you never know what information is going to be useful when you grow up

I remember sitting in a small office near the gym having to read  texts and answer questions about what I read while my classmates were in the gym having fun.
I remember French class which I entered a year after the rest of the class had started French, trying to keep up with Lisa, whose family spoke French and German at home so it was just recall for her.
I remember sitting in a math/physics classes staring out the window when Carol starting asking questions which confused me. I understood the first time.
I remember a geometry class where we had to memorize the theorems word for word. I moved mid year to another school where memorizing was not the teachers plan. I aced geometry when that was taken out of the process.
I remember the SATs and questions about shapes when lying flat, what would they look like put together? They didn’t teach that in my school but I loved trying to figure that out.
I remember a college art class mixing paints to get a certain color.
Now… I reread if I don’t understand. I use what little French and Latin I know in crossword puzzles. I love to look at quilt pictures and try and figure out how they are made using graph paper, rulers and pencil to recreate the design to my desired size. I toss around fabrics to get the right color.
Is this what everyone is like? Of course not. I have no idea what Lisa and Carol do today, or the other classmates who were better at one thing and not at another. Even my kids are all different, a writer, glass work and physical therapist, artist and boat lover, computer and math, swimming teacher…. and the next generation, who knows. It seems like education is trying to put everyone in a mold. oh well, I don’t  teach any more. It is fun to see where the genes appear in the next generations- art, writing, academics, sports, music… the list is endless. Just foster it, encourage it, don’t stomp on it.

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8 Responses to you never know what information is going to be useful when you grow up

  1. dogtrax says:

    We do have these boxes that we put kids in and then fret that they don’t have original, creative ideas. Sigh.
    Kevin

  2. anita says:

    You are so right about those boxes we THINK kids belong in and about the THINGS we THINK they need to know. Yet, in reality, as you so wonderfully note, all we really can give them are the tools to persevere and continue learning in areas we cannot even yet imagine. I love bumping into my son’s teachers from middle school in the grocery store and answering the question, “So what is he up to these days?” I love to answer, “He’s one of us.” One of them always shakes her head and says, “I didn’t see that coming.” None of us writes the future; yet what we say and do plants seeds.

  3. blkdrama says:

    It’s amazing how flexible we need to be to learn. Feels like this can’t happen if Governor Cuomo has his way in NYS. UGH. So glad I had power over my own classroom.

  4. Tara Smith says:

    You are exactly right – we seem to have a one size fits every kid mentality these days. So sad.

  5. Terje says:

    Teaching the kids how to learn and look at the world from different perspectives (e.g. as as a mathematician) helps more than teaching a list of things to remember. The richer the experience the more opportunities for the future, if the interest is not squished. I like your last sentence.

  6. bbutler627 says:

    This is interesting. I wonder if you remembered these things and then updated how you use them today or the other way around. So many good points you bring up at the end – fitting kids into a mold. That mold will fit some kids so well and destroy others. Great slice! Glad I stopped by!

  7. Dana Murphy says:

    This is really interesting – I guess we use some of our learning but never all of it. I wonder what kind of learning my daughters will need most when they grow up….

  8. Lisa Keeler says:

    I love how you write about what you do know with those things you remember. My memories aren’t as sharp as yours, but I often think about how I use what I learned then in my life now- in ways that maybe no teacher ever told me I would.

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