Practical uses for subjects learned in high school: Raymond Hu – Grade 12

High school subjects practical High school kids learning what's important

School is a place full of wonderful knowledge and fascinating exploration, but students always think that it is a waste of time learning some of these subjects. They believe that they will hardly use any of this “knowledge” in the future. That is wrong. They just don’t know when to use it, and I am here to teach them.

Let us start with Chinese. We learn a lot from it, like how to write rhetorically, how to understand classical Chinese, or to use difficult words and phrases, and we can certainly use it when we go shopping. When we want to get a good bargain, you need to talk flowers, clouds, mountains – all of this majestic imagery to persuade stubborn sellers. After that, you will have to thank them, and nothing is better than an overly sophisticated thank you speech. What’s more, if they refuse you, instead of expectorating on them, we can use profound words they don’t understand to vituperate them.

Math is quite useful too. Not only can we count how many erasers or pencils we own, but also use calculus to predict the volume of your water bottle. Even better, we can use math for building skyscrapers, space shuttles, and more. Using math, we can calculate friction and angle and things that will affect whether objects we build can stay at their maximum efficiency. Or we can just use math to impress others, like counting how many triangles there are in a picture and posting it on Facebook.

You can use your civics knowledge when you are in foreign areas. Knowing that you are in a democratic country, you can almost say anything you want, while in an autocratic country, saying anything you want might put you in jail. Learning civics can also give you an idea of when you can drink alcohol, get a license, or even vote. Possessing this knowledge enables you to not break the law, like getting drunk when you are sixteen and breaking into a voting center with a car to cast your “ballot”. For your information, we cannot drink or drive in Taiwan until you are 18, and you cannot vote unless you are older than 20. So wait til then to crash into a polling place.

We use history to remind us what we did wrong in the past and make sure we do not wind up making the same mistakes again. When you go to war, it is important to make sure not to turn on your allies unless you can make sure you can beat them before they team up with another enemy, or before you are defeated by someone else. Also, when you run a country, make sure you do not waste money on luxuries and vanity projects, like giant walls that are created to prevent indignant and fatigued workers who are already paid too low and crushed by a life of never-ending labor. If you are a worker and happen to be fluent in history, you will know that your boss is probably a jerk, and it is for time you fight back and take control.

Geography helps you understand what to wear in different countries. Some places are cold, some places are hot. In cold places, we wear more clothes. In hot places, we wear less clothes. You would not want to wear a bikini in Northern Canada, would you? Also, with geography, we can know what resources a place abounds with, and you can know where to buy authentic objects from their homelands; you wouldn’t want to buy an apple with a sticker that said it was from the North Pole, would you?

Chemistry is versatile when you are trying to make a bomb. A bomb is wonderful mixture of different compounds, and they are used in mass killing in war or self-defense. But please be careful if you are trying to build one without knowing your science, for you might lose some limbs. Chemistry is also useful if you accidentally dipped your hands in hydrobromic acid; it is always good to know how to save yourself from amputation.

Everybody loves the things we learn in school, but loving them is not enough. What you should do is to apply the information obtained in school to daily, trivial matters. In doing so, you will gain great pleasure in your monotonous life.

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