11 Things You Didn’t Learn in School (but Should’ve)

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Last updated on February 4th, 2024 at 10:50 pm

The Internet has come a helluva long way. Remember back when you used to have your Hotmail account and you’d get inundated by spam? Not even from random bots worldwide—from your friends. Yeah, chain mail when it was still hot. I remember all the ones that would tell me that I’d be doomed if I didn’t send it out to 15 friends in 15 minutes; or that I was a heartless bastard if I didn’t tell people how much I cared about a specific cause. I was going to post a mockery of chain letters called “Billy Connolly’s Chain Letter”, but while somewhat amusing, it was WAY too messed and vulgar for me to put in the blog, so if you want to see it, go look it up yourself.

But yes, the chain letter once stood tried and true as the majority of the emails we could count on getting daily. I don’t know if I preferred it over spam, but you don’t see much of it anymore. (Or perhaps it’s just an age thing, which I’ll admit is TOTALLY possible.)

I got this one from my father a few years back, and while it has since been debunked as coming from Bill Gates (it’s really from Charles Sykes’ “Dumbing Down Our Kids”), they’re all still relevant points that we can apply to our lives:


Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

  • Rule 1: Life is not fair—get used to it!
  • Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  • Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
  • Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
  • Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
  • Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
  • Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
  • Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
  • Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
  • Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
  • Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on.

If you can read this—thank a teacher!


I agree with this for the most part; there’s not a fixed set of rules that apply to everyone as we all come from different walks in life, but this list is a good way to frame one’s paradigms. You’ve got to work hard for your place in the world; nothing will come to you on a silver platter; and if things don’t work out the first time, don’t get soft—pick up the pieces and try again!

And let’s close this off with one of my favourite things to come from a chain mail EVER—a student’s solution for finding x is easier than we ever figured it was in school:

Have a good day, guys! I’m going to wrap up my weekend by making some more magazine clippings magically vanish out of sight!

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad



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