Real Life

I have the habit of questioning everything, for better or worse. I don’t take anything for face value and I don’t believe that anything is what it seems. This especially occurs at school.

I ask the question that drives all teachers up the wall. They teach us something, and then I ask them why we need to learn it. The typical response to this is one that I cannot stand for, no matter how many times I hear it. They tell me that the material we are learning is preparing us for real life. I don’t know what they think happens when we walk out the door of the school, but unless I’m sorely mistaken, that’s real life I see out the window.

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When we go back to our homes, and start living our lives separate from school, where do they think we are? Unless I unknowingly walk through some portal that takes me to another dimension, I do believe that the life I live is, in fact, real life. When it comes down to it, I think I’ve seen more of “real life” than most of the people that try to teach me about it. I’ve travelled the world, I’ve been to several other countries, and I’ve even seen things in my own hometown that have shown me real life, whatever that might mean. When I’ve travelled abroad and met all kinds of people, I’ve never needed to know how to use trigonometry. I’ve been to two French-speaking nations, and yet I’ve never needed to tell anyone that the lamp is on the chair.

I have needed to know how to say things like, hello, sorry, please, and thank you. But these aren’t the things we’re taught in school. These are the things we apparently have to learn for ourselves. When a teacher tells me that their class is preparing me for real life, it’s so hard for me to resist the urge to laugh in their face. It’s just something they say when they don’t have an actual answer. They don’t think it’s that important either, and when they realize that, they have to feed us some other answer, like robots programmed to respond a certain way to a certain question.

When asked the importance of their curriculum, they just give the required response. Whatever “real life” is, I suppose I haven’t experienced it yet, because I have no idea what my teachers mean when they spout their typical answer to my typical question. I know I’m not the only one that asks this, and I know I’m not the only one to get this response. I think it’s time we started learning things we’ll actually need. Maybe then our world would be a much better place.