It’s nearly the weekend. You’ve got your bags packed, ready to move out of your parents’ house. You’re excited about going to college and making new friends. You’ve even started to consider what you’ll major in. However, the school year hasn’t quite ended yet, and you’re now faced with the daunting task of trying to figure out what to do about your friends.
It’s all very well being a highly-intelligent, creative, and independent woman, but sometimes you just want to be a dumb blonde. When you grow up surrounded by boys, day in and day out, and only see them interacting with other boys, you begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with you. You’re starting to feel a little queasy around girls, especially pretty ones. Does being a man somehow make you incapable of showing sensual interest in a woman? Do you not know how to act naturally around females? Does being a doctor make you immune to flirting? Maybe you’re just not attractive enough, and there’s something wrong with your penis. Maybe you’re actually suffering from testicular cancer and this is your one and only realization of the coming apocalypse.
Whatever it may be, you’re starting to feel a little uncomfortable in your own company. You’re certainly not going to admit it to anyone, but even to yourself, you’re beginning to question your masculinity. Is there something wrong with you? Are you a lesbian? Do you have a secret lovechild you’ve been hiding from the world? Are you secretly a witch and will murder your best friends if they don’t obey you? Or, is this just a phase that you’re going through and you’ll grow out of it soon?
As much as we’d like to believe that gender differences are merely a result of socialization, there is undeniable evidence to the contrary. In fact, there is a school where they actually teach boys and girls to be more like the opposite gender. Also known as the “Rob and Jack” program, or just “Rob and Jack,” this unique high school challenges students to embrace being different, encouraging them to be original and creative in whatever they do. While the exact origins of this program are unknown, it is said to have stemmed from a disagreement between two of the school’s founders. One of them, Robert D. Jack, believed that students were too rigid in their thinking and that girls should be encouraged to become more like boys and boys like girls. The other principal, William A. Harper, disagreed and felt that gender should be irrelevant in school and that all students should learn to be accepting of everyone else.
No matter how you feel about whether or not gender differences are innate, or a result of societal pressures, it’s undeniable that this type of program can change how you feel about yourself. While you may never admit it, even to yourself, you may start to see the world differently. You may start to see yourself differently, too. And that’s what really matters. That you can change. That you can grow. That you can be better. That you can be different. And that’s what this blog post is all about.
The Benefits Of This School
What will happen if you put two highly-intelligent and creative people together in a room? If you’re speaking now, it would be safe to assume that you’re familiar with the answer. However, just in case, you’re wondering: The Answer is Amazing Things. In all fields. From business to science, literature to math, you name it. And it’s not just fields that they work in. They work in schools, too. Especially in the areas where there are a lot of boys dominated fields. In all areas. Including, surprisingly, sports. Which is quite a feat, if you think about it.
The Rob and Jack program is about creating originality and individuality. Which, let’s face facts, is something that this world needs more of. And not just in terms of art and literature. There are so many examples of this in everyday life. You can be different, you can be creative, and you can be original. And that’s something to feel good about.
A Challenge To The Status Quo
It’s been said that when you’re confronted with something unusual, you either accept it or reject it. In the case of the Rob and Jack program, the school’s faculty and administration decided to embrace this challenging new method. They saw it as a way for the students to grow as people and as scientists. And what’s more, it’s been said that this program has helped to reduce bullying and increase tolerance. More importantly, it’s helped to foster originality and individuality. Just like Dr. Jack had foretold. One of the school’s graduates, Emily Rose, summed it up nicely:
“I originally thought that I was going to the same old school. I had no idea that there were all these new ideas and alternatives to what we were taught in the past,” she said. “It makes me feel that I’m not just going to the same old classroom but that I’m actually expanding my mind and learning new things.”
And that’s an extraordinary thing. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Dr. Jack’s methods, it’s a challenge to the status quo that encourages students to think outside of the box. In an age where conformity is celebrated above all else, it’s nice to see schools that promote originality and individuality. Schools that encourage students to be who they really are. No matter what that may be. In a world full of distractions, it’s important to remember to focus on the important things in life. Like family, friends, and the people you care about. Regardless of whether or not you’re a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, or a teacher, I hope that you always remember that you are valued, you are important, and you are loved.