Monday, January 26, 2015

Suli Breaks - I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate (words & video)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases the Suli Breaks' spoken word "I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, inspirational, and aesthetic reasons.

All copyrights remain with their owner.

Thanks to Suli Breaks for this spoken word composition. Thanks also to all those quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

(Suli Breaks)

Can you hear me,

or is my sound just off?

Do they choose not to take heed,

or am I just not speaking loud enough?

Is this message overlooked because it did not come with a bird attached in its thought?

Or in the form of a glorious book?

They didn’t find this message burning in a bush, scripture, or novel,

Neither did it come in a bottle.

This message is not a product of thousands petitioning,

Neither did a million men march until their feet were blistering,

Nor did it spurt forth from the mouth of a corpse.

Cause when we was young we was told the revolution would not be televised,

So we had to improvise,

so we put that shit on the net and watch it get digitalised.

Right now,

There is a kid finishing parents' evening in a heated discussion with his mother,

Saying, why does he have to study subjects he will never ever use in his life?

And she will look at him blanked eyed, stifle a sigh, think for a second, and then lie.

She’ll say something along the lines of:

“You know to get a good job you need a good degree, and these subjects will help you get a degree,

we never had this opportunity when I was younger".

And he will reply:

“But you were young a long time ago, weren’t you mum?”

And she won’t respond, although what he implies makes perfect sense,

that societies needs would have changed since he was 16.

But she will ignore him, grip his hand more sternly, then drag him to the car.

What she doesn’t know, is that she didn’t ignore him, just to shut him up.

She didn’t lie because they are just returning him from parents' evening,

And an argument in the hallway would look bad on her resume.

She won’t lie because she had just spent the last one hour,

Convincing a stern faced teacher, that she would ensure that her child studies more at home.


She will lie, simply, because she, does not know any better herself,

Although her whole adult life, she has never used or applied Pythagoras' theorem,

pathetic fallacy, and still does not know the value of “X”.

She will rely on society to tell her that her child, who has one of the sharpest mind in the school,

is hyperactive, unfocused, easily distracted, and wayward.


How many equations, subjects and dates did you memorize, just before an exam, never to use again?

How many “A” grades did you get, which were never asked for when you applied for a job?

How many times have you remembered something, 5 minutes just after the teacher said “Stop writing”,

Only to receive your results one month later, to realize that you were only 1 mark short of the top grade?

Does that mean remembering 5 minutes earlier, would’ve made you more qualified for a particular job?

Well on an application form it would’ve.

We all have different abilities, thought processes, experiences, and genes,

So why is a class full of individuals, tested by the same means?

So that means Cherrelle thinks she’s dumb, because she couldn’t do a couple sums,

And if this issue is not addressed properly, it then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,

Then every school has the audacity to have a policy on equality.

Huh, the irony!

Exams are society’s methods of telling you what you’re worth,

But you can’t let society tell you what you are,

Cause this is the same society that tells you that abortion is wrong, but then looks down on teenage parents!

The same society that sells products to promote natural hair, looks, and smooth complexion,

with the model on the box, half photoshopped, and has fake lashes and hair extensions,

With pastors that preach charity, but own private jets,

Imams that preach against greed, but are all fat,

Parents that say they want “educated kids”, but constantly marvel at how rich Richard Branson is,

Governments that preach peace, but endorse war,

That say they believe so much in the importance of higher education and further learning,

Then why increase tuition fees every single year?

I believed Miss Jefferson, when she took me into the office and said that my exams would be imperative to my success,

Because we were taught to always follow when Miss Jefferson led,

Then I took Jefferson out of the equation, and learned to think for myself,

I realized we were taught to always follow when Mis-Led.

Huh, the irony!

Test us with tests, but the finals are never final,

Because they never prepare us for the biggest test which is survival!

And what I suggest is fairly outlandish,

So I don’t expect everyone to understand this,

Except for the kids who know what it feels like, to be worth no more than that D or that A that you get on results day

And the ones whose best stories were never good enough for your English teacher,

Because apparently you missed out, key literal techniques,

Did not follow the class plan,

And the language was too “informal” for him to understand,

But then he’d reference Hamlet and Macbeth,

And you’d fight the urge to express your contempt, by partially clenching your fist,

with only your medius finger left protruding in the middle of your hand,

And asking if he was aware, that Shakespeare was known as the innovator of slang,

Or the kid at the back of the class, who thinks:

“Why am I studying something that doesn’t fuel my drive?”

