Yearly Archives: 2018

[BONUS] This Is America? An Analysis

(AUDIO, 75 MINUTES) Brett, Andrew and James discuss 2 most emotional issues of our day - guns and race - as they are presented in This Is America. Is this more of the same - the safest and most socially acceptable way to think disguised as the revolution, to use the angst of young people as political fuel? Or has Donald Glover created something more meaningful? This is the video that finally helped me understand the cultural appropriation argument. I'll explain. In a nutshell, it raises a question: Are most white people guilty of embracing the black art, while ignoring the black plight? Also: the problem with Jordan Peterson Or click HERE

Read More »

[BONUS] Drive Journal – New Orleans To Pittsburgh, Hour 25

Drive Journal - A trip recap, in a state of delirium. With fellow travelers Andrew and Larry. How NOLA is both amazing and gross - and some thoughts about the event. Here's a link to the audio version: New Orleans To Pittsburgh Hour 25 Related PostsShit Has Gone Too Far (Bonus Content Preview)87Tags: bonus, a/vPre-Show 9-13-1287Show prep and 9/11 talk.Tags: a/vFood Is Not A Liquid (Bonus Content Preview)87Tags: bonus, a/vPre-Show 7-26-1287The line of obedience.Tags: a/vHacky Sack 8-24-1387Tags: a/v

Read More »

LIVE In New Orleans With Thad and Brett [PODCAST #564]

The tense and truculent final event of Renegade University and School Sucks Project Present A Weekend With Thaddeus Russell. Attendees grab the mic and question us on the following topics: Jason - Foreign policy and the military: how to close the physical and psychological distance between America and its enemies? Norm - Higher education: how do you introduce opposing and uncomfortable ideas to people who are not seeking them out? Joel - Altruism vs. selfishness, and reconciling Thad's "politics of self interest" with Brett's "intelligent selfishness;" integrity and moralism, the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Non-violent communication Brit - Parenting: the challenges of co-parenting with an authoritarian helicopter parent Please Support School Sucks We do cool things! Thanks to your support. ...

Read More »

Joanne Kaminski – What Children Need To Fall In Love With Reading [PODCAST #563]

advantages of online tutoring

Today, the story of a public school teacher who eventually found a much better way to connect with and teach young people. Joanne Kaminski joins me to discuss her path into and out of public school teaching, why she left, and the advantages of online tutoring she has discovered. We'll also cover some of her methods, so this conversation might be helpful to parents of children who are struggling with reading proficiency and interest. Joanne is the mother of 3 girls, a former public school teacher, and she now runs a successful tutoring company called The Online Reading Tutor. Joanne also has a blog called Become an Online Tutor, where she teaches others to enter this field and to thrive. ...

Read More »

Is Guilt Useful? Is Narcissism Natural? – With Thaddeus Russell [PODCAST #562]

This is a follow-up to Podcast #558: God, Grant Me the Serenity. Thad's presentation in that episode produced a lot of upset among listeners, and there were several aspects of the conversation that left me feeling unsatisfied. I invited Thad back to address this lack of satisfaction, along with some listener feedback to our first conversation. Topics: - Why Thad and I weren't connecting in the first discussion - Shame and guilt are information - All behavior is narcissistic? - Empathy - Ayn Rand on altruism - Differing ideas about integrity - Nathaniel Branden and the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Listener Input: Scott M. - I thought it was a fascinating conversation. I think the premise of Thad’s that I ...

Read More »

[BONUS] CUT SEGMENT – From Episode #562 With Thaddeus Russell

(AUDIO, 37 MINUTES) I cut 35 minutes of discussion from the final version of episode #562. This was a difficult decision, because it was a captivating segment and I don't want to censor anything, but I need to consider what is best for the School Sucks brand, along with respect for other recent guests. The prompt for this portion of the discussion was this listener input: Peter M. - While I was intrigued by Thad's self interest approach to sobriety, and by the idea of replacing the puritan with an accountant, I think obligation to others still has an important role to play. Thad mentioned that part of his need to be sober involved wanting to have a relationship with ...

