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Front Page » August 26, 2003 » Opinion » What school doesn't teach
Published 3,985 days ago

What school doesn't teach


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate publisher

Schools offer so many opportunities for our children, starting from a very young age and continuing throughout their lives. It's the one institution that is often is a part of our lives, even as we age. School, education, learning; all are lifetime experiences.

I certainly wish I realized the importance of education during all those years when I was a teenager and early adult in college. So much of what was presented to me I ignored. I suppose I was a typical kid and my mind was on the next weekend or activity.

But not everything is taught through schools. As important as education is there are many lessons such as feeling good, attitudes, and dealing with success and failure that are seldom touched on in a formal classroom.

This was brought home to me loud and clear this past week when I read an e-mail from a friend who forwarded a speech delivered by Bill Gates to a high school class in Visalia, Calif. Love him or hate him, Gates hits the nail on the head with these 11 things that kids do not learn in the regular classroom.

Rule number one is that life is not fair, so get use to it. Rule number two is that the world won't care about your self-esteem, The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule number three is you will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule number four is if you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

Rule number five is flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule number six is if you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule number seven is that before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening you talk about how cool you think you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule eight is that your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule number nine is life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule number 10 is that television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

And last but not least rule number 11 is be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Some great advice, even an aging publisher needs to be reminded of at times.


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August 26, 2003
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