Whirling Thoughts

Chewing, swishing, and spitting thoughts out. Personal blog of Nicholas Chan.

Month: June 2017

My 1st Grade Teacher’s Motto: “Patience Is A Virtue”


That was me. First grade. Back when I owned the world. I could play with whatever toys I wanted. All the old people would have to listen to my words. Holy, I was a kid and they were going to have to listen to me. The Lego Bricks would appear at my feet within 30 seconds of my asking or all hell would break loose.


But Mrs. Dew wasn’t some pushover. It probably had something to do with her being an elementary school teacher for over 30 years…After the first day of hearing all the whining and crying for toys, she sat the class down on the carpet. She clapped her hands together (TA-TA- tata-TA*) and shut us all up.

The elementary school carpet is an invention of diabolical genius. Name a better way to get kids to sit still in one place.

“Class. Remember. Patience is a virtue.”

That was a line that was hammered into my head. Over and over. I heard it all through my first grade year, then through my second grade year when she was my teacher again, then again through the third grade year when Mrs. Dew was a substitute teacher.

So all of elementary school, “patience is a virtue” was stuck in my head. I was being psychologically conditioned and subliminally implanted to barf this out of my head. Once a teacher asked for the definition of “patience”, and I distinctly remember screaming out “A VIRTUE!”

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Why School Doesn’t Help You Find Answers (and what does)

What is 2+2? 4. What year did World War 2 end? 1945.

There are all questions where there is a very clear, predefined answer. They are answers that are easy to find. They are based in very clear and simple facts.

This is what our school system is really good at teaching. How to work within a predefined questions. We to solve problems that we know should have an answer.

That’s a good thing for our basic academic knowledge. It’s important to to be able to perform basic math, have an understanding of history, or even be able to respond to questions about Shakespeare in a “clear and concise manner” (being analytical and forming thoughts).

The only (big) problem that I see with this is that in real life, when you aren’t studying from the textbooks, your problems aren’t going to have such simple predefined answers. They usually will fail to pass what I call the “Google Test”. You won’t be able to Google the answer.

These problems are more similar to something like “how to get a job”, “how to deal with people”, “how to invest your money”, and etc. If you try and Google the answers to some of these questions, you will see a wide range of opinions and information without any clear, predefined answer. You have to work within chaos.


I am very passionate about education. To me,education is about learning new and practical skills and constantly becoming a better version of myself. It’s about learning how to answer all the tough questions that will inevitably come up during the span of my life.

Education = Learning How To Find Answers

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