Read More »

Find Your Focus With Ambition Mapping – With Zak Slayback, Part 2 [PODCAST #561]

ambition mapping

(Part Two of Two) Zak Slayback returns for a marathon discussion on how to set and make progress towards meaningful personal and professional goals. Recorded April 9th in Pittsburgh, PA in the studio of good friend Andrew Mercer. I was really happy Andrew joined us; he added some great stories and thoughtful questions related to his own productivity journey. The first conversation focused on deschooling - how to unlearn and discard certain limiting beliefs that interfere with professional success and fulfillment. Today we go into detail on how to find your focus with "Ambition Mapping" - Zak's process for goal setting. Productivity - Being busy vs. being productive: what is the highest priority? - Andrew's productivity quest, Getting Things Done ...

Read More »

[BONUS] Empathy Is Overrated? And the San Francisco Sons of Liberty

An unreleased snapshot from School Sucks Across America. In early Novemeber 2017, I attended a "Friendsgiving" dinner party with School Sucks listeners and friends. Huge thanks to Darren and Mic for hosting and making sure I had a great time while in the Bay Area. Back in 2014, Darren actually bought me the Zoom h4 I used to record all the audio during the trip. So after people had a few drinks, I pulled it out, hit record and set it on the table (people were aware). This audio is edited; it features two portions of over three hours of lively conversation. Topics include: - A criticism of School Sucks? - Is empathy overrated - Alex Jones - California pot ...

Read More »

Deschool Yourself and Find Your Focus – With Zak Slayback, Part 1 [PODCAST #560]

deschool yourself

(Part One of Two) Zak Slayback returns for a marathon discussion on how to set and make progress towards meaningful personal and professional goals. Recorded April 9th in Pittsburgh, PA in the studio of good friend Andrew Mercer. I was really happy Andrew joined us; he added some great stories and thoughtful questions related to his own productivity journey. This first conversation focuses on the need to deschool yourself - how to unlearn and discard certain limiting beliefs that interfere with professional success and fulfillment. In the next installment we'll go into detail on Zak's "Ambition Mapping" process for goal setting. We start with some updates on Zak; since his last appearance on the show he left Praxis and he ...

Read More »

[BONUS] Michael Malice On Self-Discipline – Awkward Start Version

self-discipline

Podcast #559 with ten extra minutes at the beginning. Or click HERE. Michael Malice is an accomplished author, celebrity ghostwriter, Twitter provocateur, podcaster and cable news commentator. He joins me for what begins as a conversation about "health" and fitness practices, but then it evolves into a fascinating exploration of habit and self-discipline. I approached this personal development topic through the lens of fitness because Michael has expressed that the pursuit continues to be a challenge for him. I thought it would be more interesting to discuss a subject where Michael is trying to put the puzzle pieces together, versus one of his areas of expertise (anarchist philosophy, objectivism, North Korea and the New Right). For me, fitness has proven ...

Read More »

Michael Malice On Self-Discipline [PODCAST #559]

self-discipline

Michael Malice is an accomplished author, celebrity ghostwriter, Twitter provocateur, podcaster and cable news commentator. He joins me for what begins as a conversation about "health" and fitness practices, but then it evolves into a fascinating exploration of habit and self-discipline. I approached this personal development topic through the lens of fitness because Michael has expressed that the pursuit continues to be a challenge for him. I thought it would be more interesting to discuss a subject where Michael is trying to put the puzzle pieces together, versus one of his areas of expertise (anarchist philosophy, objectivism, North Korea and the New Right). For me, fitness has proven to be the foundation of a better life, and great teacher for ...

Read More »

God, Grant Me the Serenity… With Thaddeus Russell [PODCAST #558]

In our most challenging and uncomfortable conversation to date, Thaddeus Russell and I explore some things about my past that I've had trouble accepting and often wonder if I can still change. A lengthy list of topics follows: shame, moralizing, self-sacrifice, relationships as transactions, dishonesty, the war in our heads between the puritan and the hedonist, integrity and personal responsibility. Also: The Next Renegade University and School Sucks Project event is happening May 11-13 in the original renegade city of New Orleans. At the end of this podcast we'll discuss some of the details and the new features. For more information and to secure your spot, go to ThaddeusRussell.com/courses Please Support School Sucks We do cool things! Thanks to your ...

