No one thinks school prepares young people for life, and it certainly didn’t me. Instead, I learned all kinds of fascinating and currently useless facts there.
Did you know you get better quality fleece if you shear your sheep in winter, because the section of wool that grows in winter is thinner and more liable to break due to the poor feed? Cut it at this point and the weak part is at the ends, not in the middle. Magic!
Given I sold my sheep before I ever got around to shearing them, not so helpful.
I learned the difference between covalent bonds and ionic bonds, though I couldn’t describe it accurately now.
I learned that radishes are ridiculously easy to grow, but you still shouldn’t because they taste disgusting. Perhaps I didn’t learn this one very well–the first thing I grew in my new vege garden when we moved house were radishes. I didn’t eat them (but they did grow).
I learned the difference between black figure and red figure vase painting in Ancient Greece. As I recall, it’s something to do with whether you scrape away the top layer of the person parts or the not-person parts.
I learned calculus. Okay, this one turned out to be useful.
I learned that you shouldn’t leave tasks until the last minute. At school I didn’t. We were always given sufficient time to do maths problems and write essays. Being a diligent student, I started my homework early and finished in plenty of time.
Guess what. Life isn’t like that.
You don’t always have as much time as you need to do tasks properly. Being able to do things in a rush at the last minute (which is also the first minute) is a valuable skill. And it’s a skill I never learned because I bought into the whole “procrastination is bad” thing.
I should have been lazier at school.
I should have left things to the last minute and been forced to do them quickly. I could have overcome my perfectionism and figured out how to just get something down, or done.
But no. I learned to do things slowly and well. Granted, doing something well is preferable to doing it passably, but real life doesn’t always give you time for that.
If only I had been lazier in school, I might have been better prepared for life.
(If you’re still in school, ignore what I just said. Don’t be the koala.)
Did school prepare you for life? What weird things did you learn? What do you wish you’d learned?
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