Monday, September 20, 2010

High school classes

Having been far removed from high school for a few years now I'm not quite sure what courses they offer anymore. Math, as I knew it may very well be outdated with the availability of electronic brains everyone carries around lately. I learned plus, minus, times, and division in grade school. Then, in high school it was algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Calculus was hinted at but I never took it up. English, American and world history, literature, health class including proper manners, social studies, government and science pretty much covered the rest of my studies. There is one class I failed to sign up for on time that I believe would have been extremely beneficial throughout my life, Speech class. From what I understand it involved public speaking, speech preparation and getting up in front of the class and putting words together in an understandable fashion without being embarrassed out of your wits. Debate class was part of it I think too.

I have always been intelligent and ready to learn but my problem came in that I all too often refused to learn what I wasn't interested in. Speech class wasn't on my list of priorities at the time. Especially in light of my being shy almost to the point of the ridiculous at the time. In retrospect, speech class was probably the perfect antidote for that problem of mine. I still have an inert fear of public speaking and what many would refer to as "microphone fright." Following the theory that fear itself is our greatest enemy I have faced the situation for better or worse by speaking in public on dozens of occasions. Just in case, I always make sure I have a someone nearby to take over in the event of brain failure. Yes, there have been a few times when my mind simply went blank and they had to maintain the momentum until I returned to the land of reality.

Another gremlin I faced through my lifetime is confrontation. Being a guy I am faced with the legacy of: Fight or flight. I'm not talking about physical violence here but rather the male tendency to bring normal disagreements to a higher decibel discussion to prove a point. I think I'd prefer to have learned debate in a more structured environment in my high school years. It probably would have prevented a lot of hurt feelings and broken relationships.

Times have changed and the education community has experimented with myriads of different theories. Not all of which have been successful, perhaps not even the majority. If I was in high school right now I'm afraid I'd be extremely confused as to what exactly was meant by a proper education. At least back then I knew what I was missing out on. Probably another class of great benefit I skipped because I thought it was for girls would have been typing. I'm typing this posting with two fingers. Not so speedy either. Live and learn I guess..........................Joe

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