Unfortunately it's a whole load of crap we never actually put to practical use in real life! At least not in my daily working life. Till now I have never felt the need to apply advanced probability theories or complex calculus formulas ever. Nothing about the earth-shaking movements of tectonic plates either. Fear not though, aspiring young students, perhaps all the needless information stuffed ceaselessly into our young minds does serve as a solid foundation for later studies.
Or at least I hope. Otherwise a miserable decade of excruciating Gradgrind schooling would have gone to complete and utter waste!
A definite conclusion Pirating Patty and I have come to after making the fateful decision to tutor our protege Lil Orphan Annie, who has been steadily flunking out of school. It has been a long while since we've looked through our textbooks - much longer for me - and after wading through the entire encyclopaedic lot, we realized not only are we clearly unsuited to the thankless job, we are clearly downright imbecilic.
Unfortunately our protege isn't an Orphan Andy who looks like that.
Did we really study all that much back then? The sheer amount of inconsequential information crammed into our textbooks seems mind-boggling - and I find it hard to believe I actually managed to revise, recall and regurgitate all that seeming triviality for the final exams! Ten subjects at minimum? No doubt I must have been certifiably insane as a pock-marked teenager to even contemplate that!
Nothing astounded me as much as the inscrutable mathematics textbook of course. Never been a devotee of Mathematics but I swear I used to pass muster at least. But now even the basic Pythagoras Theorem left me stumped for a moment. Seemed utterly impossibly alien! Wasn't there something about a triangle? You can imagine how amazed I was when I looked through the incomprehensible mathematical process of finding a derivative.
Patty : OMG Did we become stupid overnight?
Paul : I have no idea! Did we actually know so much?
Patty : We must have!
Paul : You mean we knew about organic chemistry and the laws of physics as well?
Patty : And history. And geography. At least I think we knew all that... didn't we?
Paul : I've never actually thought about it but fucking hell, we must have been fucking brilliant!
Unlike the present when the elementary times table leaves me dumbfounded. How far the mighty have fallen.
In our miserably incompetent attempts to teach Orphan Annie, we realized that we couldn't remember a whit! Might as well be unlettered rustics scrabbling on dingy cave walls since obviously we have zero retention on everything we learnt in our classes back then.
Guess it's back to school for the both of us.