When you take a step back and look at all the stuff you’re learning in school, you get an entirely different view.

On one side there are the facts about the universe. Nitrogen cycles, say, or why seasons exist. (The same stuff they teach every year, it feels, and we forget every year. What’s the difference between weather and climate? One is short-term, one is long-term. Sheesh.)

On the other side there’s the stuff about dealing with life. Messages of equality, not giving up, counting your blessings, and so on ad nauseum, lurking in every corner of the stories they give you, passages to read, inspiring biographies to pore over, project structures to manage. Socialization and leadership skills too, of course.

Not that teaching these things is bad. But it all seems so fake sometimes. They give it to you as lessons on learning from literature and language and art, and of course there are plenty of notable bits about grammar and history and all that, but most of it seems to be centered around some abstract sainthood. You have to pick up the nitty-gritty skills yourself.

I enjoy discussions on being a good person. Just not all the time. There are a lot of times when I feel like learning something solid instead of wondering about my purpose in life. I wonder about that all the time by myself just fine, thank you. That’s all.

Nobody’s perfect, but I wish I had a perfect mentor.


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