Less is more, and other lies I learned in school

Published 3:59 pm Monday, June 7, 2021

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Community columnist
Life is full of learning opportunities. Learning begins almost right away as parents spend the first few years of the child’s life teaching them to talk and to walk.
Strangely enough, once that child is a teenager, those same parents spend their time telling the kid to sit down and shut up. That’s pretty ironic.
I remember as a child the first time I realized that I could read and write. It changed my whole world. Out of pure excitement, I spent the next six months reading every road sign and billboard as we went down the road.
Yes, learning is a wonderful thing and because of that I enjoyed going to school as a child. I recall learning things in school about the solar system or the human body that I never questioned. I believed everything I was told.
In contrast, someone tells me that there is wet paint and I will have to touch it with my finger to believe it.
Throughout my school days I did learn some remarkable things. However, not everything I learned turned out to be true.
For example, I was taught the saying that less is more. I’m pretty sure my fifth grade math teach would not agree with that. In fact, if you look at your paycheck you will agree that less is most certainly not more.
Way back in elementary school, I can remember being taught that cheaters never win. Maybe someone should tell that to the guy from my sixth grade history class who always wrote the answers to the tests on his arm. He made A’s on his test while I studied for days and was grateful with the C that I managed to get.
That is like the co-worker that we all have who spends his time being chummy with the boss and never seems to have to do any actual work.
I also remember being taught that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As I remember it, there were always bullies in school that threatened to kill you while the skinny nerds spent their time trying to make sure that didn’t happen. I highly doubt if they became stronger because of it. They may have gotten really good at hiding under the desk, but stronger? I don’t think so.
I was taught in school that the early bird gets the worm. I never quite understood why I would want the worm to begin with.
Later I learned the meaning of that lesson and found that it is not true. I first learned this lesson during my seventh grade science project. I sat everyday, right on time, putting the planets in the right spots on the model we were building of the solar system while my partner sat in the corner and talked. During grading, he got the same passing grade that I did. It seems that I dug all the worms and he did all the fishing.
It seems ironic now looking back on the lessons that I learned in school. Elementary and high school are most certainly places for learning. However, the lessons we learn that actually help us in life are many times not taught in the class room.
I’ll have to end my trip down memory lane for now because I have to get back to work to earn some money. While I have been told that money does not buy happiness it does buy Hamburger Helper and potato chips, and I’m getting hungry.

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