Dream About Irish Education/Politics

17:57 Tue 17 Mar 2009
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In this dream, I was apparently some kind of education official. Not an elected representative, but some kind of bureaucrat or “expert” in the education field. I was invited to participate in a major discussion by a politician (I think a Minister) who looked rather like a 40-year-old Séamus Brennan.

Remarkably enough, I had been invited because the idea of making education non-compulsory was on the table, and I was there to support it (the Minister knew my views on the matter).

The discussion involved an entire hall full of people, and seemed like a cross between a parliamentary debate and an open forum. The crowd seemed to be predominantly middle-class people from the Republic of Ireland, with some exceptions.

I spoke in favor of making education an optional choice, and may have quoted James Bach and said “Education is inalienable. No one needs to ‘save’ it. Just make it non-compulsory and get out of the way.” My words were greeted fairly poorly by most of the people in attendance, which I had expected.

The next part was weirder: Gerry Adams stood up to support the proposal, and in so doing spoke about his teenage son (note: I have no idea whether or not Adams actually has a teenage son) struggling in school and how he would be better served by a system that let him choose when and how in his life he wanted to gain education, and how he would be much better off if schooling were non-compulsory.

At this point some prominent opponent of the measure interrupted (although Adams was more or less done with his speech anyway) and said “If your son didn’t have to be in school, he’d be running around in the ’Ra right now!”

This brought considerable applause (and jeers at Adams) from the majority of the crowd; the Minister gave me a look which I took to mean I should try to get the crowd under control. This was probably a mistake, since I stood up again and said “And maybe he’d be better off that way!” which did have one advantage in that it shocked the crowd enough to shut them up briefly. It looked like things would get really ugly from there, however, and I woke up soon after this, perhaps as the ideal way to make my escape from the room.

(In case it’s not clear: I do not in any way endorse the idea that someone would be better off in the IRA than they would be in school.)

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2 Responses to “Dream About Irish Education/Politics”

  1. Radegund Says:


    That is all.

  2. Tadhg Says:

    Yes, I thought of you as I was writing that dream up…

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