Tilda Swinton Started Her Own School With No Tests Or Exams

June 16, 2015 / Posted by:

Tilda Swinton, the ageless alien who said “Fuck this, I’m not wearing a human suit” after she fell to earth, recently told The Observer (via Page Six) about the high school she started. Yes, Tilda Swinton started a high school, and it’s pretty much as wonderfully bonkers as you’d expect a school started by Tilda Swinton would be.

When Tilda’s twins, Honor and Xavier, turned 14 in 2013, she realized she wasn’t crazy about their options for “upper” schools, because they all had too many tests. That’s when she decided to start her own school called the Drumduan Upper School in Scotland and of course, she sent her kids to it. According to Tilda, there are no tests and no grades, and they learn by doing practical stuff, like cooking onions.

“My children are now 17, and they will go through this school without any tests at any time, so it’s incredibly art-based, practical learning. For example, they learn their science by building a Canadian canoe, or making a knife, or caramelizing onions. And they’re all happy 17-year-olds. I can’t believe it – happy and inspired.”

As a Canadian person, I honestly have no idea what a Canadian canoe is. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a regular canoe filled with Nanaimo bars and a built-in speaker system that plays Glass Tiger and Mitsou. (Note from Michael: For shame, Allison. For shame!)

To make this school even more Tilda Swinton-y, the head teacher of Drumduan is a man named Krzysztof Zajaczkowski whom the students call “Krzys” (like Chris). Krzys used to be a roadie for the Sex Pistols and lives in a trailer in the woods. If Jaden Smith did school, he’d be begging his parents to sent him to Drumduan.

When I was a kid, I wanted to go to one of those crazy no tests/no classes/do whatever you want type of schools, because the thought of taking a math test used to give me the nervous shits. But knowing how nervous I am, teenage Allison would have probably gotten the shits at Tilda’s school too. “Do you use a pan or a pot to caramelize onions? What do you mean there’s no wrong way to do it? Uh…can I get a bathroom pass?

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