Baby Blind Birds

“When are we gonna use this stuff?”

We’ve all heard that stereotypical question. Just about everyone challenges the usefulness of the material that’s constantly poured down our throats in a perceived effort to drown our adolescent minds. Usually the question is dismissed, or it’s answered with an “I’ll set you on fire” stare, as if that single question is some belligerent, murderous act against the authority of the educational system.

If school was implemented to feed the starving mind, as well as to form a generation of successful people, shouldn’t these people have the right to know when the information that causes mental breakdowns, sensations of absolute failure, sleep deprivation, and soul crushing anxiety will be of use to them in the real world? Of course; I think anyone can agree on that. But honestly, it would seem that those we ask don’t even have an answer for us.

Over the last few years, I’ve memorized how to calculate the mass of the sun, how to build a circuit and then calculate the electrical energy required for it to work, how to decode a trig function, how to prove one triangle is the same as another, how to solve for x using about twenty different methods, not to mention how to geometry, calculus, trigonometry, and physics. Oh, and I “memorized” the major details throughout a compressed time period spanning over approximately 4.5 billion years, including the entire history of the United States of America.

My freshman year, I actually had the gall to dare ask the dreaded, rebellious question. My teacher answered with a long groan, a death stare followed by

“if you become an architect this will be extremely helpful.”

Oh.

So, out of the millions of jobs in the world, I’ll be prepared for one of them. Thanks?

In case it isn’t obvious, I absolutely, 150 percent will NOT be doing ANYTHING in the architectural field. I can’t draw. I hate shapes. And if I try to build things, they usually burst into flames because I used the drilly thing wrong or crumble into a pile of my demolished hopes and dreams. Nope. No architect here.

So basically that means the (approximately) 7,254 minutes spent in Geometry is completely useless all because I have no intention on becoming an architect. Great.

Now, I understand that Brewster High School can’t control what courses New York state requires students to suffer through. I understand that all mighty Albany creates the Spawn of Satan we’re forced to call “regents exams” and that our dear school can’t do anything about it. I get it.

However, if I’m able to take a psychology, sociology, criminal justice, astrobiology, biology, environmental science, military history, business, holocaust literature, Shakespeare, women in the media, French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, public affairs, and role of sports class, none of which require the Spawn of Satan to make an appearance, then isn’t it practical to assume other courses could be implemented as well?

By other courses, I’m not talking about rock science class or some other useless course that will prepare us for one out of the million jobs out there. I’m talking about a class that will prepare us for everyday life,when our parents finally decide to kick our spoiled booties out of the nest.

I don’t know about you, but when I get the boot out of the tree, I’d rather not face plant into the dirt and break half the bones in my body before learning to fly.

School and the classes offered are supposed to act as a microcosm of the real world: a mama bird outside of the nest. But if said bird teaches you how to calculate the speed in which light travels in order to make the sky blue, you’re not really assisted with flying.

By the time I graduate high school, my brain would have received it’s fair share of waterboarding with extraneous information. But no where in my poor, vandalized, inner library where I find information that will help me with common, adult-like tasks.

By the time I graduate, I will know the acceleration due to gravity on planet Earth but I won’t know how to do my taxes. I’ll know what happens to electrons in an atom when temperature increases but I won’t know how to cook myself simple meals. I will know how to find the centripetal force between the Sun and Mars but I won’t know how to balance a checkbook. And in this day and age, if I am to attend a “New York Reward School” you would think I’d be a bit more prepared for life in the real world.

My father actually graduated from Brewster about 30 years ago. He took a life skills class where they taught him.. Well Gee! Life skills! In fact, he learned how to make eggs in a basket and has since made that for me almost every Saturday morning for as long as I can remember. He also learned how to do his taxes, balance a checkbook, pay bills, write an official business letter about a faulty product, and more.

So far, every person I’ve talked to in Brewster has agreed that they’d greatly appreciate the revival of a life skills class. Especially since nearby schools offer it, giving their students an advantage.

Yes. Advantage. Because they don’t have to pray the internet will teach them how to do everything. They’ll be able to ask a — Oh boy — real person questions so they don’t screw up their taxes or balances or set their future homes on fire.

I suppose one could say no one would take the course. And right now, yeah that’s guaranteed because we’re not even given the option. But I’ll tell you what. There’s a reason kids want to know when things will be of use to them. Deep down, we’re all scared. Scared of the real world, of failing or not being ready. Having something that will be guaranteed to come in handy would in fact be greatly appreciated by a huge number of students.

I, along with MANY other students, would take the class in a heartbeat.

Because honestly, learning to fly is terrifying when you lack a teacher to show you how to spread your wings and soar.