School has no point

swimmerguy's picture

Ms Trig is from what I've heard the worst trig teacher we have at our school. She gives us a lot of work to do and grades hard. I mean, she's pretty cool, like she gives out candy on people's birthdays, which I admire. But I don't really like her as much. I really appreciate what she does, because she's always changing the way we do things, trying to find a way so that we actually learn the activity. I appreciate that she really tries hard to make sure everyone actually learns, even after the test.

Then there's Ms Chem. I've heard good things about one of the other teachers and bad things about the other. One of them is awesome and energetic and amazingly exciting, but he grades all their assignments. Then there's just the boring, terrible teacher that also grades assignments.
But, Ms Chem is pretty cool. I mean, she has a monotone and a lazy eye, and when she lectures I have a really tough time staying awake. She doesn't have a whole lot of personality, she's mostly just a talking blob, but the little bit of personality she has is actually really cool.
And she's like, the easiest grader I've ever seen. I have a 101 in that class right now, putting in far less effort into this college level course than I do into trig and english.
So I really like Ms Chem, because she just sort of lectures to us, and sort of ignores us and lets us do our thing, and we ignore her and let her do her thing.
But I don't really appreciate her as much.

My real point is that I appreciate the teachers that try to make us work hard and actually make us learn the materials, but I don't really like it. They're working a flawed system.
I would like to be able to just sort of ignore all my classes, on my way to doing actually important things.
Because, as far as I see it, all you really need to know is how to work, and how to think. A good work ethic and a brain. All this specialized stuff you learn in high school and college, unless you're going to be an architect or something, you won't use 99% of it.
It's just, the world accepts a degree as meaning you're smart. And being smart, and intelligent, are 2 very different things.

So basically, an ideal system would be one where children only learn skills that will be necessary in their specific job, and in that training they learn both how to work and how to think.
The waste in time and money would be much down and the good would be so much higher...


elph's picture

You're Both Right... And Wrong!

You're fortunate that your teachers are presenting challenges... but each in his own idiosyncratic style.

However, I'm confident that in time you will revise what you feel should be taught students in high school:

So basically, an ideal system would be one where children only learn skills that will be necessary in their specific job, and in that training they learn both how to work and how to think.

Yeah... It sounds very object-oriented!

But, think about it: How many highschoolers are already firmly committed to what their future will be? I'd suspect, very few!

High school should exercise all portions of the brain while it remains in an extremely receptive state. You may not appreciate right now all of that stuff that seems to hold no promise of fattening your paycheck after graduation... But, these useless courses do serve to make one aware of the wide range of possible future careers that lie in waiting:

Although it is likely inconceivable right now... but who knows, you could become a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry!

Super Duck's picture

I get what you mean...

I have a basic idea as to what I want to do. I do, however, know what I DON'T want to do and unfortunately am required to take a lot of classes that I know have nothing to do with my life.

ferrets's picture


well say that you planned to be a doctor, but then they like create a perfect human dna strand that requires like one calorie and one drop of water for a year of use and has a indetructable body and imune system, and could breath under water or some impossible stuff like that. wouldnt need doctors then now would you? kind sucks you were only trained to be a doctor since you were young, now you get to be a homeless man who knows how to do open heart surgery in a world of perfect hearts.

now that is extreme and nearly impossible, but jobs die. what if you learned how to market 8 tracks. but then CDs come and bicth slap you to poverty, you dont know how to function any other way. ooor in the case of a total collapse into anarchy. having a variety of skills will be better then knowing how to do one thing intamitley.

More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion.
-Harvey Milk

MacAvity's picture

Somehow I suspect that when

Somehow I suspect that when doctors are obsolete, nobody will need any sort of job anymore...

ferrets's picture

hehe true

just a rather random example :D

More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion.
-Harvey Milk

swimmerguy's picture


In response to Elph, I said it was an ideal system, not a possible one. I know that's not possible.

And my main point is that if you know how to work and how to think, job training takes probably a few months at the MOST, and then you don't have to spend your first 22 years of life learning 99% useless things. Any fool can look up anything in a book. Schools should really teach you how to work and think. That's all that's really important.

No one escapes from life alive

MacAvity's picture

Ah, but there's the thing!

Ah, but there's the thing! Schools do teach us how to either work or think (though usually not both...). All that classwork, homework, all those tests? You'll fail if you don't either slog your way through them or apply your mighty brainpower to make it quicker and easier. Even if you're never going to need the subject material learned, you will need the acquired work ethic or the honed brainbox. And then people sort of naturally divide themselves up later based on how much they worked and how much they thought.

elph's picture

Ah, you surely must be aware...

...that swimmerguy loves to play the role of devil's advocate :)

That aside... your comments are right on!

swimmerguy's picture

I'm not going to argue

That schools tell you how to work. But how to think, no one has ever learned that at school. At school, they tell you how to do things, what to do in situations. It tells you either how to do things or what you should do or whatever.
It does not teach how to come up with your own opinions and learn how to actually know things.

No one escapes from life alive

MacAvity's picture

Is that something that can

Is that something that can actually be taught, though? The closest I can think would be creating a situation in which thinking becomes necessary - which schools frequently do.