For the Love of Learning – Dropping out of High School – Epi#104


For the Love of Learning Episode #104

Dropping out of High School


Monday May 15, 2017, 8pm-10pm EDT

Tuesday May 16, 2017, 1am-3am BST

 -During the showtimes, watch the show live by clicking this link-

John Rodrigues
Siren Patagon
Monica Chen
Stephen Choi

Hosted by:
Lainie Liberti 


Coming soon …


Guests’ Bios:

John Rodrigues

John Rodrigues is a national advocate for dyslexia and the founder of ThinkLexic, a
non-profit organization serving the dyslexic community. Rodrigues graduated from U.C.
Berkeley and spent one year as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. He is the author
of “High School Dropout to Harvard” and featured in the PBS film about dyslexia, “Being
You.” John founded Thinklexic to drive advocacy and use the arts to empower kids with
dyslexia. He holds a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on learning disabilities.
He’s interested in visual thinking and education innovation. He lives in Claremont,
California with his wife and daughter.

The website for John’s nonprofit organization is

John was recently featured in the movie “Being You”
his interview starts at minute seven.
Movie featured in “Being You” 

John was also recently feature in an article from LEE
Leadership for Education Equity
John Rodrigues: “How this high school dropout ended up at Harvard” 


Siren Patagon

Siren has always disliked school. His disdain for it seem to grow the longer he was stuck in school. When he reached high school he got to a breaking point – he started skipping school by sleeping in, faking that he was sick, and slack on the work he would get on the days he did show up. Siren ended up dropping out in late 2012 in what would’ve been grade 11, but due to excessive absences the previous year he was going to be held back and that is what sealed the deal.

During the time he was skipping school Siren discovered the School Survival forums and that’s when he learned of alternatives. Homeschooling and unschooling stood out to him, especially because he wanted to be done with academia and stay at home full-time working on becoming an entertainer. Unfortunately, his parents vehemently opposed homeschooling no matter how Siren presented it, and forced him to go to school until he ended up dropping out.
It’s been almost 4½ years since Siren has dropped out and he says the only thing that’s improved is not having to deal with school. Things are still as tense as they were when he was being forced to go to school, as he’s basically just become a recluse waiting for the life he’s wanted before dropping out to come happen for him.


Monica Chen

Monica Chen dropped out of high school at the end of her junior year to begin unschooling.  In 2008, she wrote about this decision for Life Learning magazine in an article titled, “Daring to Drop Out.”  She then went to college and later graduate school where she earned a Master’s degree in elementary education.  She has been an educator for the last 10 years and cites unschooling as a strong influence in her pedagogical practice.




Stephen Choi


This episode is produced by Nina Downer

Hosted by Lainie Liberti


Lainie Liberti

As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teen son at: You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.

For full archives of this show and programming schedule, please visit: 

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