The School of Useless Information

I was on my way home from the grocery store and my mind was wandering (not an unusual occurrence ).  I was thinking about ordering a curling iron via Amazon and wondering how easy it would be to figure out from the description if it would meet my needs.  ‘

“Well,” I thought, “if it gives me the circumference of the iron, I should have a pretty good idea.  Although it might give me the diameter of the iron.  Hmmm, now which one is which?”

I thought for a bit and then remembered my old way of keeping the two straight in school.  I’d think about the old explorers “circumventing” the globe and that would trigger my mind to think about going “around” the globe and thus “circumference” meant the measurement AROUND a circle.  By process of elimination, that meant the “diameter” was the distance from one side of the circle to the other.

r = 3.1 in

Calculate the circumference of the circle.

Ah, yes….when I was doing problems like that above, who would have thought that it would come in handy when ordering products on Amazon?

That got me to thinking about the other “useless” things I learned in school and which ones, having stood the test of time, have really proven to be helpful.

The good old multiplication tables

The good old multiplication tables

I recall spending a lot of time trying to memorize the multiplication tables.  Looking back now, I think the ones that I really only needed in life have been my x2’s and my x5’s.  Everything else I could start with something from those two tables and use my fingers to work up or down to get the answers.  Of course, just about any idiot can figure out your x10’s and x11’s so those are “freebies.”  Then, too, there’s always the calculator on my iPhone.

Fractions have also come in handy.  Now that we’re empty nesters, I often try to cut a recipe in half.  That requires me to use my knowledge of fractions to take, let’s say 1 and 1/2 cups of  flour and reduce that down to 3/4 cups of flour.  The same principle holds true if I’m trying to double a recipe and I have to figure out that 3/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of sugar equals 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar total.

So there are a few things from my most hated subjects in school that I still use, along with a few useless facts that still float around in my head.  Bet you didn’t know that the white curly-Q looking thing inside the eggshell is called the “chalaza” and it is found on each end of the yolk and is what stabilizes it within the shell.  I learned that in a Poultry Science class in college and, for some reason, I’ve never forgotten it.  Every time I crack an egg, I think about that.

But enough about cracked eggs!  What things have you retained and still find helpful from your school days?  As for the rest, you have my permission to “let it go.”






Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: