Writer’s Workshop: 6 Things I Never Learned

There are plenty of things I never learned in school that I was probably supposed to learn. I don’t know if the schools are to be blamed for this or if maybe I just skipped the days we went over these important courses, but I definitely had some catching up to do on my journey to full grown adulthood. Here are 6 things I never learned in school:

1. Anything Shakespeare

It’s a sad state of affairs when a child graduates from high school learning everything she knows about Shakespeare from Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1996 hit movie Romeo and Juliet. Say nothing of all the other “classics” the rest of the world seems to have read while I was busy copying down vocabulary words from a chalk board that I would later be tested on and then never again use in life.


2. Where Alaska is.

I don’t know how I managed to skate through high school without ever learning the exact location of Alaska. It could be because EVERY map I ever saw showed Alaska in it’s own happy space right over there by Hawaii. I had NO idea it was up in the corner of Canada until a coming to God moment I had in a college Geography class. I stared at a map while we were discussing latitude and longitude and I was all, “wait…THAT’S Alaska!?!” Hey teachers…how about showing an ACCURATE MAP of our country when teaching us about…our country.

3. How to change a car tire.

All those days I spent learning what the value of X was sure didn’t come in handy when I found myself on the side of the freeway with a flat tire. Algebra, French class, chemistry…those are great and all, but how about a “Real Life Problems You’ll Need Help With Someday” class. Changing your car’s tire/headlight/oil, successfully plunging a toilet, swaddling a screaming baby, finding studs in a wall, properly hanging pictures, cooking a steak without poisoning your family…you know, the basics.


4. The value of X.

All those days I spent learning what the value of x was and I still don’t have a clue.

5. How to read a map.

Okay I take some of the blame for this. I do vaguely remember a number of teachers putting maps in front of my face and me just feeling like, “lines…all I see are lines…where’s Alaska?” I had no idea how to use one to get myself from point A to point B and my mother still cackles when she recalls my phone calls to her, “Mom?? I’m trying to get to my volleyball tournament, but I don’t really know where I am…there’s a McDonald’s and a 7-11 on this street and I think I see a park? Can you help me?” I still can’t read a map. All hail modern day technology and whoever that is in my phone telling me how to get home.

6. How to properly flip quarters into cups filled with beer.

Look, I know teaching beer games would probably be frowned upon in most schools, but perhaps they could view it more as a “life rescuing” course. Armed with the correct strategy to actually win these games, just think of how many future college drunks our schools would be saving. You want me to stay sober and safe? Teach me to win! Makes perfect sense.

Is there anything you didn’t learn in school that you should have?

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) What do you miss most about your childhood neighborhood?
2.) Draw a picture that you feel accurately depicts one of your last tweets.
3.) Someone you talked to today…
4.) Your middle name.
5.) 6 things you never learned in school.


  1. says

    How did you miss the quarter in the beer cup lesson?! I aced that one. I also learned how to tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue (which I must say, always impressed the boys, if you know what I mean).

  2. says

    I don’t drink beer… wine and fruity drinks, yes, beer, no… as such my Flip Cup skills are also lacking…

    so is my ability to change a tire. In a semi related note, my cousin’s wife was complaining last night that my cousin told her to google changing a tire and I was reminded of the time she left her lights on when she came for a playdate. She diligently got our her jumper cables and I pulled up my car and then we both looked at each other because neither of us had a clue what to do next! I never learned how to jump a car OR change a tire!

  3. says

    I never thought about the Alaska thing. Man, teachers are really messing with us! As for car skills, I think it should be mandatory to include some basics – tire changing, oil checking, jump-starting. It isn’t only the burnout boys who need to learn these things!

    Thanks for the prompts, Mama Kat!

  4. says

    Fact: To this day I am still slightly obsessed with Claire Danes. LOVE her! But that’s mostly due to My So-Called Life. Although her portrayal of Julet was moving.

    Fact: I’m heading to the PTA meeting tomorrow night and making a pitch for quarters as a life-saving skill. You’ll get a shout-out, of course. Genius.

  5. says

    I did get the Shakesphere, but we listened to it on vynel records, in the classroom and followed along, the 60’s. If it weren’t for that, I would not have made it thru the reading.

  6. says

    I remember learning about Shakespeare.. well I remember being taught, can’t say I learned anything. I couldn’t understand the mumbo, jumbo and symbolism.

    However, I do wish that the basic car maintenance could have been a recommended class. I mean, I had my dad who offered to teach me to change a tire, oil, etc, but didn’t learn. Now if I had to take it in school as a grade, then I would have been learning all there is to know about a car. LOL.

  7. says

    Haha! Yeah, you definitely should have learned at least a few of them. How to be thrifty with your money shouldve been taught in my school, since none of us had any :)

  8. says

    Eek! Its’s my first week in the Writer’s Workshop, and I doubled up on the linky links. Sorry! Can’t wait to read all the posts inspired by Mama Kat this week.

  9. says

    I fell into some sort of wormhole, and I never took a constitution test in middle school, or high school. I was absent with the stomach flu when everyone else took it in 8th grade, so I signed up to take it my senior year of high school because I was told you couldn’t graduate without it. According to my records, I got such a good score in 8th grade that I didn’t have to take it again. Not really sure how that happened, but I wasn’t about to complain. I heard that test is hard! The best part of this omission? I grew up to become a history teacher! Hahaha! How about them apples?

  10. says

    K this is kinda embarrassing but I never learned how to hold a pencil correctly in school. I was left handed and spent so much time trying to remember not to suck my thumb in class that no one bothered to show me. To this day, my handwriting is terrible as a result of my lack of education.

  11. says

    Good to know I was not the only one confused on that whole Alaska deal. Why would it have be so hard to put it where it actually goes on the map?

    I could have benefited from knowing how to do number 3 a few times in my life.

    And I never really did figure out why X was NEVER satisfied! I’ll never forget the day my oldest first came home and asked me to help him with his math homework which involved FINDING X, years after I thought we were done. I could not care less about the whereabouts of X!

  12. says

    You know what? I didn’t learn any of those things in school either. What in the world did we go to school for anyway?! Sewing? I learned to sew a shirt.

  13. says

    Yeah, that darn X mystery never did get solved. It’s one of the many reasons that I feel that math is just plain evil.

  14. says

    Love this post! I hear ya on the whole “LIFE skills” courses in High School. It’s amazing to me that no one- not a soul- no living breathing 18 year old comes out of H.S. knowing how to 1. Learn a financial budget. 2. Interview for a Job. 3. Pay bills. 4. Um, dare I say… raise a child? 5. Understand their taxes. 6. Basically any life skills WHATSOEVER to function in the world. (I am personally embarrassed at what little I actually ‘know’…it was HIGH SCHOOL and I wasn’t listening. Ever.)
    But- hey, they probably figured out the value of X. And that will get them through anything… ;)

  15. says

    This was an interesting post and I totally agree with you they should have a life skills class that teaches things we need for life. I would have liked to have had car repair and home maintenance included.

    I must admit though, in driver’s ed, they did teach us how to change a tire, but I missed that day.

  16. says

    I don’t know how to read maps either. I pretend to…but then I get us hopelessly lost. If it wasn’t for my GPS, I’d never make it ANYWHERE. Ever.

    And once they started throwing the alphabet into math problems, I lost all mathematical ability. My kids never bring me math homework to me for help…because they know I start hyperventilating when I see it.

    • says

      Travelled to Alaska from New Zealand a few years ago. Photos don’t do justice you must go and see for yeroselvus!Mount McKinlay is awesome if you are lucky to view it from Denali Nation Park.And the food !!