Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An education is more important than oxygen

(Originally written Friday, February 10, 2006)

I hate school. Always have, always will. In fact, in my list of five things I hate the most in the world, school is number five, (I bet you’re wondering what the other four are eh? Well, all I’ll say is that Shannon Dougherty is in there somewhere.)
It’s amazing how much time we have to spend in school, and you know what? I bet you barely remember much of the shit you learned anyway. That report you did in fourth grade on Ghana was completely useless! Think about it, what the hell was the point of all the rigmarole you went through? What was the point in making sure any essay you turned in was encased in a plastic sheath with a blue edge? Why a number two pencil? Why blue books? Why ridiculously expensive calculators used only for figuring out sines and cosines, and other useless shit? Why did books in college cost so damn much?! Is each page printed on gold by a one-armed Buddhist monk on a mountain top somewhere in the Himalayas? Can anybody justify those prices? I had to sell more plasma and semen than a person should just to buy a book I used more as a flat surface for rolling blunts than I opened to actually read.
Why could you only write papers and essays in certain fonts? Were teachers being sponsored by those fonts? Why did we ever learn to do exhausting bibliographies when nobody ever reads the damn things anyway? Why such an emphasis on balancing chemical equations? Did they think we would all have to deal with volatile acids in our everyday lives? World history: I know the saying is that people who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but I don’t think I’ll ever make the mistake of trying to take Russia by force during the winter; did I really need to learn about it?
My personal kryptonite was math. I can’t stand math. I used to sit in my room after school, vainly attempting to do my math homework. Gallons of sweat would cascade down my prematurely balding forehead, (it’s okay, I can invoke "Black Man’s Prerogative" and shave my head anytime I want. I’ll look good.) Eyes twitching uncontrollably, portions of my brain shutting down due to the immense effort required to comprehend the alien language that is math. It was brutal.
To this day I avoid math like the devil avoids church: I hiss at it and run away into the murky black night, (unless it’s day time, in which case I run away into a sylvan glade.) If I don’t avoid it and somebody asks me a math question, my whole brain just shuts down and a little sign appears saying "hard drive error, reboot."
To me, many of the subjects I had to learn seemed put there simply to annoy the hell out of me. Even as a youngster I failed to see how the majority of it applied to me. And now, as an adult, (just legally) I’ve figured out some great classes we should have really taken.
Giving math all few props as possible, I realized that we should all take Tip Calculation. It should be mandatory for guys, but strongly suggested for girls.
Getting f@#$ed up off of things you can find around the house. This could satisfy both science and shop requirements.
Creative English for taxes.
The history of stupid decisions made by the American government.
Politics, because we as Americans are completely ignorant of how things work inside the Beltway.
Public Relations. That way, people won’t be so easily duped or led around by the media or those who control the media. I think people should get doctorates in this shit!
Propaganda and Fear Spreading. This is kind of an offshoot of Public Relations, it’ll help people when fear mongers try to convince America that we should all worry about the amount of yellow dye #5 in twinkies, or the kind of paper we use for toilet paper.
Dressing to Impress, because most of y’all out there should be ashamed of yourselves, I know I’m ashamed for you.
In high school I saw how everybody was killing themselves trying really, really, really hard to do as well as possible and get such good grades that their weighted GPA was about 5.2, or something insane like that. For those who went to my high school, you know what I’m talking about, getting 1600 was not only not unheard of, it was pretty standard for some groups, (magnet nerds, I’m looking at you!)
So I decided to do the exact opposite. I did as little as possible while still having decent enough grades to graduate. The way I figured it, regardless of what our grades were, we would almost all just end up at University of Maryland, (Terps, represent!) anyway. So screw applying myself!
I graduated with, I believe a 1.3 GPA. It’s not because I’m stupid, (although I most undoubtedly am) it’s because I applied myself to a rigorous regiment of not caring about anything, (except those other teenage pursuits that are in no way scholastic.)
I didn’t end up going to Maryland; I went elsewhere, (Wittenberg University to be exact. Tigers represent!). But that’s another story entirely.

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