Perhaps I’m still bitter that by the time I graduated high school I was never taught to balance a checkbook, take out a loan/mortgage, vote, eat healthy, overcome anxiety, or deal with failure, but I put together this little lineup on what we were taught instead.
1. “Memorize it, you’ll use this for the rest of your life.”
Maybe I was naive, but when I heard this, most of the time I thought it was legitimate. I pictured myself in an office, coming across a problem and being like “oh, I can solve this using FOIL.” To date, I’ve never needed to know all 206 bones in the human body, elements of the periodic table, long division, the preamble to the constitution, every state capital (Missouri still gets me every time), or how to use a library’s card catalogue.
2. Writing in Cursive.
Of all the subjects I studied in my 19 years as a defiant student, this was hands down the biggest waste of time. Hell, I barely write with my hand at all, let alone using round connecting loops. I won’t lie, I don’t even think I could read cursive if it came across my desk. It took me six months to learn how to write a cursive “z” and about a week to forget this whole style of penmanship. Most kids are so bad at it that later teachers actually discourage it.
3. “You won’t be carrying around a calculator/dictionary.”
Not only do I have a calculator and a dictionary at all times, but I also have a phone, camera, video camera, microphone, streaming television, driving service, GPS map, weather updates, agenda, an encyclopedia to all the information in the entire world, and adorable pictures of cats whenever I want.
4. Everything in history.
As I got older, I took a more Napoleonic stance on history, understanding that “history is written by the victors.” If you wrote anything different at the time, you were tortured and killed. For the record, Marie Antoinette was a generous woman to the poor and never said “let them eat cake.”
5. “You’ll learn that next year.”
When next year comes, the teacher skips it because “you learned it last year.” Never taught, but obviously still on the test.
6. I before e, except after c.
This is the most basic of all rules. Unless, of course, eight species of protein deficient heirs are weighing sleighs on foreign glaciers.
7. “You can’t just cram for exams in college.”
We came, we saw, we conquered.
This may hint at why Millenials’ create and are loyal their own outlets for news, current events, inspiration, etc. Thanks, Mrs. Sylvester.