Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS



December 11, 2004


Hi Eric:

I am writing in response to the mummy who is worried about her daughter's learning skills. I am with a position in a good university, but I would jump in and say that this lady is underestimating her genes and her daughter’s intelligence if she gets stressed over this stuff. I had two academic parents, and was both lazy and dreamy at school. I did not perform even decently in any subject except for art; my parents were both distracted and did not know what to do! But when I hit 14, I suddenly woke up and started working and performing. I am now 36 with a BA and Ma in Arts and Business Management, and a great career both behind and ahead of me. My three children now, without their father, are being brought up to enjoy life and school, as I will not pressure them. I know what academic pressure can do to kids, and I also know that they progress at their own rate. I feel that there are lots of loving parents out there that need to calm down, accept, love, appreciate, nurture and get on with being parents, and stop trying to be scientists bringing up Stepford children!





Dear Larissa,

I'm with you. In a personal note to the writer of the letter (printed with the chart "Doesn't Like Fractions" last week), I responded to her concern over her daughter's grades:


"I cringe at the mere discussion of grades. I attended a grade-free high school called John Dewey High School in New York City, a public school. We all got into very good colleges and we did well there, no worries, and we were able to utterly dispense with the whole sham of grades. We learned, we loved our teachers, we loved what we were doing, we taught one another, we ran the school. We were treated as adults. At the core was the complete absence of grades. You passed, or you failed. If you failed, you were given many chances to make up for this; there was also independent study.


"There is a book, and I suggest you read it before it's too late. It's called ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE: AN INQUIRY INTO VALUES by R.M. Pirsig. It was the first of the Zen and the Art of books (the rest were copies of his title), and it's about neither Zen nor Harleys, it's about a cross country trip by a writing teacher and his son and a BIG theme of the book is learning and grades and why some people learn and why some do not. Better to let him make the point; the book is a testament to his having survived severe multiple personality syndromes, shock therapy and so on. But what he gets at is that grades are a total sham, and he proves it. Some of the very best, brightest students cannot get the grades because they cannot play that game, which is really a game designed to conceal the lack of teaching and the lack of learning in schools.


The emphasis on grades breaks people's spirits.


It is a radical position but he makes his points very carefully and takes you through the whole experience of teaching writing, and what happened when he started to withhold grades."