Cram Session

sharing wisdom one can only acquire in the school of life

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Ian Kloster

Greetings! This one goes out to all you students out there. And by “students,” I mean “those who learn.” And by “those who learn,” I mean “everyone, because life is a journey of constant education.” And by “constant education,” I mean “the relentless onslaught of mortifying experiences proving just how inept you really are at even the most basic tasks of living.”

Got all that?

Well, students, I hope you’ve been adjusting well to the new school year. You’ve probably got a good few weeks left until the crushing dread produced by your academic procrastination fully sets in, so while you’re living in blissful ignorance, allow me to posit a few intellectualistic points of interest from a real, live college graduate.

All this book learning you are doing is important. However, as many of my smart, good-looking peers will attest, one of the most important things a person can learn in school is how to learn. And some of the most important of life’s lessons come after graduation. Like what, you ask?

Here are some examples, broken down by curricular genre.

GRAMMAR & SPELLING

People, you look really dumb if you can’t spell basic words. And you look even dumber if you don’t take time to correct your typo-ridden emails and Facebook status updates. Trust me, I know. This is coming from a chronically poor speller and hasty email sender. I have sent emails to my wife which have been completely unintelligible. At work, I have needed to email bands and ask for their promo photos, only to ask a complete stranger to send me their prom pictures. These seemingly small things have large importance.

But you look dumberist if you misspell words and overlook typos when you’re trying to sound smart in an online debate. I don’t care if you’re arguing about health care, religion, fiscal policy, the Packers, or the newest World of Warcraft expansion pack. If you can’t spell, you loose lose.

This is why I no longer argue. About anything. Sort of. Not really.

MATHEMATICS

We all love joking about how high school math teachers should stop teaching kids to solve for the coefficient of the quadratic theorem of the radius of a parabolic triangle, and more time teaching kids how to solve real world math problems like doing your taxes, figuring out what you owe on a group restaurant tab, and impressing coworkers by doing basic multiplication in your head.

Jokes like this are funny because they are true.

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