by Ryan Kohlhof

What is knowledge? How do you classify how “smart” someone is? Is intelligence all based on test scores? According to my computer’s translation, knowledge is “facts, information and skills acquired by a person through experience or education.” Is this what school is for? To imprint knowledge onto us? And if so, then it only covers the education aspect. Where’s the experience part? Does school provide a theoretical and practical understanding? If not, can school really classify which of us are the “smart” kids?  Who gets to decide which subjects are the most important? That’s like deciding which parts of life are the most important, which is an individualistic decision. Why must so much information be crammed into certain sections by the end of the year? Does this leave enough time for the information to be properly relayed to the students. And if so, then why must we touch upon the same subjects every year?
Why do history classes leave out certain parts of history but make us repeatedly relive other moments? Why do we not have as many geography classes as physical and life sciences? English classes teach uneven amounts of grammar, spelling and literature skills. Why must we pursue such unrealistic math classes? How many of us will end up using imaginary numbers and finding how x will equal y? Most people at this point feel like math just isn’t adding up. So why isn’t advanced math just an optional class?
Where are the “real-world situation” classes? Maybe a class specifically taken to help ease students into the real world so it isn’t such a difficult transition. Why isn’t that part of the Core Curriculum? Are those not skills all people should have?
From the beginning, school has been telling us how we will need this knowledge to go to college, so we can get a good job, so we can make money and be successful. Is that what life is about? Making money and being successful? A lot of people spend their school lives racking up so much debt, just so they can get a job and spend a good chunk of their adult life paying it off. And what if they decide they want a different career? Then it’s back to racking up more debt. It baffles me that people spend their entire lives seeking money for happiness. Maybe money will make you happy, but what if it doesn’t? Shouldn’t school teach you to be you and seek your own inner happiness?
You shouldn’t let school consume you. You have a dream? Chase it. Never look back. You want to travel the world? You want to move to Tibet to be a monk? You wanna be a rockstar? Do it. I want you to stop right now, think about your dreams and passions and go chase them. This is your life.