Read More »

The Relationship Benefits of Unschooling – With Pam Laricchia [PODCAST #557]

I'm pleased to present one of our finest productions on the topic of unschooling. An important thread running through this conversation: the benefits of unschooling in terms of relationship with self, with family and with people in the community. Pam Laricchia is the creator of the blog livingjoyfully.ca - an amazing, well-organized resource for people exploring how to live and learn without school. She is also the author of several books on unschooling, including The Unschooling Journey: A Field Guide. Pam began unschooling with her three children back in 2002 and she has continued her enthusiastic exploration through blogging, podcasting and presenting at conferences. PAM'S UNSCHOOLING BACKGROUND * Pam's new Book What is Unschooling? The mission of her site. * ...

Read More »

[BONUS] Fitness As A Foundation For A Productive and Prosperous Life

(AUDIO, 103 MINUTES) This extremely detailed presentation is a continuation of the personal development conversations (The Long Bumpy Road...). In this episode Brett teams up with a competition power lifter named Larry to offer diet and exercise knowledge and advice to Andrew and James. Andrew is new to weightlifting; James is knowledgeable but currently in the process of getting restarted. We discuss diets vs. eating lifestyles, Brett and Andrew's AltShift macro-nutrient cycling experiment, low carb and keto, figuring out when and if the gym is right for you, workout splits, kettle bell training, plyometrics and band stretching, muscle building and DoggCrapp Training, setting goals, cardio questions, HIIT workouts, form and more Or click HERE

Read More »

The Making of A Mindless Movement – A Teacher’s Perspective On Student Walkouts [PODCAST #556]

This April we'll be showered with more misguided student walkouts and other "teen-led" gun control activism displays. Shortly after releasing Podcast #552: #ENOUGH – With Thaddeus Russell I received an email from a public school teacher who wished to remain anonymous. I thought this was an important perspective to share with you, and I was grateful for the opportunity to give this teacher a platform. Hi Brett, I am an elementary school teacher and a relatively new listener to your show. When the School Walkout happened, I was compelled to write about it. Then, I heard your latest episode with Thad Russell! Many of the thoughts you shared are also echoed in my piece. Perhaps I am preaching to the ...

Read More »

How A Teen Took Control of His Own Life – Matt Maruca, Part Two [PODCAST #555]

This is the continuation of Matt's awesome story about what is possible when a young person embraces personal responsibility and self-directed, real-world education. In today's conversation, Matt continues to discuss his health research and how the Bosnia trip was a catalyst for more learning. I learn about Mitochondrial health, sunlight and Vitamin D, dangers of our unnatural environment, cold therapy and cold thermogenesis, reducing blue light exposure and maintaining a healthy biological rhythm. Matt used his research to start a successful business: Ra Optics Previous Shows In this Series: [PODCAST] #553: How A Teen Took Control of His Own Life (Matt Maruca, Part One) [PODCAST] #554: “Face It” – Q&A (Matt Maruca, Interlude) Background: In the midst of my growing ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #554: “Face It” – Q&A (Matt Maruca, Interlude)

Matt Maruca began his self-education journey at age 13. In middle school Matt began seeking answers to a variety of chronic ailments, discovered the joys of self-directed learning and never looked back. After realizing and harnessing his efficacy and abilities, he found school to be an almost intolerable obstacle to his education. In this interlude between the two parts of Matt's story he asks my advice on a few topics. Question #1: Matt is learning more about politics and philosophy and wants to share these ideas with friends. What's the best approach? What framing errors should be avoided? How do we get ideological opponents to look at their own ideas critically? We talk about communication, persuasion, shame, compassion and the ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #553: How A Teen Took Control of His Own Life (Matt Maruca, Part One)

Many of you are going to learn a lot this week. And your teacher is eighteen years old. This is an amazing story (told in three parts) of what is possible when a young person embraces personal responsibility and self-directed, real-world education. In the midst of my growing frustration about things like #MarchForOurLives and the misleading of young people, I received relief and some hope in the form of an email. It opened: "I am 18 and have been watching your show for over a year. It has helped me tremendously in my process of deciding not to attend college, starting on my own business, and becoming financially independent at age 18. If you happen to have some time ever, ...

