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Everything I Need To Know

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I sure didn’t learn it in kindergarten. Or from Batman. Or Star Wars.

I’m sure you’re aware of this phenomenon. I first learned of it when I was young, probably in 3rd grade, and on vacation with my family. We went to a restaurant across the street from an old-fashioned toy store and it had a lot of pictures of dogs, along with one big poster claiming: “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Even at the delicate age of nine, I knew enough to look at that and say, Fucker, no you didn’t. I’d already learned more that I just knew would be important eventually. Like Kindergarten didn’t teach me how to add numbers–or at least, not a bunch of them, and not double digit ones. But when I go to the grocery store with $40 exactly, I need to know that.

What exactly do all these people think they learned in kindergarten?

  • Share Everything. Especially herpes. This is probably what gives rise to that whole thing where if someone from your workplace calls you in the middle of the night because there’s a problem and it wakes you up, you immediately call three other people to share your misery. The thing is, in Kindergarten, we don’t learn to share. We learn that if we don’t share, Teacher Lady will be upset and will be nicer to the other kids. We learn that sharing makes her like us and treat us better–unless, of course, her nephew’s in the class. While this does seem sort of accurate for later on in life when you’ve got a job and a boss, I bet the second you got into first grade, you wondered if your new Teacher Lady would let you get away with not sharing. What you really learned? Fear the man.
  • Don’t Hit People. Even in self-defense. It doesn’t matter how long Jimmy has been punching you. Teacher Lady will see if you throw one punch back, and then you’ll be In Trouble.
  • Take a Nap Every Afternoon. Go on, do it. You won’t get fired or anything.

As you can see, this list is clearly bullshit. I turned to other lists that reference pop culture, things that are for and about adults (well, to an extent) in hopes that they’d tell me what I really needed to know. Batman comes first because–well, he’s the Batman.

  • Never trust a man who smiles all the timeMan, fuckin’ happy people. They’re the worst.
  • There are two faces to every friend…and enemy. Yeah. Seriously, don’t trust anyone. They might be a psychotic murderer half the time.
  • Learn to trust. Wait. Didn’t you just tell me not to do that? Like…twice?

Clearly, even Batman is unreliable in terms of life lessons. Moving on, then–what can Star Wars teach us?

  • “Don’t tell me the odds!” Yeah, that’s right. Buy that lottery ticket every day. I mean, what are the odds that you don’t win? Wait, no–knowing that would clearly be a bad thing.
  • Don’t ever apologize to your boss. Wait, hold on. This is on the Star Wars list, but I think it belongs on the NCIS one.
  • Sand people always walk in single file to hide their numbers. I can’t even begin to tell you how useful this one’s been to me. Those sand people. Tricksy motherfuckers.

So the lessons we learned from kindergarten, Batman, and Star Wars aren’t the only things we need to know. What else is there?

Did any of these things teach you how to manage your finances? Balance your checkbook, file your taxes? Because in Real Life, those are things you need to know.

Did you learn how to take care of a baby squirrel that you find shivering on your porch one night as you get home from a party? No? Then what are you going to do when you find it?

Did they teach you how to type? Good luck getting a job without that one. In fact, did they teach you any marketable skills? Didn’t think so.

Did any of them teach you how to cook? You gonna sustain yourself on take-out, then? Oooh, your doctor’s gonna love you. I hope you at least learn to make enough meals to impress your date.

Wait. Shit. You guys know what I just realized?

Everything I need to know in life is written up somewhere on the internet.

What did I miss? And where did you learn everything?


About Rachael

Hi. I'm Rachael. I realized one day that, even though I read a lot of books, I often have a hard time remembering them later on. I guess that happens when there's so much to try to remember! So I started The 50 Book Project, with the intention to read and blog about 50 new (to me) books in 2014. I read a lot of fantasy, but I'm trying to branch out and experience new stuff. Any questions? Suggestions? Let me know! Comment, or email me at

11 responses »

  1. I learnt most of my personality from Garfield.
    He taught my Mondays sucked, Lasagne was the best, and confirmed my existing phobia of spiders. Sleeping is king. Being mean to people is fun. Stupid people are annoying…

    Oh, and cute should die.

    You just can’t go wrong with Garfield.

    • I just learned that you know how to spell Lasagne properly and I love you for it.

      • My spelling has downgraded over the years, but some things are just wrong. Mind you when I was growing up, because noone had actually had lasagne to eat, but they’d read it in Garfield, it was said ‘La-Zag-Knee’…
        They also turned spaghetti bolognese into the abomination ‘Spag-Boll’… (the slightly more intelligent ones refer to it as ‘puhsketti’).

        Thankfully the dumb as dogshit Australian yokel is dying out…

  2. Wikipedia. Everything I EEEEEEERRR needed to know, I learned from Wikipedia.

    And Calvin & Hobbes.

    • Oh my god, you’re right. There must be a Calvin and Hobbes list out there. It would probably be the most appropriate and accurate one of them all. But you’re right–it still wouldn’t give you what Wikipedia can.

  3. haha… everything is now on the internet.. you don’t even need news outlets anymore.. as soon as it’s already on twitter!

    • I totally do this. I never check the news unless I see something weird trending on Twitter, at which point I see what people are saying, and if I’m curious I’ll go read an article. It is how I’ve found out about pretty much every major event since…well, since I got Twitter.

  4. The Google has taught me everything I need to know. Except for this whole ‘social life’ thing. I’ve read that Wikipedia article like, 72 times and I still don’t have one. I guess I’ll just keep reading it until it clicks.

    • Wait–which “Social Life” article are you reading? There’s one called Interpersonal Relations, one called Social Relation, and then two called Social Life. I have a feeling that if you’re reading one called Social Life, your problem is that one is about an indie-punk band called Social Life and the other is about some other band’s album called Social Life. Maybe check out the interpersonal relations one? That might be more helpful. If you’re reading about indie music and hoping it sticks, then your only chance is to turn into a hipster, and it is my sworn duty to prevent hipsterdom wherever I see it.

  5. Everything I need to know, I learned from R.L Stine books.


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