..was when I, acting of a volition not entirely my own, spun around in my seat, stared deep into the eyes of the person behind me, and asked:

"Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, SCREAMING, because you dreamt you’d forgotten how to name the enantiomeric derivatives of tertiary alkyl halides?"
For me, this would have been in 8th grade, in history class. My teacher, who was truly a horrible teacher, assigned us a project on colonial America. Part of the project, which was spelled out very clearly in the product descriptor that she gave us, said that we had to determine which were the 5 largest cities in America in 1770, 1780, and 1790. Try looking for this exact figures on this information, it isn't easy to find. It wasn't easy for me, at the time, either. I spent hours in both the school and the city library searching for these elusive figures.

The night before the project was due, I still had nothing except the approximate population of Philadelphia in 1790. I complained of my plight to my mom, who had always encourged me to take school seriously.

"Well," she said, "just make them up. [Your teacher] won't care."

I guess it was then, that I realized that sometimes, in fact quite often, the stuff that teachers give you is pointless, absurd crap. This feeling was reinforced when I actually handed in my project, and got it back two weeks later, to see my grade of....(drumroll please) 121. Yes, that's right, one hundred twenty-one. Out of a hundred. And I didn't even do all the stuff the teacher asked for. The scary thing is, that wasn't the highest grade in the class. The highest was 152. Also out of a hundred.

Yes, it was about then that I realize you must take everything about school with a grain of salt. After all, half the stuff they teach you is wrong, and the other half you'll never use.

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