Am I the only one who has very distinct memories of high school calculus class? Or memories of high school in general? Actually, wait, scratch that. It’s actually just one very distinct memory: my classmates and I asking our teacher when we would ever actually need calculus. I suppose it’s a fair question, and while I can’t speak for anyone else from my graduating class, I can say without reservation that for me, that answer has been never. I mean, it’s possible that I could one day need to dive deep into the vault to, like, save mankind from certain doom or try to calculate when Justin Bieber’s going to release his next album (#sorrynotsorry for bringing it up; he is a creative genius). But so far? No so much with the whole "calculus will be relevant to your real life" argument.
However, now that I've had over a decade to think about it, I can see that our teacher’s response to these questions was pretty stellar. I don’t remember the entire thing verbatim, but basically what he said is that taking calculus in high school wasn’t necessarily about the likelihood of needing to apply it later in life so much as it was about challenging ourselves when presented with an opportunity to do so. Mic drop, Mr. McDougall. It’s one of the few lessons that I can still recall (albeit barely) from my days as a student. I honestly feel like there are so many things from high school that we should make an effort to remember more consciously in our adult lives. Here are just a few more that I think are worth repeating: