Back To School

Things We Learned In School That We Never Use

A new school year is about to begin and students are preparing for another 9 months of homework and study. For many parents it’s the same routine but just a different year, but others around the country will be seeing major changes in their children’s curriculum. With 43 US states now participating in the Common Core curriculum, in which schools are adjusting to a standard course of study that is more equal and aligned with each other, as well as the expectations of colleges and workforce training programs; it’s clear that primary education has been put under the microscope.

For many of us with school and college long behind, all this talk of grade school curriculums reminds us of the things we learned in early education, useful or not. While some aspects of grade school education are undeniably invaluable, like the early start and long term development of academic aptitude, or the emotional focus on good manners and social etiquette, we all have subjects that come to mind when we consider what we don’t use or even remember as adults.

We’d like to take a step back from the serious subject of the Common Core curriculum and take a light-hearted look at the things we learned in school that we have never used later in life.

Cursive Writing
Unfortunately, cursive writing is often the first thing that comes to mind when considering what we learned in grade school that we don’t use anymore. While many people, who have perfect handwriting, consider cursive penmanship an art form, it is a dying one. It looks lovely on paper, but we just don’t use it as adults in this day and age.

The Dewey Decimal System
Gone are the days of card catalogs. In lieu of this once standard system, public libraries are now utilizing a more user-friendly, bookstore style way of organizing both non-fiction and fiction book collections. However, much more commonly used online resources for non-fiction volumes even further negate the need for this much more difficult search method.

Square Dancing
If you were required to learn square dancing in grade school, then you probably already predicted that it would be of no further use to you afterwards. If it was not part of your curriculum, consider yourself lucky. Of course team sports and partnered activities in physical education are useful in building coordination and teamwork skills, but there are more practical ways to do that without having to “dosey doe your partner round and round”.

Dodge Ball
Many of us enjoyed this recess activity without even realizing its harmful association with bullying and rough playing on school grounds. Now that it is mostly banned in schools nationwide, it goes down as a monumental waste of in school recreational time, no matter how fun it may have been.

Paper Mache
For anyone who enjoyed arts and crafts, this was also a fun, yet not so useful, skill from early education. A number of us know the intricate method of turning a latex balloon into a piece artwork, sculpted from newspaper strips, Elmer’s glue and water, but most wouldn’t brag about it at our next cocktail party.

Trigonometry
Reply to this post telling us you use trigonometry every day and we will gladly remove it from the list. So far we can find no one among our ranks that have applied this knowledge to any day to day use lately. That’s frustrating, considering how much we all stressed about passing our quizzes and tests!

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