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Don’t Let School Take You out of the Real World

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Tenth grade students take a chemistry test while in class at Springfield High School in Springfield, Ill.

Mr. Bob McCreary, NPHS Social Studies Teacher

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Just over one marking period is in the history books (and on transcripts!) and students are now fully entrenched in another school year.  Seniors are a few months away from graduation and many will continue their education beyond high school in some fashion. 

I came across a good quote the other day.

        “You can get knowledge in school but only life can provide an education.”

The point the quote makes is that learning facts, dates, names, theories, etc. only goes so far.  To get an “education,” you have to experience life.  You cannot do that by just reading a book.  It requires much more action, application, and participation than that.

When you analyze the high achievers in our society – Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, etc. – you will notice that they all have/had the combination of knowledge and that thing referred to as “it.”   You hear this in comments like “That guy gets it or “That girl has it.”    The question becomes “What does ‘it’ refer to?”

“It’ can mean common sense.  “It” can mean a person’s work ethic.  “It” can also mean a person’s drive to succeed, their ability to connect with other people, their ability to handle adversity and get back up again, the ability to keep moving forward, to notice things other people miss, and much, much more.  Of course, there is no course called “common sense” or “work ethic 101.”  That is because these things are learned through experience and not through a textbook.

The successful are not always the smartest people.  They are, however, people that tend to pay attention to the world around them.  They listen to the needs of people and notice trends and patterns in society.  Their talents lie in their ability to take whatever knowledge they have and apply it to their surroundings.

This is not to say that getting more knowledge has no value.  The point is, acquiring knowledge and understanding the world does not have to be an “either or” kind of thing.  In fact, it is to everyone’s advantage to do both at the same time.  If people wait until after college to start paying attention to the world, they will find that the people who have been paying attention along the way will have already blown past them.

As Ferris Bueller said …

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Don’t Let School Take You out of the Real World”

  1. Mike Swanson on January 20th, 2012 2:25 pm

    i agree that it is very important to get more out of school and life than facts and figures. But I often find myself so deeply involved in my schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, that I cannot keep up to date in the world because I have no time to read the newspaper or watch the news. What we learn in school should not be so immense and it should incorporate events and issues in the real world so that we as students can become more well-rounded

  2. Jewel Rama on January 23rd, 2012 11:01 pm

    I love that quote, But its so true, sometimes we just get into the continous cycle where its just school, school and more school and we get caught up that we just loose the outside world.

  3. Parnell Kelley on January 27th, 2012 7:39 pm

    This is definitely true and I appreciate the article. During an academic decathlon meet, I needed to give an impromptu speech on where children learn outside of school. When we take a look at where we draw inspiration and general intelligence from, school definitely falls behind the home, as well as recreational and religious places that teach us soo much more interactively an shape us into the people that we are as a a whole, not just intellectually.

  4. Liz Buckham on January 31st, 2012 5:11 pm

    Life is more then facts and figures, or getting straight A’s or doing all your homework. Life is about what you get out of your education, its what you get between classes, after school either in clubs or in sports.

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