People Divulge The Most Useless Things They Ever Learned In School
Aaron Burden/Unsplash

In 1492 Colombus sailed the ocean blue.

... it's a rhyme that's stuck in so many of our heads, but its completely useless. You know it, I know it, the schools knew it.

Colombus wasn't the first to "discover" America, and none of the little chants mentioned the whole murderous rampagey bits.

But the ocean was BLUE, y'all. And that rhymes with TWO, like 1492. So here we are.

Reddit was asked:

"What's the most useless thing you learned in school?"

... and yeah ... it would be great if the educational system gave us something useful.

Mostly, it's stuff like this, though:


Musik Violin GIF by PLAYMOBILGiphy

"Probably that apparently Vivaldi's nickname was 'the red priest.' "

"We had to study for exams but our teacher decided to visit 3 separate websites and make us read about him."

- Kirby_ewe

"My music history professor taught us that 'Vivaldi is also known as the red priest. Because he was a COMMUNIST!? No, he just had red hair'."

- nekofastboy

"I fully support the "dive into knowledge about one famous person you want to write about", but not 50, and NOT people who's only accomplishment was to write a couple of poetry books that made my teacher weak in the knees. And of course, there was a 'wrong' way to interpret his works."


Square Dancing Squid

"I haven't really found a use for square dancing."

- ToastAndASideOfToast

"Swing your partner round and round"

- SelectionMission3460

"Same. We learned it in my school cause it's the states dance. But I have never known anyone to square dance besides the TV people."

- USSCofficail

"You haven't found a use for square dancing YET. Just wait for a Squid Games situation."

- HolleighLujah

Disco Ball Demographics

House Music Dancing GIF by JustinGiphy

"Kentucky creates 90% of U.S disco balls."

- No_School_4156

"Wow. I live in Kentucky but I never knew that... seems useless!"

- Black_Hole_Neptune

"Actually makes sense if you think about it."

"Disco balls are a niche item that you wouldn't expect to have a ton of different manufacturers, and Kentucky is centrally located so you can easily ship your balls to anywhere in the US quickly."

- fix-ur-acrostics

History Is A Mystery

"In public school we skimmed through the Vietnam war because there was little time left before testing and it wasn't gonna be on there that much."

" 'Long story short, we kinda lost that one...'."

- Senior20172

"It always bothered me when history stopped at WW2 and the rest was covered in a week"

- cheesefondue

"We skimmed over the civil rights and women's rights movements because our white, male, douche of a teacher wanted to spend more time on the civil war."

- MoobooMagoo

"It's been a long time, but I feel like US history is basically always taught as: American Revolution -> Civil War (aka, slavery) -> WW2 (aka, the Nazis), and we're done."

"If your teacher was a Boomer, they might spend more time on the 60s, civil rights, Vietnam. (aka, the glory years when they were a teen) But otherwise, history is basically the wars we WON, why we got in them, and the aftermath."

- TristanaRiggle

Not So Useless Uselessness

Sad Season 4 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

"Haven't played the recorder very often."

- deede7

"Really? I play mine nearly every day. How do you make money when abroad if not playing Hot Cross Buns for 9 hours every day?"

- AnAquaticOwl

"No but it was my first significant taste of playing an instrument. This lead to 7 years of band class and lead to a great social past time in my adult life playing bass after that."

- Oclure

"Playing the recorder was probably way more useful than you think. Music theory and playing an instrument trains the ear and has positive effects on the brain and learning in general. Plus, it introduces kids to an activity they may or may not wish to pursue and, for those that do not wish it, they can definitively rule the interest out because they gave it a try already."

- Anianna

"Learning the recorder helped teach me to read music. I studied other instruments, and enjoyed them a LOT. Not that I was any good."

- KidsTheseDaysYknow

Tariff Trauma

"I know that the Hawley-Smoot tariff was the highest in history. No idea what the importance of that is, if it was good, bad, or indifferent."

- GrizzlyLawyer

"The importance is that some people believe it made the Great Depression a lot worse."

- ReadinII

"Actually you're only kinda right."

" 'The tariffs under the act, excluding duty-free imports, were the SECOND HIGHEST in United States history, exceeded by only the Tariff of 1828.[3] ' "

" 'The Act prompted retaliatory tariffs by affected states against the United States.[4] The Act and tariffs imposed by America's trading partners in retaliation were major factors of the reduction of American exports and imports by 67% during the Depression.[5] Economists and economic historians have a consensus view that the passage of the Smoot–Hawley Tariff worsened the effects of the Great Depression.[6]' "

- Soogoodok248

"Second highest? You mean I only learned one thing in school, and it was wrong?"

- GrizzlyLawyer

Opposite Effect

season 2 GIFGiphy


- mrPandabot35

"I remember hearing a story about a 10 year old who called the cops on his parents because they smoked weed regularly. The police arrested both parents and charged them with felony possession."

"They were normal parents as far as we could tell. They just used to relax with a little Marijuana now and then."

"But the kid specifically quoted DARE when asked what led him to get his parents arrested. That's when I realized how awful what we were taught was."

- PhreedomPhighter

"Fun fact, it's been known for decades that D.A.R.E is a failure and leads to more drug usage. The first of these studies was in 1992."

- Pixel871

President Who?

"Being forced to memorize all the presidents in order. First and last names and years in office in chronological order."

"This sh*t can be googled in 2 seconds. We actually had a test on this where we were given a blank piece of paper and told to write them all down in the right order and this was actually a legit graded test."

- pintoftomatoes

"This is the one and only test I ever cheated on."

"5th grade. I’m so sorry Mr. Lee, but even at 10 years old and pre-internet, I thought this was a ridiculous waste of time."

- QuercusAgri

"Animaniacs practically helped me cheat on that one."

- operarose

Calculators And Pockets

Calculating Figure It Out GIFGiphy

"That I wouldn't always have a calculator with me. Jokes on you.

- Fickle-Story-4854

"My dad once didn’t let my sister use a calculator on homework even though the teacher told everyone they needed to use a calculator 🤦♀️"

- Shadowweavers

"Yes, also heard that many times in school"

- Jarl_Fenrir

"Funny enough I did carry a tiny solar powered calculator meant to fit inside a check book for several years just to spite my obnoxious math teacher who said that all the time."

"Though I’ll admit it was useful to have before cellphones were ubiquitous."

- flying_fish69

Basic history

"Elementary school history. Most of it is either a lie/omission of key facts or just a completely random and useless fact."

- OkWalk9190

"The amount of Columbus sh*t I learned in elementary school..."

- Arxl

"What do you mean the pilgrims didn’t actually land on Plymouth Rock??"

- himewaridesu

"What pisses me off is that history is being repeated in later classes, higher schools. If you are going to teach me the same thing again, maybe just leave it now, and get back to me with the material when I'm old enough?"

- Jarl_Fenrir

"Yeah. I'm just getting into to high school and I've learned about the civil war like 5 times now. The only problem is that we never are taught anything after it, so all of my info post-civil war is based off of personal research."

- _Sterben-

We'll be honest, most of these answers clearly came from American schools.

Lots of our readers come from other countries, though - can you tell the rest of us some of the more useless things you've been taught?

Help us feel a bit better about ourselves.

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