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What Did You Learn That Was Worthwhile?

March 22, 2012

I’ve got a confession to make. I failed my Higher English at school. Twice. I’m glad I did, because it meant that I couldn’t go straight to University, which I almost certainly would have been kicked out of after a year.

Instead, I had to find a job. It was a meaningless and dead-end job, but it did give me enough money to buy the odd pint (fun) and new sets of guitar stings (essential). To cut a long story short, after a few years drifting, I ended up back at college sitting my Higher English where, because I was motivated and driven, I passed with an A (Band 1, since you ask).

So… did school fail me? Were teachers held accountable because I failed? I certainly hope not, because I know that there would have been nothing they could have done to make me pass at that point in my life. In fact, in retrospect, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. If I’d scraped a pass, I’d have probably never have tried to improve myself… would never have set off on this path to becoming a better learner…

So… what did I learn at school that was worthwhile? (And by worthwhile, I am restricting myself to specific knowledge that I was taught at school and that I can clearly identify as having been used after school — my blog, my rules! 😉 )
Simple. Scottish country dancing. My school taught me how to do the Gay Gordons, the Dashing White Sergeant, and the creme de la creme for exercise and grabbing members of the opposite sex, the Strip The Willow (see video below for the Orcadian version). I can honestly say that I have never had to use my Higher Physics or Higher Maths (I did get some Highers at school!), but I have had occasion to use my Scottish dancing almost every year since. Most notably at midnight on a beach in the South of France while a student.

Ask me what I learned of value and I’ll have to admit it was something that wasn’t assessed, wasn’t evaluated by the ‘system’, and did not have a deadline. I loved it!

So, what was your most useful/practical learning experience from school?

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