Flash Fiction #49


PHOTO PROMPT – © Madison Woods


Arggh, teenagers!  Jennine’s son was complaining, again, about having to go to school.

“I’ll never use anything they’re teaching.”

She surprised him by agreeing – almost.  With the exception of English and basic math, until you get to post-secondary, none of the subjects are really useful.

School is for learning to learn; to marshal your thoughts, to receive and research knowledge, to order and rate it, to work with others, to be an individual – and part of a group.

School teaches about stress, responsibility, persistence, honesty, and deadlines.  School teaches about reality, work, and life.  School can be an ever-flowing fount.

Got to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.


14 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #49

  1. BrainRants says:

    Great take on the photo, Archon. It reminds me of many conversations I’ve had with my kids.


    • Archon's Den says:

      The very few comments you’ve made about your kids coalesce to make me believe you’re a pretty darned good Dad.
      Be sure to wish a couple of lovely and deserving ladies in your bivouac, a very Happy Mothers’ Day, from the entire Clan. 😀


  2. micklively says:

    I’ve never “used” Shakespeare but I would feel impoverished without him.
    Good piece.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I too would be impoverished without Shakespeare. Living only 25 miles from Stratford, Ontario, we have been fortunate over the years to attend a few performances.
      The hypothetical student may not ‘need’ to know how to calculate the area of the square on the hypotenuse, until his child has math homework. As noted in the comment above, this is a specific argument to a specific complaint about the lack of ‘utility’ of schooling.
      If we are to stand on the shoulders of giants, we must know that the giants exist, and where they live. 😆


  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    Excellent, and I couldn’t agree more. Reminds me of a big word I came across years ago in William Manchester’s biography of Churchill: autodidactic. Manchester chose uncommon words not to be pedantic but to be succinct, and in this case the word earns its worth by encapsulating the notion of being both “self-taught” and in being committed to life-long learning. A product of the sometimes brutal and demanding English school system, Churchill was indeed an autodidact.


    • Archon's Den says:

      People fall along the normal bell-curve about being able to order their minds. Some. like Churchill, can run a country. Those at the far end, go to trade schools and get a job with their name on their shirt. Like this example, sometimes it helps to see the process, to help it (and oneself) along.
      Some schools and religions are willing to let students learn all the ‘facts and methods’ they can, but not how to think as an individual. 😦


  4. Learning is like a faucet. The constant drip leaves a lasting impression.
    I like your descriptions.



    • Archon's Den says:

      I never understood those fellow-students who were anxious to join the workforce. Maybe I’m lazy, but if I could have found a patron, I would willingly been a life-long professional student.
      Even at my age, I’m still learning lots of things, like where to get asbestos underwear – just in case. 🙄


  5. Good story, Archon, but probably about a third of the way through the parent’s speech, she would have lost him. My son didn’t appreciate school until he was in college and paying for it himself. He worked part-time and got scholarships. 😀 — Suzanne


  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Well done and well said!


  7. Margaret says:

    That was so well put. And so correct. You should make posters of the last two paragraphs to be hung over every high school entrance, with a copy for the teachers’ staffroom.


    • Archon's Den says:

      My printer’s out of ink. Maybe you could make a few up?
      The little slackers with their heads down, and noses buried in their Smart phones wouldn’t even look up long enough to ignore it. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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