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21 Of The Most Useless Things I Learned In School

5 November 2012 10 Comments

Please note a few of these gems that are etched into my mind and taking up permanent grey space real estate that I’m fairly certain could be used for bigger and better things.

  1. How To Drop An Egg From The Top Of A Fire Truck So It Doesn’t Break - I made it to the final round, and to this day I cannot tell you how the hell I built that thing
  2. How To Later Care For Said Egg Like It Is A Baby - Accidentally dropping a juice box on a baby, in my experience, does not cause their outsides to shatter and their insides to goo out
  3. The Periodic Table – There has gotta be less than 1% of the population actively using that information. Those who are have a huge chart hanging on the wall for reference anyways.
  4. Only Color Inside The Lines – There is a drawing on the page for a reason. Who are you to go outside the drawing someone made for you?
  5. Move On To Your Next Task Only When The Bell Rings - WTF?! Where are the bells now? I have to figure out when to do stuff ON MY OWN?
  6. The Dewey Decimal System - Quick, someone tell me which section Dewey Decimal For Dummies would be in
  7. Only Read Books You Are Told To Read – Then only retain the things I tell you are important to learn from them – like what time the alarm clock went off each morning before Ponyboy woke up
  8. Eating A Meal In Under 18 Minutes While Talking To Friends – Completely contradictory to my Nana’s teachings of “Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full.” Also – Hello? Digestion?
  9. America Is A Fair and Balanced Democracy - Ha. Haha. BAHAHAHHAAHHAAHAHAHAHHAAHAHHA. I mean, yeah. My vote matters and my voice as a citizen is always heard. Money and politics have corrupted nothing.
  10. Prime Numbers - What? I mean…what the actual honest to god what? I will pay someone a bright shiny 10baht piece if they can tell me ONE time they have had to implement the knowledge and ideation of prime numbers in their adult life
  11. Dissecting A Frog Fairly certain I will never have to dissect one of my friends. If that situation ever comes up, and I’m unable to perform, I am deeply sorry for my ignorance
  12. Fall In Line – I can line up silently, using only pantomime and charades variations, based on height/birth month/lunchbox contents
  13. The Name On A Piece Of Paper On The Wall Is Worth More Than The Things I Learned There – There are people majoring in basket weaving at Harvard that are getting better gigs than those who majored in engine repair at a Tech School. I don’t need more baskets in my life but fuck if I know how to change my own spark plugs.
  14. Standardized Tests - Hack the system and you too can be just like everyone else
  15. The 16 Counties Song - I will sing it on demand for anyone who asks, only way I am getting any mileage out of that bastard
  16. What Is The Best Instrument To Use To Give The Impression A Duck Is Walking – In fairness, if I worked at Disney and was creating the next incarnation of Fantasia, this might be relatively useful
  17. Don’t Speak Unless You Raise Your Hand – You must be given permission to offer opinion, discussion, or dissonance
  18. Don’t Be Dissonant – People who challenge authority get sent to the principal’s office
  19. My Social Security Number – Might as well put a bar code on me and sell me on a shelf. The 4 times I’ve been asked for that since I turned 25, I’m able to pull it out like Rainman
  20. You Can’t Be Left Alone, You Must Be Accounted For – In the hallway without a pass? Busted.
  21. How To Put A Condom On A Banana - I can assure you, it is nothing like putting a condom on a banana

In your defense, school system, there were some gems I am retaining and putting to good use:

  1. Fall In Love With Reading – A book can be your best friend, your escape, your knowledge center, your inspiration, your motivation…shall I go on?
  2. The Fine Art Of Bullshit – Thank you long form essays
  3. Jumping Out Of The Back Of A Moving Bus - I haven’t had to use this one yet, but let’s be real. In my life, the tuck and roll is gonna be a valuable mental asset one of these days
  4. Foreign Languages – Best thing I ever did was take 7 years of Latin. Can’t speak it for shit and can barely translate it on reading, but learning the structures and nuances of another language makes it easier to communicate w/someone who doesn’t speak your language at all. Linguistic concepts are universal
  5. Don’t Eat Paste - Or babi guling that has been sitting out in the sun for 8 hours
  6. Choose Courses For Your Life That Matter And Are Interesting To You – No, that doesn’t mean major in basket weaving at Harvard and expect to become a rocket scientist. But if you want to learn to weave baskets, learn to weave baskets. Own that. But don’t be surprised when no one gives a rats ass that you know how to weave baskets.
  7. How To Get My Wagon Party Across America On The Oregon Trail - Those are life skills baby. At the age of 27 I won a live version of the Oregon Trail, complete with gold panning and bison shooting. Though to be fair, that was probably due in large part to my ability to chug whiskey

If I could write a longer ditty about all the things I was taught in school that turned out to be useless, leave me completely ill-prepared for adult life, or set me up with a false expectation of what will create happiness … let’s just say it would be longer than the Middle Earth trilogy and just as fantastical.

Which is ALL to say, when you deny someone love and happiness from their lives you are practicing hate. Pure and simple.

Nothing good, in the history of all time and humanity, has ever come from practicing hate.

I learned that in school.

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  • http://www.byjanet.net/purple Purple Panda

    fucking hilarious! love this. Definitely laughed out loud when I got to #9.

    • http://www.opheliaswebb.com/ Elisa Doucette

      Yeah, I’ve been fun to chat with over here as the elections unfolded. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/elisestephens Elise Stephens

    There is so much truth in this–it hurts as much as it makes me smile. I love your list of things that you still learned in school that you loved and are taking with you. Especially 1 and 6. :)

    • http://www.opheliaswebb.com/ Elisa Doucette

      I definitely did learn a lot in school as well, wanted to make sure I shared that. Just not a lot of the important life lessons and issues I’d end up applying post-graduation

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  • Michael

    So where did you go to school?

    • http://www.opheliaswebb.com/ Elisa Doucette

      All schools in Maine in the US. University of Maine for college.

  • http://twitter.com/robincarlson Robin Carlson

    Speaking of the Oregon Trail…. do you still have the golden boot???? That was a hell of a time!

    • http://www.opheliaswebb.com/ Elisa Doucette

      Haha, I did have it for a long while. It unfortunately fell victim to gravity…legitimately. :(

  • Whatevergirl

    “How To Get My Wagon Party Across America On The Oregon Trail” no, THAT’S USELESS YOU DUMBSHIT!