What I Didn’t Learn

Don’t know why I thought of this, but here ’tis. There are certain things that other people learned in their public schooling career that I just didn’t learn. And some of those things seem to be fairly universal — something that almost everyone has done/learned. It’s not like I had poor attendance and missed the teaching of these items … unless it was all crammed into, say, a single day when I was out sick. Heck, I got an award for excellent attendance. So here’s what I didn’t learn:

Square Dancing: Apparently, everyone learned this in an elementary school gym class. Heck, even my brother, who went through the same school system as I, did a two-week unit on square dancing. However, I never learned it. And knowing it was a two-week unit, I know for certain that I wasn’t out sick and missed it — I never missed more than a couple of days of school. Maybe we had a substitute teacher that two weeks? Maybe they experimented with my class, and opted not to teach it? Nevertheless, I don’t even have a child’s half-grasp of how to Promenade Left and Allemande Right.

Cutting Open Dead Animals: Seems like everyone I know got to dissect a frog, or an earthworm, or some other small animal. Granted, I didn’t take biology in high school (went the chemistry/physics route instead), but it would appear that there was a dissection unit in junior high, somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, that I completely missed. I took science all through junior high, and once again, wasn’t gone for the length of time a dissection unit would take.

Reading “MacBeth”: I guess this was a standard for high school English classes. I did read “Romeo & Juliet”, “Julius Caesar” and “Hamlet”, but never did “MacBeth”. On a similar note, did anyone out there ever get to study an actual fun Shakespeare play in school? Or did we all just get tragedies and histories, instead of a comedy/romance that might actually instill a liking of the bard? On a slightly less similar note, I never read The Catcher in the Rye in school either. However, my mother worked at another high school in the district, and I snagged a copy when they were replacing the old books with new ones. I still have that beat-up ex-school copy.

So now, dear readers … what did you not learn in school that everyone else seems to have learned?