In today’s economy, it’s extremely common to hear people say the words, “I want to go back to school.”
With the lack of job openings, and near-impossibility of even attaining job interviews, some people have but little choice to deplete their bank accounts and shell out the money to return to school in hope that when they graduate, the economy will improve.
And not only that, but the state of our world is changing. Every day, it seems, there is a new technological advancement. Therefore, with this boom in technology, there are new fields opening up left and right — ones that we, in our college years, never could have foreseen.
During my junior year of college, which took place in 2007-2008, I had a roommate who was from Turkey. He was a cool dude, and since he was over 21, he used to buy me beer all the time. But that’s besides the point. The point is that he, and all of his friends, majored in computer science. I always saw him and his nerdy buddies hanging around our kitchen table, with their laptops out, and I thought, is that really useful? Shouldn’t they major in something practical, like chemistry or biology? What even is computer science?
Well, looks like the joke’s on me.
Those bastards got it. We didn’t. And now we’re screwed.
So, yeah, it makes sense to go back to school for all of those reasons.
But that’s not what even what I am talking about. When you hear somebody utter those words, “I want to go back to school,” you automatically assume that they mean college. But me? I’m not talking about college. I want to go back to grade school.
I didn’t feel this way until recently, when I sat in on a fourth-grade class lesson earlier this week. Alright, let me back up. The reason I was in a fourth grade class is because, for my newspaper, I am doing a multiple-part series on new technologies in the classroom. I arranged with the superintendent to sit in on some lessons so that I could observe. It’s pretty amazing what new technologies they use, and how the kids don’t realize how awesome they are. Between iPads and Smart Boards, they really are spoiled. But that’s neither here nor there.
The lesson I sat in on was a discussion of geometry, including the learning of points, along with parallel, intersecting and perpendicular lines. The kids were just learning it for the first time, and thus, they didn’t know too much.
I, however, knew everything. Whenever the teacher posed a question, I wanted to raise my hand. And when a kid answered a question incorrectly, I wanted to scream “WRONG!” before the teacher even had a chance to respond.
It was totally a Billy Madison situation. Except I wasn’t trying to inherit my rich father’s multi-million dollar company.
But then I realized. As comfortably and confidently as I sat in that 4th grade classroom, sitting on a chair so tiny that it felt like it may break under my weight at any moment, I realized that I never felt that confident while I was in school… ever. And that includes elementary, middle, high school and even college.
It’s pretty amazing. When we’re in school as youngsters, we don’t realize the importance of what we are learning. We just think of it as something that we have to do. When you’re young, you go to school. That’s just the way of the world. So you never really made that extra effort every single day to actually do your best. It just didn’t occur to you back then. We were too young.
If I could go back to school now, knowing what I know about the world, I would demolish it. I have no doubt that I would get straight A’s in everything. And, okay, maybe I don’t need to go back to fourth grade and relearn geometry, which even my dumbest friends would have no trouble in, but I want to go back to high school and retake calculus, algebra, biology, chemistry and physics.
I’d say that it was somewhere between 10th and 11th grade where I just checked out. I used to be brilliant when I was in elementary school. But when I went to high school, I became significantly less and less prone to actually learning. Call it A.D.D., call it a result of banging my head too many times when I was a child, or call it just a simple adolescent rebellious nature, but I pretty much just stopped trying.
Since I’m just a naturally intelligent person as is, I still received good grades. But I could have done so much better.
So screw going back to college and getting my masters, or even another bachelors, in some random subject. I don’t want to learn from some P.H.D who only teaches to collect a paycheck. I want to go back to freaking high school. I want to learn the things that everybody should know, and that I should have learned when I was a teenager.
Sure, I’ll be a good eight or nine years older than my classmates, but so what? I’ll be the most popular kid in school. I’ll buy them beer. I can even be a good samaritan and tutor them.
And maybe I’ll even travel around town with them and put bags of dog poop on people’s doorsteps.