Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Rules Kids Won't Learn In School

An interesting email which came around a few times stated that Bill Gates gave a speech at a High School in which he covered 11 things they do not and will not learn in school. He talked 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.

The truth is, Bill Gates did not come up with that list. Why it was attributed to the Microsoft head is a mystery.

This list is actually the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book, Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add. The list has appeared in newspapers but many versions omit the last three rules which you can read here: Some Rules Kids Won't Learn In School

But the key ones are these Eleven Rules which are applicable even for adults:

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.


  1. Amen. And this is a VERY timely post.

    Speaking of which, do you mind if I link to and quote from it?

  2. I have also come across 'Dalai Lama's new year speech'. Not sure whether it was really attributed to him.

  3. MM, no problem. Be my guest. Looking forward to reading your post.

    KS, yeah, this article too has many different 'authors' that I am confused each time I receive one. I suppose it's alright because the message delivered is a positive one. Hope we are referring to the same article.