6 minute read

Hello, I’m Alexander Bester. I am 12 yo, and I’m a gamer. Let me tell you a story. A bedtime story.

I was in preschool, but my mom decided to take me out. The school wanted me to take pills for my ADHD, but my mom was horrified because when she gave me one pill as an experiment, it turned me into a zombie. And I’m usually energetic, hyper, and happy. But when I took the pill, I just sat and did nothing but stare at the ceiling. So she took me out of school. This was six years ago.

First we waited for a while to get school out of me. I was so used to school that I needed to get it out of my system. I just watched cartoons all day.

Then we moved to a farm in a new city and I started getting into gaming. I was still watching cartoons. I also started playing outside with friends again, and I saw lots of snakes. That was real freaky. We also had a lot of monkeys that stole our hard-earned food. (That was a joke, in case you didn’t get it. If you did get it, good for you.)

Then we moved again (we were running from the police – just joking, lol), and I started doing homeschooling at someone’s house, because I was missing having friends, and there were lots of kids there doing the same. Ok not lots, maybe six.

Then I went to another homeschooling place (if you’re confused by now, imagine how the police felt), but that was weird, cos I was put in advanced math class and I failed it. I really never cared about failing or passing, but when I failed I was really sad, and learning shouldn’t make you sad.

So I went back to unschooling for a while, but I missed having friends again. I also thought maybe school is better, because it’s been around longer than homeschooling, so it knows what it’s doing. I went to a private school for a year (“Hello darkness my old friend, it’s semi-good to see you again” – part of this is a song, and the other bit I made up) and we were just five kids in my class.

It was really nice having friends, but eventually I didn’t want to go anymore because I had to wake up so early every day. I felt like the walking dead. If I don’t sleep, my attention wavers, and if I don’t pay attention in class, I get !!!DETENTION!!!

Then my mom wanted to travel, and I also wanted to. At first, when my mom told me her plan, I didn’t really want, because I was so used to staying in one place all the time. But I also wanted to explore the world and see famous monuments, plus I totally agreed about leaving school. You can only go to school so many times before you’re over it.

So we left South Africa and went to lots of different countries. I went back to unschooling (Hello lightness my old friend, it’s good to see you again – I know this is corny, but I have a cornflakes addiction).

At first, travelling was really exhausting, because my mom walks everywhere and takes photos of everything. She’s not even afraid of dark alleys and will probably take out her camera while she’s being mugged. At least I saw lots of cool stuff, went to two private islands and other public ones, saw the Himalayas, and watched in horror as my mom ate a bug. If you ever meet her in person, she’s a really nice person and not as disgusting as she sounds.

Then I got used to travelling and started enjoying it. I also met a lot of cool people from many different countries. Travelling has made me tougher and more aware of the world (it’s a frigging big place). It’s made me realise South Africa isn’t the only important place I have. The whole world is my important place.

Now we’re living in a different country and my adventures are still continuing. I’m still a gamer and I play with friends from all over the world. I play Minecraft, Starbound, Terraria, Roblox, and Stickman Fight. Sometimes it messes up my sleep schedule, because everyone is in different time zones so I have to wait for the unschoolers to wake up and the schoolkids to be done at school.

I also like swimming, and guess where I spent my birthday? In the swimming pool of an actual palace. Ok, I wasn’t in the pool all day, but you get the point.

Interesting fact: Did you know that Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun, had a second name? It’s called Amun-Ra. That’s what the priests called him. It’s suspected that Pharaoh Tutankham’s family was cursed after his father took down every single god statue and made everybody stop praying to every single god, even Ra, because he wanted everyone to only worship the actual sun. Then the priests of Amun-Ra were suspected of murdering him. And when Tutankham was born and grew up, he died at only 19. This was supposed to be because of the curse.

I learned this because I’m very interested in mythology, especially Greek mythology but also Egyptian mythology, and I love to read. My favourite author is Rick Riordan. And Terry Deary who wrote Horrible Histories (I call him Terry Dairy, because it’s funny. And his hair is white).

I also like listening to audiobooks because you can do two things at once. I like fantasy and sci-fi, especially stories about dungeons or awesome frigging technology.

Lego! I am absolutely addicted to it. I build mech, dragons, and spaceships. When we go to China, I’m going to bring back suitcases full of Lego. Ok, knockoffs, but seriously, did you see how cheap it is there?

Origami I don’t think I need to explain, everyone knows what that is. I like making dragons, swords, and intricately folded things.

Another thing I like is papercraft. It’s basically like Minecraft, just paper versions. For instance, you print a 2D design and assemble it into a 3D design.

On Netflix and KissAnime, I kind of like anime, especially things to do with space. If you’re wondering what KissAnime is, it’s a streaming site for anime. I also like to watch YouTube, especially a channel called Film Theory and one called Game Theory. They’re about a guy who really likes Coke (I think he’s trying to get sponsored lol) and speculating on films and games, like jumping to conclusions about what different things mean, like whether Time Lords (from Doctor Who) really exist in real life. Films can be really dumb but Film Theory makes them sound smart. And he points out things in smart films that not even producers knew they implemented.

My favourite singer is Ed Sheeran, and the guy who composed the music in The Hobbit.

At the moment I’m starting to learn 3D design. I’ve done a bit of graphic designing on Adobe Illustrator. You need 3D design to do special effects on movies and I’ve heard some movies pay millions of dollars for just a few minutes of action. I want to be rich, and this sounds like a really cool thing to do. If that doesn’t work out, I can always become a tour guide. I’ve been to more museums than most people will in their life. (Joking, I don’t want my vocal chords to catch fire. Although I was a tour guide for a few minutes once in Vietnam. The actual tour guide asked me to carry his flag when we were at an ancient temple that was bombed by America. The flagpole was tall so my arms got tired and I had to stop.)

Ever wonder how unschoolers school? I don’t know either, but the way I do it is through skillschooling. That’s when you learn skills instead of boring school subjects. Skills will get you jobs and let you make money. That’s why everyone learn skills in the first place!

My mom and I are learning Computer Science, because if we code, we can make our own apps. It sounds really cool and I’m really excited to be doing it. But man, it looks hard. It doesn’t matter how hard it is, it just matters how much our determination is. Basically, last year, I made my own video game in Scratch. You are the player and another person comes towards you. If they touch you, you die. So you have to keep shooting at them. And when you defeat them, you win. It might sound a little violent, but it’s just a game. There’s no blood, so it isn’t scary. It was just a green human. So I think I’ll be able to make apps.

My entry made the top 20 out of over 800 entries from 40 different countries

Well, now I must finish up, my dear readers. I have date with my bed and Film Theory. Film Theory is the third wheel, because I’m going to fall asleep quicker than a Tesla can go to top speed.

Some advice to unschoolers:
Don’t jump around between school, unschool, homeschool, unschool, school, and unschool. It’s really confusing when you’re writing something like this.

And if a potato is green, don’t eat it. Trust me.

This has been a story. A life story. Aaaaand cut!

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