This I Believe

John - Culver, Indiana
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Screw Chemistry and Trigonometry

With all the useless information that is crammed into our heads these days, why is it that we are forced to attend 180 class days when all the necessary material can be taught in 100 days or less? Who the cares about how many valence electrons are in zinc? Who cares what the co-sin of 45 is? I know I don’t. Instead I spend six hours a day listening to two hours worth of information, all of which I could access easier on line. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not pro-ignorance. I value education and I want to learn. But for 90 minutes a day, I sit in a plastic and metal desk with years of gum and curse words stuck to it or carved into it. And at the front of the room, Mr. Peebles drones on and on. Ever see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Ben Stein plays the archetypal boring teacher – “Anyone? Anyone? He asks before answering his own questions.

Instead of packing our brains with useless information, I suggest we have a “life skills” class. In this class, students would be able to learn how to balance a checkbook, file taxes, write checks, rent an apartment, and hell, if times get tough, they can even learn how to grow weed – for business purposes of course. Kids are too often sent into the real world without a clue on how to live by themselves. Culver does provide kids with a taste of what the real world is like, but for those kids in public school, what are they suppose to do?

Kids need that type of education. Kids need life skills. How am I going to fill out a W4 if I don’t even know it is? How am I suppose to file my taxes come April 15th? The answer is I can’t. Not many kids my age can. We don’t need to know how to solve a quadratic equation, or prove why angle A is equal to 30 degrees (unless you plan on being a bean counter when you’re older); we need learn the practical skills needed in life and how to get along in the real world.