19 January 2011

On the Transcontinental Railroad

Picture it; it's a cold, snow January morning in the God-forsaken state of Indiana and an extremely bored Algebra II student rolls his eyes as the slacker seated behind him interrupts the day's lesson once more to say "why do we even need to know this?" Then he sits there as the teacher tries to come up with an impromptu answer. No matter what your teacher tells you, the answer will most likely be that you will never need to know anything that you learn in math after about the fifth grade.

I am not by any means saying that the time that you spend in your math or science or history or English classes is time that is not well spent, although it may seem like it in the moment. What I am saying is that, although you may  not ever find a use for the endless amounts of useless knowledge that you gain in these classes, some things that you learn in school you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

This evening I was writing a paper analyzing the social and economic effects of the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the west (which, might I add, are nearly endless.) Fun, right? In the event that you don't know what the transcontinental railroad is I have included a little map to the right >

Anyway, as I was writing my essay on a topic that I have absolutely no interest in, it occurred to me that I still might actually learn something useful from this class after all. Surely if the class is required--or at least recommended--there is probably a reason for it. And even if, at the end of the class, I don't get anything substantial out if it involving the content of the class, simply to learn under a teacher--some of the most dedicated and wise people that I have met--is enough to never regret any class that I have taken.


  1. First, i think you might have some typos... Also.. "...in." Haha. ;) Pretty sweet, Tobes.

  2. I do? Point them out, please :) I spell checked everything, but I may have missed something.