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5 Things School Didn’t Teach You

5 Things School Didn’t Teach You

School curriculums are dumb as fuck.

Sorry to deliver a punch right off the bat, but it’s the truth.

If it were up to me, I would wipe out the current education system and change the classes, eliminate standardized tests, tweak toxic cafeteria menus, and add more subjects that hone creativity and personal growth, and re-hire physical education teachers who were laid off.

I should run for president, I know.

So why am I so fired up about the education system?

Being a soccer coach who works with kids, it’s shocking to hear how boring school is and how little everyone is learning.

“How was school today guys?” I ask a group of 12 year old soccer players at practice.

“BORING,” they drone in unison.

Honestly, I couldn’t agree more with my munchkins.

There were so many things I learned in school that prove useless today. And there were so many things I, too, found boring as fuck from 1st to 12th grade.

I suppose there’s only so much a dim classroom packed with squeaky, wooden desks can teach you.

Now as an adult in vibrant reality, I feel I’ve learned more.

Maybe I’m a wise woman, pompous Millenial, or motherfucking queen who runs shit…I don’t know. But there’s so much I wish I was taught back in the day to prepare me for the oscillations of the real world.

Without further ado, here are 5 Things School Didn’t Teach You (And Probably Should):

1. Personal Growth

Can you remember all the characters from Catcher in the Rye? Or plot twists from Lord of the Flies? Or themes, motifs and symbols from Macbeth?

Good for you. I don’t fucking care.

Funny enough, I feel all the books I read in elementary, middle and high school bogged me down like a wet raincoat. Expounding further, I felt I was wasting my hours studying Spark Notes, so I could pretend I actually knew what I was talking about during book discussions.

All of this begs the question: where the hell were the deep discussions on personal development, the Universe, and quantum physics?

Actually, the first life changing book I read in a classroom setting was during my college education at Johns Hopkins University. I took a class on Chinese Philosophy and read literature from Lao Tzu, to Confucius, to Rumi.

The readings of these enlightened authors propelled me to become more compassionate, empathetic, and forgiving. Magical things happen when you read books focused on mindset, philosophy, and self awareness.

In fact, I can list 5 books right now you should add to your reading list to become less of an asshole:

Man’s Search for Meaning
The Power of Now
Fear
Conversations with God
The Daily Stoic

Truthfully, now I read every word of every book as an adult. Because the information is useful and boosts my growth.

So start reading, folks. No Spark Notes needed.

2. Creativity

Think back to the tests you took back in grade school: most of the time, there was a right or wrong answer.

Some examples:

– 2+2 = 4
– The first president was George Washington
– Chloroplasts exist in plants, not animals
– The cube root of 8 is 2.
– Weight = mass x gravity

Confession: I googled all of those answers.^

Oddly enough, the rights and wrongs we learned in school can be googled today in 1.5 seconds. It doesn’t take much to perform an internet search.

But what requires true magic, effort, right brain activation, and badass-ery is creativity.

Creativity is hard teach which is why we aren’t taught it in school.

However, I bow down to my language arts teachers who gave us assignments that involved creative writing, storytelling, and poetry.

I am thankful for my music teachers who encouraged improv during my clarinet solos.

And I’m grateful the SAT had an essay writing portion when I sat for it. <— NAILED IT, too.

With that said, subjects that inspire creativity need to be more common in schools. Kids need to be given freedom to express their ideas and not be afraid of a “right” or “wrong.”

Oh, and on a side note: learning to play clarinet wasn’t useless. If someone were to spontaneously challenge me to a clarinet battle today, I’d be prepared. ;-O

3. Managing Finances

Full disclosure: I wish someone told me it was smarter to invest in an IRA than to shop at Target and leave with a cart full of useless shit.

To that end, in order to survive in the current world, managing finances is key.

And you guessed it: school didn’t teach us how to do so.

So I have a few ideas: instead of teaching me that the capital of Arkansas is Little Rock, or the Ming Dynasty fell in 1644, or the equation to calculate the circumference of a circle is C=2πr, teach me to 1) write a check 2) start saving for retirement and 3) cure my online shopping addiction.

I’ll stop right there.

Next…

4. Relationships

I remember asking my first guy out on the Four Square court back in 6th grade…

He turned me down.

Of course, I was devastated and confused on how to deal with heart break.

Wasn’t Family Life class supposed to teach me this? Or was I just learning that the female uterus has two ovaries and a urethra?

Shit.

It took me 25 years to learn how to cultivate healthy relationships – from finding the right partner, to expressing my needs, to learning to move on from loss.

Family Life didn’t teach me shit.

I’ve been through gut wrenching heartbreak, endured emotional and physical abuse, and have felt as lost as a tadpole swimming with sharks. I’ve had to go through rough waters in order to teach myself where to avoid and where to swim freely.

And now as an adult, I finally feel I’m getting the hang of this relationship thing.

I’m friends with all of my ex boyfriends – all the guys who turned me down, didn’t vibe with me romantically, and who failed me at some point.

Only by experiencing it was I able to teach myself how to step into authentic, open and forgiving relationships.

So thank you Family Life…for nothing.

5. Unconventional Living

Graduate, work a 9-5, retire.

That’s what school taught me.

But is this the only way to do it?

No. And I wish school taught me that there are MANY ways to go about life.

For the longest time, I thought I was a weirdo for setting my own schedule, picking up freelance writing gigs, coaching in a gym, and growing an online business.

School needs to encourage kids to live unconventional lives more, namely, let them know it’s okay to be a personal trainer and police officer at the same time. Or a Starbuck’s barista and phD student at the same time. Or a soccer coach and published fitness writer at the same time. Or an accountant and artist at the same time. Or a Transformers stunt double and chef at the same time.

I’m willing to bet in modern times, MOST people have more than one job. In fact, to read more on this phenomenon, I highly recommend the book One Person Multiple Careers.

If anything, an unconventional life is empowering and shouldn’t be discouraged in schools.

It shows you what you’re made of, how much hustle resides in you, oozes your creative power to the surface, and serves as the impetus for growth.

So…

I get I just poo-poo’ed on the education system, but I stand by my argument that the best learning has come from experiencing all of life’s texture and solving my own equations.

No textbook, chalkboard, or overhead projector can teach you how to deal with these twists and turns.

And sure, winning the spelling bee in the 5th grade was cool, but writing 400 blogs out of my own ass was way more fulfilling and exciting.

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