I was reminded this morning of all the things I was taught in school that were not entirely accurate. I always used to say there were three main things. In fact there were more.
Add to this the fact that I was not taught enough English grammar to be able to learn another language (and in fact none of the schools I was at ever taught another language anyway), and that we were not made to rote learn our times tables (thankfully Mum was pretty keen on that activity), I begin to wonder what I was doing for those 12 years at school?
Wrong Fact #1:
Taipans only live on the very tip of Cape York Peninsula.
Yes, the most deadly snake in Australia, the bite-first-and-ask-questions-later type of attack snake isn't a threat to you unless you live on the hardly-populated-at-all tip of the Cape.
Then I moved to Cloncurry.
This is the best advertisement for sending all the new graduate teachers into western or northern Queensland where they may learn stuff not relevant to SE Queensland. And maybe we will warn them about the taipans in advance. Neh... much more fun if we don't!
Wrong Fact #2:
We don't have earthquakes in Australia.
Okay, so we don't suffer as much as New Zealand or San Francisco, but hello...the whole Great Dividing Range is a result of plates shifting. There was even an earthquake in Newcastle when I was in high school.
Wrong Fact #3:
The Ancient Greeks believed "everything in moderation".
Then I did ancient history at uni.
Pardon me for laughing immoderately, and allow me time to collect myself for a minute...
The truth is that some Greeks of the upper classes talked about "everything in moderation" - usually as they drank themselves into a stupor at a symposium.
Fact that I'd forgotten about:
Menstruation lasts for 4-7 days precisely 28 days apart.
I don't think I need say more?
And finally the fact that they didn't manage to teach me because I already knew that they were wrong:
Draftsmen don't design roads.
At the time my Dad was a Design Draftsman at the Department of Main Roads. In fact he was in charge of the Design Office. I'm not certain what he was doing with his time, since he obviously couldn't design a road, but I'd like to thank the Queensland Government for paying him for nearly 40 years to do nothing!
Certainly engineers check things; engineers may design bridges; they may do some design themselves from time to time. But the majority of the design and checking was done by drafties.
But the chance that my teacher would take my word for it?
... Approximately None!
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