Useless things you learned in school.


New member
What was the most useless thing you learned (or learning) back in school that all your teachers keep saying, "you'll use this someday", but you know you will mostly not use those lessons at all.

For me, back in 2nd grade, my class were forced to learn how to write in cursive because my teachers said that "it is required for high school and will be the alphabet of the future." So, here I am a senior in high school, and no one writes in cursive.


Algebra, apparently it would help me when I build bridges amongst other things.


New member
Dyza, my brother says he uses algebra at work. He does computers at a casino. It came up cause I asked what the point of learning algebra was. @ ascastlat: how do you sign your name? Cursive is useful so you can read historical documents like the Declaration of Independence. Just my 2 cents.


New member
I must take exception to algebra being useless. I have used algebra extensively since graduating from college. I have spent thousands of hours developing spreadsheets for financial modeling, forecasting, building financial statements (cash flow, balance sheets, income statements) for purposes of business planning and financing. I don't type in numbers for my financial statements. I write complex formulas (algebraic expressions where the variable are references to other spreadsheet cells). That way I can build a list of assumptions. When I change a cost of one item, or change the sales price of an item, the entire set of statements will recalculate. So I can see how a small change affects the financial statements for years to come. In the late eighties, my pro-forma spreadsheets, with thousands of formulas, helped our company land a 1.5 million dollar venture capital investment deal. I could not have started several businesses and earned what I did without that useless algebra in my business plans. If you go through life thinking that education and information is useless, you limit your own options in life. Think of everything you learn as a set of tools to put in your tool box. Then one day, when you encounter an opportunity, you might just be able to solve a problem that most people cannot solve. That is how most people build businesses and become wealthy. They solve the problem that no one else can. But you need a set of skills and tools to take advantage of those opportunities when they come in life.


Super Moderator
I love how they told us in second grade we would only write in cursive as an adult. They acted like printing was out of the picture. Well, now schools are not teaching it anymore and have replaced it with typing classes! I sign my name in cursive obviously but that's it. Whew, because my handwriting sucked.

I hated reading in school. Especially when I got to high school. Shakespeare, no thanks. If I read a book it was because It was something I wanted to read not because I was told I had to read it. Any kind of reading is learning to me, not just school required/approved novels.


New member
Are you telling me Angelo, that typing those formulas in Excel is algebra? If so, I had no idea. I use those as well and used that older version, quick book I think was the name. Interesting thought.


New member
I think that useless knowledge is only useless because it hasn't been learned well enough to be applied. A tool is no good, if you don't know what it does.

Mathematics was a skill I mastered and it serves me in my occupation, my advocations, and in generally understanding the world. Oh how I wish the news anchors of the world would discuss numbers/studies/reports with a higher degree of quantitative literacy.

Force reading of boring stuff is a skill I use at work more that I wish I had to. Oh how I wish the scientists and engineers of the world could report their findings with a higher degree of communicative literacy.

I had excellent life science and biology teachers and that knowledge serves me well despite not being fields that I studied in college or use to generate income. I had atrocious history teachers and didn't ever apply myself so history isn't a useful tool in my bag (I suppose I could work to change that).

Okay so I'm not sure if my racquetball playing skills are currently useful, maybe because I didn't learn how to play that well. But those racquetball classes did help me keep my sanity during some fairly brutal college years. So while not being helpful now, they were essential at the time. And maybe someday I'll move closer to a court and get to use them again.


I'm being sarcastic here, but the things I learned in health class. Pretty sure lots of it doesn't apply to salt is bad for you...not so much for


New member
I would have to agree with you kenna2 pretty much every health related subject barely applied to me. Eat a low amount of calories and as little fat as possible.. right did they not want me to be at the minum bmi going into transplant?