Read More »

[BONUS] The Long Bumpy Road… (Part 2)

A continuation of The Long, Bumpy, Endless and Essential Road of Personal Development SEGMENT ONE (3-11-18) Optimizing personal finances Managing credit cards Accountability Professional Advancement - navigating around employer "stated preferences" and understanding what is needed The unexpected personal costs of financial mismanagement Weekly Goals A Freer Mind: The 5 step process of GTD and achieving presence SEGMENT TWO (3-18-18) GTD Implementation Overwhelm Weekly Reviews Connecting Vision to Long term goals, medium term goals, projects and actions Lacking vision and purpose Specifying Project outcomes The conversation then veers of course into a group invective about #MarchForOurLives, politics and intersectionality. Or click HERE Related PostsPre-Show 9-13-1273Show prep and 9/11 talk.Tags: a/vShit Has Gone Too Far (Bonus Content Preview)73Tags: bonus, a/vHacky Sack ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #552: #ENOUGH – With Thaddeus Russell

#MarchForOurLives

This past weekend hundreds of thousands of ill-informed teenagers participated in a nationwide accidental fundraiser for the NRA called #MarchForOurLives. Thaddeus Russell returns to examine the bigger picture. We'll discuss the fetish-ization of children by both the left and the right. Other themes include politics as a performance on a stage, dangers of absolutist thinking, Manichaeism (the age-old religious idea of fighting the battle against the darkness on the side of the light, and the comfort and illusion of moral superiority that idea brings), why this phenomenon does NOT require "crisis actors," and the harnessing of teenage angst towards political ends. Also: The Next Renegade University and School Sucks Project event is happening May 11-13 in the original renegade city ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #551: What It Means To Be Educated – Blake Boles (Part 2)

self directed learning

Part Two of Two Today's show is intended as a resource for listeners looking to share the ideas of alternative education and self directed learning with their friends and family, or with anyone wants to learn more about these subjects. Blake Boles builds exciting alternatives to traditional school for self-directed young people. He runs the company Unschool Adventures and is the author of The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School. Blake and I discuss the path to more self directed learning 1. How to define the current school problem 2. Why Schooling is not the same as education 3. John Taylor Gatto's definition of real education 4. The attributes of an educated person 5. ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #550: Unschool Adventures – Blake Boles (Part 1)

unschool

Blake Boles works to create alternatives to traditional school for self-directed young people. He directs the company Unschool Adventures and is the author of The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School. Part One of Two This show is an introduction to the life and work of Blake Boles, and the next show will be a discussion of this book The Art of Self-Directed Learning. Today Blake and I discuss his background as a successful high school and college student, and how his ideas and career path changed with the discovery of John Taylor Gatto. "It was Gatto who inspired me, at age 21, to leave my own path in the sciences to become a ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #549: Days of Wonder – An Inspiring Model For Alternative Education

Cynthia Day is the founder of and a teacher at the Days of Wonder School in Batavia, OH. I invited her on the show as part of a continuing effort to showcase successful and inspiring alternative education models, along with desirable attributes of voluntary learning communities. Cynthia began her teaching career in public school, but within a matter of years she discovered that the environment and culture presented serious obstacles to addressing the emotional and educational needs of her students. I had similar experiences; we compare stories. She ultimately left teaching to focus on homeschooling her own children. When they reached adulthood, she shifted her attention into creating an alternative school that encompassed the best aspects of homeschooling. The ultimate ...

Read More »

[PODCAST] #548: Is College Worth It? Economist Bryan Caplan Says No

is college worth it

Today, everyone is asking "is college worth it?" Oh, wait a minute...no they're not. In fact, considering the looming student loan debt crisis and troubling graduation numbers, almost nobody is thinking deeply and carefully enough about this question. Furthermore, most students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors still view college as the only path a "college track" high schooler should consider. College is simply regarded as inevitable; it's the 13th grade. Enter Dr. Bryan Caplan. Bryan is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the author of a provocative new book titled The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money. His thesis: "Civilized societies revolve around education now, but there is a ...

Read More »