11 Things You Do Not Learn In School

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Believe it or not, I got this from a forwarded chain mail! Normally, I delete forwarded mails even without looking in. But this one came from a friend who normally doesn’t spam me, and so I decided to take a peek. It was purported to be part of a commencement speech by Bill Gates to some high school students. I really liked the mail, so I decided to try and find that speech. Turns out, this is not from a speech by Bill Gates after all. It is originally by Charles J. Sykes, author of the book Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add. Does it really matter where or how it originated? Its bloody good advice, that SHOULD be a part of the commencement speech in every high school!

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cindy@staged4more said...

BRILLIANT! thanks for sharing this post. it is clear that there are some fundamental differences in thoughts between this generation and the last.



Golbguru said...

Nice ! virtues of spam email.

Btw, I am going to get the Charles J. Sykes...it sounds totally awesome from the title itself. Thanks for mentioning it.

Sometimes, it appears that "feel good..but can't read, write, or add" is not just limited to children. :)

ispf said...

Cindy: yeah, i thought our generation had the worst 'entitlement' attitude... but the newer generation seems to have found ways to even surpass us!

Golb: From what I read on the net, these rules are NOT from that book. With the Bill Gates e-rumor twisted around this mail, it was hard to find a whole lot of information. But I think one of the websites distincly said that this is by the author of the book, even though it did not apper in this form in the book. I think the book should still be a good read, if the authors style in writing the book is as crisp as it is in writing these rules!

And you are so right when you say - "feel good..but can't read, write, or add" is not just limited to children :)

English Major said...

First of all: "car phone"? What, is it 1992, still, and I didn't notice? And what about the people who DO make $60,000 or even $100,000 right out of college?

All in all, this sounds like it was written by a parent embittered by his differences with his environmentalist, backpacking child. "You toughen up and quit whining, young man, because the real world won't be as nice to you as your fancy private school and your parents! And when are you going to stop trying to "do what you love" and get a real job?"

Frankly? Ick.

English Major said...

"And cut your hair!"

ispf said...

English Major: Whao, somebody's feeling a bit cranky today, huh? :)

I can see how it can seem a bit cheezy, but personally I really liked it.

Just to put it in context, a couple of months back I had a phone conversation with a friend back in school. He is graduating soon with an MS in Computer Science and has no prior work experience. The entire conversation, he was whining about how the job he got (at a very good company, in my opinion) will pay him only $70K. It may not seem like much by NYC standards, but in my part of the country a single dude can live like a king on that salary! And he was whining!

Ben said...

This list is all too true. In fact, if I'd have known what I had to "look forward to" in terms of work, I might have worked a little less and played a little more in high school and college.

Kemal Can said...

these are the rule of life :)

Anonymous said...

First of all making $60,000 a year as a entry level job is very likely.
All of those so called rules of yours are meant to keep people down.
This generation is the most educated and hardest working generation ever.
Every generation trys to move ahead as quickly as possible.
During WWII; 16 and 17 year olds lied about their age so they could go to war.
This generation wants to make money as quick as possible because they know what is what its all about.
Your just some old guy who didnt make it so you dont want other to make it.

Anonymous said...

While it's easy to read this list and agree with most of it (hell I do on the surface) the truth is Charlie Sykes (for those of us in his radio market) is a raging rightist with questionable jouralistic practces (see the scandal over his wife's call in). The fact is most of what Sykes says is borderline idiocy...