I should have been lazier in school

I should have been lazier in school

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 about Greek vase painting
This vase uses a red figure technique, because the figures are red, see?

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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Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

10 thoughts on “I should have been lazier in school”

  1. Unfortunately I had the ‘school years’ that taught me all about the nastier side of life. Thankfully, I survived. 😀

    Happy New Year! 😀

    1. Sorry to hear that, and I’m glad you did survive! In my experience, the school years were the nastier side of life, and people got more tolerant and nicer from there. Or maybe I just pick the circles I mingle in better.

  2. I learned an absolute hatred of clumsy, inefficient systems.
    I moved several times, and every time I hit a new state, the graduation requirements would be different (and usually something I hadn’t prepared for.) My senior year, I wound up with about half the phys ed classes I needed, and wound up having to forgo “real” classes like math so I’d have trotted around in circles “enough” to get a diploma. Driver’s ed (which was entirely sitting behind a desk), some kind of health and hygiene thing… And art “appreciation” never mind the fact I’d already taken quite a few studio art classes. (Could have taught that one.) And then, I tried to wedge in as much as I could that would apply to, you know… getting into college. (A separate and incompatible thing from graduating from high school, apparently.)
    Without a doubt, my strangest year ever.

  3. LOL – For some reasons, I’ve always been better at working under pressure so I mostly did everything last minute. I still see myself in front of the classroom’s door reading my notes for a test up until the very last second, go to bed at 3 am because I had forgotten about a presentation the following day or wake up an hour early to finish an assignment. I always managed to complete my assignments on time (not sure how), but I have to say it did help me with working under pressure. With that said, I would NOT recommend this to anyone.

  4. Interesting. Talk about taking an approach from new angles. Your title intrigued me and I had to come hear your logic. I didn’t think I’d agree with it, but I do see some wisdom in it. Don’t make a habit out of doing things last minute, but knowing how to do so, for when you have no other options, can be important. I can’t argue with that.

    There’s definitely some lessons in here writers can learn about drafting. Perfection, while an admirable goal, is not achievable. All we can do is pursue it with a passion — BUT — first drafts aren’t for perfection. First drafts are for getting words on paper. Maybe the Koala can help us with that, haha?

    1. I’m not entirely convinced I agree with myself either, but I really wish I were better at doing things in a rush. 🙂

      Yep, I definitely agree with you on the drafting point. I don’t think you can know the start of a story until you know the end, so trying for perfection the first time through is futile, and one of the reasons so many drafts are never completed.

      The koala says she’d love to help. She’ll sit on your shoulders and chew your ears when you spend too long on a paragraph.

  5. My kids went through school learning much as you did and I can’t help but agree with you.
    I was a very different creature, a last minute, still haven’t done my homework kind of girl. Result…I have a really quick memory and if I read something once I can remember most of it for years.
    I was a didn’t always go to school, do what I should, kind of girl.Result… I have a very quick mind which can come up with a plausible story (another word for a lie) in seconds and doesn’t take life too seriously.

    1. (sulks and is jealous)

      How about we start a social movement encouraging kids to leave their homework to the last minute? I’m sure we’d get a lot of supporters (a lot of kids, maybe not so many parents).

      I’m also terrible at lying. I really feel I’m lacking some vital life skills. 🙁

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