Do Adults Really Not Remember School Sucked?

Ian Walsh:

One of the constant refrains which has bemused me during the pandemic is all the people saying how much kids want to go back to school.


This has struck me as crazy, because I don’t seem to have childhood amnesia. I didn’t like school, and I remember that almost no kid I ever met, even those who did, preferred school to days off.

But I shrugged until I read this teacher’s account of asking her students how their time off was.

Surprise, almost all of them were happy they had had the pandemic time off.

School is, well, mostly bad. It teaches things slowly, it mostly trains obedience, and it’s a social horror show. When we say social dynamics are like high school, we never mean anything good, and there are dozens of movies about how awfully students treat each other.

And most of what is taught in school and university is quickly forgotten. I used to amuse myself by asking recent university grads what they had learned, most of them could barely remember anything. Since I was widely read, often I knew enough to ask basic questions about their discipline, and they wouldn’t know the answers.