True Education

“To be uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” (A.A Milne) What is the degree measure supplementary to 133.3°? What caused the Great Train Wreck of 1918? What temperature does water boil? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone? These questions can be found in their natural habitat of school.

School + homework + hard work = education. That’s what we, the students, are taught every day. For twelve years. But is this philosophy correct? Is this really true education? As one out of almost 50 million kids in the U.S.

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attending school, it doesn’t matter. We all get treated the same. We are told to read our textbooks, answer the questions, memorize the facts, and ace the tests. And then forget about it all, and go 360° again. Over, and over, and over again.

But in reality, we are just getting farther away from true education. However, true education is the Apple on our trays that we don’t eat. Because we don’t think we need it. But some memorized facts are key to true education.

46.7°. A head-on-collision. 100°C. And in true education, some fish will jump out of the sea, and these pieces will fit together like a puzzle. Because I know that 46.

7° is found to be the acute angle that will maximize a slope’s potential for the most gravitational pull on the train without it flipping over, allowing it to conserve the most fuel while traveling at the fastest speed. Because I know that the Great Train Wreck of 1918, the greatest train wreck in all of American history, failed due to the miscommunications of two controllers and the collision of two trains on one track. Because I know that water boils at 100°, I do not have to expend more energy than necessary to heat this liquid, which will evaporate into steam, which in turn will spin the wheels and power the locomotive. The train stands built within our reach, the students’ reach—waiting. Waiting for us to take the mass of knowledge we have consumed, and apply it to make this pre-built train even better. And when the rail is built, the past is learned, and the steam is made, the three sticks will be connected, and the A will be formed.

And when the A is formed, millions of gallons of fuel are conserved, thousands of lives are saved, and hundreds of people are transported—and true education is finally achieved.