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What's so bad about learning?

Posted 05-13-2010 at 03:08 PM by NoeJeko
Updated 05-13-2010 at 03:30 PM by NoeJeko
I think I just saw one of the dumbest Facebook groups ever -- something about elementary schools lying about cursive writing in high school. Apparently over 100,000 people on Facebook are outraged that their elementary schools "tricked" them into learning cursive.

Since when did learning something for the sake of learning it become so unbearable? If I stop and think about some of the things I've learned I'm sure I could come up with quite a few "useless" subjects. Let's see..

- Balancing chemical reaction equations? Worthless, I'm not in chemical engineering.
- Angular velocity? Useless, I don't really deal with physics.
- Biological classification system? Waste of time, I don't study living things.
- Nuclear physics? Nuh-uh, I'm not a terrorist or DoE scientist.
- Drafting? Last time I drew a schematic was in 1998.
- Quadratic formula? They have graphic calculators for this.
- Playing the recorder? Seriously, who does that?
- Singing? The only thing that doesn't complain about my singing is my dashboard.
- Reading maps? Obsolete, we have GPS and Google Maps.
- Research skills? Again, Google has rendered this obsolete.

I'm sure I could come up with many more "useless" things I learned -- some under the "pretense" that I may need to know it someday. Granted, my life isn't over and there may be a day when a life-and-death situation demands I give the formula for the complete combustion of acetylene. Barring the unlikely chance that my family will be held at gunpoint while I determine the speed of a mass dropped from a 1000m elevation 4 seconds into its fall given a gravitational acceleration constant of 9.81 m/sē in a vacuum, it would seem that much of what I learned is indeed useless.

Wrong.

It makes people think I'm smart. Technically, I appear more educated but many people either cannot or do not care to make the distinction. It gives credibility to things I say. The more of this "useless" junk I know, the more people listen to my opinions on other subjects that actually are relevant. There's a subset of my friends that think I know "everything". Although I'll be the first to dispute that claim as an absolute, I do know a lot of stuff. I know it because I didn't resist my "useless" education -- I embraced it and leveraged the curiosity it piqued to go out and learn even more. Eventually this self-motivated education gave me the tools I needed to succeed in life.

Here's something to consider -- instead of blaming teachers for teaching such "useless" things why don't we thank them for teaching us something new? Why don't we respect and appreciate the fact that we were given the opportunity to expand our then-limited mental capacity? It takes a special person to teach. These people surely don't do it for the money -- I don't know a single rich K-12 teacher.

Thank you, to all my past, present, and future teachers, for giving me an opportunity to learn.

To quote the immortal words of Dickens, "Please, sir, I want some more."

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Comments

  1. FlamesBlader's Avatar
    I salute you, sir.
    95% of the members of that group are (probably) some kids that do not realize the point of learning yet. They'll get it when they grow up.
    permalink
    Posted 05-13-2010 at 03:12 PM by FlamesBlader FlamesBlader is offline
  2. 7hatGuy's Avatar
    If I could give you rep for blog posts, I would.

    On the note of the topic: I learned cursive in middle school being told "you'll be using it for everything in high school." Senior year, not one class at all from freshman to senior has asked me to write in cursive, except for when I have to sign things. Oh well, c'est la vie ^_^
    permalink
    Posted 05-14-2010 at 07:09 AM by 7hatGuy 7hatGuy is offline
  3. Sodacan's Avatar
    For the people raging about learning cursive because it was "mandatory in high school" have to keep in mind that it actually was at the time. But as they grew up, computers took over and teachers were asking for things to be typed instead of written.
    permalink
    Posted 05-14-2010 at 11:55 AM by Sodacan Sodacan is offline
 
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