Shyla Driver


Shyla Driver was born and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she attends Nacogdoches High School as a junior and Stephen F. Austin as a freshman.  She plays tenor saxophone in her school marching band and is a member of theatre.  She hopes to become a speech language pathologist or work in video game music development.

An Open Letter to Education


Dear Education,

         As you read (or listen to) this letter, I want you to appreciate the grammar, format, and overall dedication put into this letter, especially because you have taught me none of those things.

         I should start off with paragraphs. I’ve been writing stories since the first grade and essays since the fourth grade, but I never understood the concept of a paragraph. In fact, in grade four, my teacher, the woman who was supposed to teach me how to write an essay, wrote essays for us at the beginning of the year, and had us memorize them by our TAKS test in March.

         However, I finally understood what a paragraph was at age 12. I had learned from where I had spent hours upon hours reading stories, until it finally clicked: a paragraph is a series of related complete thoughts. When we did have to write paragraphs, they would always say, “Oh, just write 3-5 sentences.” That’s not a paragraph! That’s 3-5 sentences.

         Let’s move onto something a little simpler, shall we: the alphabet. I’d really love to start with phonics, but you can no longer teach phonics past Pre-K – a grade which children aren’t even required to attend. Still on the subject of the alphabet, I was once working on a homework sheet with a boy in my Spanish I class. I don’t exactly remember the grammatical concept but it was important to understand the difference between vowels and consonants. The boy I was working with, a fellow sophomore, didn’t know what a vowel was.

         And Education, I see you over there with your smug face and crossed arms. You say, “You’re just complaining about English, not education.” Well, Education, that’s because I’m getting plenty of extra instruction.

I mean, I can’t do taxes but I can sure as heck find you the inverse of a matrix. I can’t sew but I know the parts of a cell. About half of my female friends think they urinate from their vagina, but what would any of them do if they couldn’t use the Pythagorean theorem to solve the distance of a lake.

         Secretary DeVos – I mean, Education – please don’t prepare me for a world that doesn’t exist. A world where I solve for exponential decay and write essays for the negative effects of the Columbian Exchange. Teach me how to defend myself. Teach me how to hold a job.

         Education, I’ve been here 11 years. Can’t you teach me something?

© The Acentos Review 2017