Like the Paul Simon song says, “When I think back on all the crap I leaned in high school, It’s a wonder I can think at all.”
With my last child slogging his way through high school and questioning why he needs to learn some of these things, I find myself wondering. how much of what I was taught in those days has stood the test of time?
- There aren’t nine planets in our solar system, now there’s something called a dwarf planet and Pluto is one. And there’s water on Mars. And the Moon.
- We know the truth about Christopher Columbus along with confirmation that a Viking explorer beat him to the new world by 500 years.
- There’s life on Earth in places (deep sea) we never thought possible. We found 180 species of mid-water fish, 87 near-bottom fish, 5 never-before-seen squid and angler fish, and one massive ring of plankton.
- Germany is no longer divided into East and West. The USSR is no more.
- New finds are challenging our thoughts on how old humans really are. Test tube babies number in the millions now. We can clone mammals and harvest stem cells.
- The Periodic Table now has four new elements and don’t even get me started on the Prime Number. There have been four new ones in the last ten years.
- Computers for personal use didn’t exist when I was in high school. I learned to type on a machine that now, exists in antique stores and museums.
- Space travel is more common, routine even, we have a manned space station orbiting the Earth right now.
Wow, when you start to list it out, it really was a lot of crap. The real learning didn’t start until college. I remember on the day I graduated I was sure I’d never have to study, my learning days were behind me, except they weren’t. Far from it.
I’ve learned more since I left that building than I ever did inside it.
Makes me wonder how much of what my own children were taught in those hallowed halls of high school might one day (maybe soon) be proven untrue, be labelled crap.