“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all. Though my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none, I can read the writing on the wall.”
-Paul Simon, “Kodachrome”
Though I do not wish to imply that my years spent in high school were a complete and total waste of time, I do find it quite fascinating the amount of time spent inside those walls garnered such a small list of things I can recall. I wish to present that list to you now.
THINGS I REMEMBER FROM HIGH SCHOOL:
-To Kill a Mockingbird is really good
-The equation y=mx+b has something to do with slope (what specifically, no idea)
-Soulja Boy caused quite the ruckus at that one dance I went to
-When I turned 16 and I got my license, it was awesome (seriously, AWESOME)
-In chemistry class, there was a girl named Carol who didn’t wear her goggles
-Web Design class should have been called either “Playing Online Games” or “The Best Class Ever”
-Hippocampus is responsible for memory (very proud of this one)
-“I don’t understand why we don’t have spirit assemblies EVERY friday afternoon”
-Nothing from Latin class. Nothing.
-The Scientific Method (Yes, Mr. Sissing, your song works. Not happy about it).
-Ryan Murray and I were rock stars that one time we performed “Heart of Gold” together. Actually, he was always a rock star, I just got to join him for that night.
-The day I realized “Film and Video” is a major in college. That was a great day.
-The day I got my test score back from AP Stats and realized I didn’t have to take any more math for the rest of my life. An even better day.
-Braces. Those were no fun. To all of you who never had them. Not cool.
-How to sing “Hallelujah Chorus” and “Personente Hodie”
-AP Lang>AP Lit
-“You know what? I’m going to smell like chlorine all the time, get used to it.”
-The Declaration of Independence is really important. So is the Constitution. Something about amendments.
Are there more? Probably. But, there is no denying that the vast majority of things we “learn” in high school ultimately evaporate into thin air (“Into Thin Air”, that’s a good movie, btw). However, I graduated with around a 3.9 GPA, simply because I was able to vigorously memorize content only to let it disappear shortly after learning it. What worries me is that I was most likely given higher opportunities because of this talent. Does my gift of memorization make me a better candidate for a prestigious school? Does it make me more qualified for a certain job? To some degree, perhaps this is true. But I think we need to reevaluate the way we handle education.
Do I have any ideas on how to fix this problem? Of course not. I’ll leave that to someone with higher test scores than me.
Instead, I favor the valuable lessons I learned in school, and the way they have molded into the person I am today. To me, it is not about the grade you get or the facts you can memorize, it’s how you learn to think about and observe the world around you. That way, when you venture out into the world, you are able to critically evaluate all that is thrown at you with an open mind in order to truly appreciate the greatness of the things surrounding you. That’s what I learned in high school.