Study. I’m not sure what “study” means. I grew up going to public school where my teachers gave me assignments in geography, history, science and other obligatory curriculum. I read the words and made sense of the words so I could answer correctly the questions at the end of the chapter. Then I reviewed my chapter questions so I could pass the unit test. Passing tests meant a respectable report card and that kept my parents at bay. I think that is what studying is all about. Nothing much in the scheme of things.
But…I did learn stuff in school. I learned practical, useful stuff, stuff I continue to use in my everyday life. And I did NOT learn these things by studying. Stick around and I’ll tell you about some of my peak school-day learning experiences.
Grade 1: I learn to tear paper in half. Mrs.Mann took a sheet of paper and folded it in half. Next, holding the paper in her left hand, she put her thumb and forefinger of her right hand together, one on either side of the paper, and slid them across the fold several times. She then reversed her hands and repeated the same steps. And now the magic! She unfolded the piece of paper and placing a hand on either side of the crease, she ever so gently pulled the paper apart making two perfect halves! This completely blew my little six-year-old mind! I still enjoy making perfect halves.
Grade 2: I learn social skills. Recess was my favorite subject this year. I chased Leonard and Billy around the playground and when I got close enough, I would kick them. No one seemed to mind and no one said I couldn’t do it, so I did. I can still see their laughing faces as they turned around to see if I was in hot pursuit!
Grade 3: I learn to tell time. A fifth grader named Dick had the hots for me. Fifth graders weren’t allowed in the third grade classroom so in order to give me his valentine, he had his toady sneak it into my decorated valentine box. When he was on vacation in Arizona, he sent me letters, pictures of him on a horse and a fancily dressed doll. i always wondered what his mother thought about all this gooey love stuff. Then one day he wanted to kiss me. On Wednesday I was to meet him in the hall at the water fountain at 2:20. I knew exactly what time it was!
Grade 10: I learn about homonyms. In history class, Miss Hempsted called on me and asked me the meaning of “deer money.” Well, I was raised on a small farm and occasionally we saw deer at the back of the property, but…what does a deer have to do with money? I had no idea so I just shook my head and said, “I don’t know.” Good ol’ Joe sitting across from me had the answer. It took some time, but I finally put it all together. This was the start of my interest in homonyms and I actually made a hobby of collecting them. I still have the original list!
Grade 12: I miss a homonym: On a dare, I decide to run for Class Secretary. My posters were very cute and featured a Snoopy-like dog as my mascot. I particularly remember the one with the little dog holding a sign which read, “She can do the job!” Well, someone wrote “head job” on my poster. That’s nice! I thought and decided to share this comment with the entire student body during my campaign speech. Hoots and hollers rolled across the auditorium! I just stood there red-faced and dumbfounded. I had no idea what the joke was except there was no doubt the joke was on me. Later, after a session with the guidance counselor, I added “head” to my homonym collection.
Well, there you have it. I learned a lot of good stuff in school, but not from studying books!