1. How to work it
From elementary school through high school, I was absolutely convinced that no boy would ever think I was hot. I never had a boyfriend, I was never one of the popular girls. And it wasn't until college that I figured out that my problem wasn't the way I looked or even the way I acted. It was that I was absolutely and completely unaware of my own sexuality. Nobody had ever taught me how to work it. But now, I could teach the class. We'd have lessons like "Cleavage is Your Friend", "Flirting To Achieve Your Goals" and "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar".
2. How to act
This may seem odd, since I was an...ACTING major. But, I really didn't figuring out what I was doing until I studied years later in LA. I think this might be a sad truth about learning many of the fine arts in a university setting. For one thing, becoming a proficient actor involves having a safe place where you can allow yourself to be completely vulnerable, and that ain't college. Also, art is so completely subjective, but professors have no choice but to give people grades. And naturally, some students are going to be much more talented than others, but others are hard workers. How do you grade that? So professors are forced to fill the curriculum with gradable busy work. I'm afraid I learned much more about beer and men than the actual craft of acting.
Life would be so much more pleasant if I had somehow at some time been taught how to be patient. I've grappled with this all my life. I am CONSTANTLY either waiting for something to happen, or worrying that something will happen, or wishing somebody would get out of my way. It's such a waste of energy. I'm not quite sure what they'd teach in Patience 101. It probably would involve a certain amount of deep breathing. Letting go. I fear I will never learn this.
Okay, I guess that I should clarify. I was TAUGHT math. I just never LEARNED math. I got good grades because I have a good short-term memory and I like puzzles so I could make a formula work for me. But I never, ever understood the concepts - the bigger picture of math. The reasoning behind the answers. And so now, I remember virtually nothing. This is becoming more and more apparent now that Jude is entering the terrifying world of geometry and such. I am trying very hard not to let him realize that mom counts on her fingers.
5. Self motivation
I am a life-long procrastinator and dawdler. I can function very well and efficiently if I am given a deadline. But I almost always wait to the last minute to get things done. I was a notorious test-crammer. I can't tell you how many end of the semester projects I finished during an all-nighter on the last day of school. I know full well that my work would be of a higher quality if I paced myself more effectively. But...just can't do it.
Well that's not really right, I certainly learned how to fail. Just not how to accept failure gracefully, and move on. Luckily, my parents did endow me with a healthy dose of self-respect. Which is pretty important in order to fail gracefully. And here I am in a profession in which one is rejected on a daily basis. And nowadays, it's even worse - no kid ever fails. Everybody's a winner! So maybe these kids are gonna be in serious need of a course on Failure. I'm not sure how the curriculum would be designed. Maybe they'd lead you to believe you were succeeding, only to pull the rug out from under you in an embarrassing and public way? Then they would offer you lessons in How to Minimize Your Wallowing and Binge Drinking, How to Believe in Yourself Even When Your Life Feels Meaningless and most importantly How to Know When You Really Have Failed and It's Time to Get a New Profession.
What things did YOU never learn in school?
This post was inspired by
Prompt #5 - 6 things you never learned in school.