Friday, March 06, 2009

The reasoning behind "Cool Things I Never Learned In School."

Once you start, you can't stop: A trip to the ER leads me to learn how Jung felt about miracles.

Byzantine, as brought into my life by Ira Glass and The New Pornographers.

But how much time will you spend talking about kissing and how much talking about red lights? I thought so.

Ostriches don't hoot, flamingos make noise, and more lessons from the Fisher Price Alphabet Zoo.

Pinecones are better at math than you are.

Follow your nose, lest you lose it

The Weirdest Experiment Ever.

Stinkiness is next to Bounciness.

People can breathe water.

Popcorn eaters are only slightly less at risk than coal miners.

You can trademark part of a word.

Here's Why I Have This Category:

The Boy is going to a baseball game, for a school field trip.

What, you might ask, is the educational purpose of a baseball game during the school year? I might ask that, too, but I would just get an eye-roll, as I did. It turns out there is no educational purpose to going to the baseball game during school. They're going for gym class. They're going to watch a baseball game and get credit for it as part of gym class.

That's sort of the last straw for me, I think. I used to respect this school -- the high school for Middleton and Cross Plains, Wisconsin -- but now they stop classes for Brett Favre's retirement and take kids to baseball games during the school year without even the pretense of teaching them something, and they've made up snow days by extending each class by 0.0003 of the day, and it's apparent to me that schools have given up trying to teach kids, and instead are just warehousing them and trying to kill time until the employees retire.

That's the end of a long, slow slide into irrelevance and uselessness that schools have been on since, well, forever. It's not as though schools were terribly helpful and relevant when I went to them; back then we read things like The Canterbury Tales and studied The Gilded Age and performed experiments designed to teach us how to identify a salt using a Bunsen burner, and I was left bored by about 98% of school -- all the while being curious and excited about everything around me. School was boring; learning was not.

After graduating high school, I learned just how fun learning can be by continuing to learn, and by virtue of some very good professors in college, professors who showed me how math could be interesting, physics could be entertaining, learning could be fun.

After last night, when The Boy first told me that they're going to a baseball game for school, and then told me that it 'wasn't worth his time' to try to figure out a problem because he could "just ask someone at school" how they did it, I decided I had to fight back the only way I possibly can.

No, not by parenting.

Not by educating people.

I meant by wasting time blogging when I'm at my office and should be working.

Hence, Cool Things I Never Learned In School, another hopefully-regular feature on here where I'll present...

... wait for it...

... Cool things I Never Learned In School, in hopes that people will read them, share them with others, tell their kids about them, and hopefully, somewhere along the lines, someone will learn something and the irrelevant, useless schools will be re-energized and start actually teaching kids again.

Also, I'm doing it because I think these things are cool.

1 comment:

lisapepin said...

He's going to a baseball game for a class trip? What the hell is he going to do for Senior Skip day, take a calculus exam? The longer I'm here, the less the world makes sense to me.