But then when confronted with a maths problem, his eyes come alive.

So this one is for my generation,

The ones who found what they were looking for on Google,

The ones who followed their dreams on Twitter,

Pictured their future on Instagram,

Accepted destiny on Facebook.

This one’s for my “failures” and “dropouts”,

For my unemployed graduates,

My shop assistants, Cleaners and cashiers with bigger dreams,

My self-employed entrepreneurs, my world-changers and my dream-chasers!

Cause the purpose of “Why I hate school, but love education” was not to initiate a worldwide debate,

But to let them know that whether 72 or 88, 44 or 68,

We, will not, let exam results, decide our fate.
Source: posted by NateChapple in 2013 with this comment
"Bought the album and got the full version of this track, added the first verse and revised a few of the lyrics and the structure."

SHOWCASE VIDEO: I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate||Spoken Word

sulibreezy, Published on Apr 14, 2013

The Latest Spoken Word Video From Suli Breaks.

I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate - Suli Breaks,Vanity Fair,2009

"I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate" picks up on the education topic but takes a different stance and angle from "Why I Hate School But Love Education". This poem talks about how we have been made to think about how education and getting university degrees can give us opportunities to have a better chance in making our dream careers a reality. It also touches on how as individuals we are judged and tested by how well we perform on exams, but not all people perform well in exams so why are they made out to feel like they're dumb? The inconsistencies of the education system are really peeled open to reveal a deep problem that needs to be addressed and how society's needs have changed to make this even more apparent.

When it boils down to it, why are we misled into thinking that education is the only way forward for successful means in our work and career lives? We need to open our minds and educate ourselves that exam results aren't the barometer of success and that we can't let them decide our fate. We are in charge of our own destinies!
Here's an excerpt of a comment posted on this video's viewer comment thread by Emma Elizabeth (December 2014)
"I think a lot of people are COMPLETELY missing the point of this video.
This man isn't saying education or qualifications are useless. He's merely pointing out the flaws in the education system (which we all know come in abundance, as like any system).

I'm almost 17 years old and I live in Scotland, so I've already went through my first wave of exams and quite frankly, I did shit. ALL of my teachers predicted I would get A's and B's, I studied, I did the homework, I worked in class. I wasn't lazy or 'dumb'. I suffered, and still do, with an anxiety disorder which had affected me on the day of exams. I find it ridiculous that a year's work which resulted in hundreds of thousands sleep deprived, mentally fragile and beaten down students is based one ONE DAY. Not just one day, but less than a few hours...

Howard Gardner, a psychologist who came up with the theory of there being 9 separates categories of intelligence. In my opinion, I would say school only caters to 3 or 4 of those. This is leaving out a HUGE majority of people who may fall and fail through the education system of exams, and branded uneducated and dumb because they were not 'intelligent' in the subjects that were in the criteria of the 3 or 4 which schools do offer.

Have you ever wondered why young children and toddlers always ask questions, why they're so curious? Because they're programmed to WANT to learn. They love to learn. Human beings should naturally be curious and want to learn, yet if you asked most children after having gone through maybe 4 or 5 years of school, they'll say they hate it. Do you not think there is a major problem that most children hate learning, and go on in later life not seeking new skills and learning new things? School may offer academical subjects and skills but I see it repulsing the masses and making them afraid of learning. Thankfully, I am not repulsed by learning. I love to learn. I'd rather go to a library, convention or a museum of my own free will before I'd ever go to a school to learn BY CHOICE...

So because I did badly on my exams am I dumb? Am I weak? Am I lazy? Am I worthless to society? No. No, I'm not. I will not let a flawed system stand in the way of me getting ahead in life. I know I can be somewhat successful, I know I'm intelligent - I don't need school which left me and many, many others beaten down and practically detesting learning and life to decide who I am, what I'm worth and how I'm going to do in life."

Click for a video of Suli Breaks' spoken word "Why I Hate School But Love Education"

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  1. Hey Azizi Powell,

    Thanks for share a very informative and helpful post. Now I want to share your post via FB.

  2. This thing just is making me think.....And think and think........

  3. Good, Malik Adnan.

    Thanks for your comment.

    It seems to me that getting people to think about the issues he talked about in his spoken word "I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate" is one of the results that Suli Breaks wants.

  4. If you want to be rich dont go to school.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Omotunde Seyi

      However, I don't think that is always true or even mostly true.