past is more better than right Now; or if it's a good 'now' then an even better time is in the future. We find it most difficult to accept the given moment, completely. Always there is a was and a next. And that Penelope might be accelerated or should be ousted or even more decidedly, failed, is by comparisons.