How The Public Schools Failed Me, or I’m So Dumb That It’s Actually Kind of Frightening

The fifth graders have been participating in the state standardized testing for several weeks now. There were always bubbles to fill in, blue books to write in, and number two pencils to sharpen when I was in school, but it’s much more extensive these days. I’ve been periodically sitting with my kids to help them with parts of it. I thought it was bad enough that I had to review fractions so that I had a clue going into the math portion, but today’s test was social studies, or what will henceforth be referred to as the twenty six multiple choice questions that made me realize that I’m not the intelligent, functioning member of society that just this morning I believed myself to be.

When it comes to questions about historical events, you either know that shit or you don’t. Turns out? I don’t. On many, many more counts than I’m prepared to admit. The Aztecs? The Pequot War? Lewis and Clark? Not to mention the fact that the only reason I remember Thomas Jefferson’s affiliation with the Louisiana Purchase is from a random memory of learning disabled Mallory Keaton, who, after studying for days on end for a history test, yelled in class, “THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE WAS DIFFICULT FOR THOMAS JEFFERSON!” I don’t remember why it was so difficult. No discount? I do, however, remember that a guy named Skippy had a crush on her. If you did a scan of my brain the only thing you’d find is Kimberly Drummond and Mike Seaver playing Operation. People, I need to buy some history books and READ THEM.

Or maybe there’s something I could learn by watching the History Channel. Or the Discovery Channel. Or VH1. Wait a second. Lindsay Lohan did WHAT to her hair?

12 Responses to “How The Public Schools Failed Me, or I’m So Dumb That It’s Actually Kind of Frightening”

  1. 1 3carnations May 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I’m also history ignorant. Hubby is a bit of a history buff. We were watching a movie that took place in the Civil War era, and I asked some admittedly ignorant question about the Civil War’s chronological position with some other early-era wars. Hubby’s response: “That was a joke, right?” Er…No. I’ll be learning history right along with my son. Hopefully this time it will stick.

  2. 2 -R- May 23, 2007 at 9:58 am

    The Pequot War? You’re just making that up, right?

  3. 3 nabbalicious May 23, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Oh, I don’t even want to go near one of those standardized tests. I don’t think I’d do well at all.

    Funny, my brain scan just reveals Michelle Tanner saying, “You got it, DUDE” over and over.

  4. 4 stefanie May 23, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    And I remember that Mallory Keaton line mainly because you typed it (similarly in all caps) in my comments once. 😉 So I don’t have just Mallory Keaton to thank for knowing Jefferson had something to do with the Louisiana Purchase; I have you quoting Mallory Keaton to thank for that. Woah.

    (And now that I said “Woah,” all I can think of is Joey Lawrence on “Blossom.” Obviously my brain isn’t any less riddled with 80s television trivia.)

    Incidentally, if I were to take the ACT/SAT today, I doubt I would know enough to get into even the least discriminating of community colleges. Sad, really.

  5. 5 cupcake May 23, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I feel the same way when my friends and I go play trivia at the local Irish pub. Groups actually get 10 out of 10. It amazes me. The picture round is the worst.

  6. 6 Shesabigstar May 23, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    I HEART Mike Seaver, and I mean HEART!

    This post (and many others of yours) makes me think that we (you!) could get a big old blog 80’s TV trivia thing going!!

    And now that Nabbalicious just mentioned Michelle Tanner, I’m remembering that time where Stephanie (or maybe DJ, but pretty sure it was Steph) was a member of that bee tribe…like a girl scout troop only they were bees. And there theme song went like this: ‘our motto is and ever was, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz!’

    Sorry, I’ll stop now. But, I will say that the 80’s TV trivia is a lot more fun than history! Remember the pink bunnies on the wall in Uncle Jesse’s room?

  7. 7 sognatrice May 24, 2007 at 2:47 am

    You really should spend some time with Discovery as it can have many unintended benefits. Never know when you’re going to have to impress someone with your knowledge of three-toed (as opposed to two-toed) sloths.

  8. 8 Allie May 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Wait…you meant Lois and Clark not Lewis and Clark, right? Dean Cain…anyone?

  9. 9 Killer May 24, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    History never helped anyone.
    Maybe they could change the name of the History channel to the People Magazine Channel more people would watch it.

  10. 10 Jaek May 27, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Ah…but you all fail to realize that you have demonstrated sophisticated levels of historical prowess right here in these comments: pop-cultural history.

    I’m sure that at some point in the future someone will need to teach our children the moral lessons that we all learned from ’80s sitcoms.

  11. 11 Effie May 29, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Mallory Keaton taught me what “Scuba” means: “SELF CONTAINED UNDERWATER BREATHING APPARATUS!” Why was she always yelling?

  12. 12 Matt May 31, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I’ll take pop trivia over Lewis & Clark any day…granted I’m biased…

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