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2 October 2006 / April

Real life

You know what’s bothered me for a long time? How teachers tell us that the skills we learn in school– working in groups with people we may not like, managing our time efficiently, writing persuasive essays– will help us in real life.

It’s as if our 17-odd years of formal education are some sort of illusion before being finally accepted into the grand world of reality. I find that insulting. Perhaps I am “only” a high school student, but nevertheless I am living now, working in groups now, organizing my time now, writing essays now.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but rushing from school to piano lessons to accompaniment rehearsals to babysitting with a few hours worth of homework just barely squeezed in edgewise– that certainly feels real to me. No doubt it won’t be what I’ll spend the rest of my life doing (gosh, I hope it isn’t!), but does that make it any less real?

By extension, that well-intended advice of our teachers almost seems to imply that students themselves aren’t real. As if we’re a strange type of robot being programmed to handle the hardships of real life, only practicing before we are released to apply our knowledge in “real-world situations.”

I know what teachers are really saying. They just want to remind us that tolerating the team slacker without blowing a fuse isn’t merely something that will improve our grade on the project and keep us out of our AP’s office; it will help us when we’re out of school as well.

All I’m asking is for them to put it a little differently, because saying it will help us in “real life” trivializes students and the real lives they are living right now.


One Comment

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  1. phrenseed / Oct 2 2006 1:08 pm

    Each life is an expanded circadian rhythm. The richness of the harmonic is in the underlying contributing frequencies. Wait long enough and the contributing notes in the micro harmonics will become expressed in the larger rhythm of life.

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