I’ve always had a problem with memorization. In school, they made us do a whole bunch of vocabulary tests; each week giving us another twenty words to learn and, except for the SAT, I’d say 99% of those words were never used again. So why make kids learn crazy words? Is it to make them seem smarter, or is it because schools just need something to teach?
Learning is important and I’m not alone in pointing out how our education system is broken, it just doesn’t make sense. I’ve been on Memrise for three days hammering the first 1000 words of Spanish into my skull and I’m actually starting to understand it a little.
Where was Memrise when teachers were forcing us to learn hundreds of vocab words a year for the SAT, or in chemistry or anatomy? I’d say I doubled or tripled the amount of stuff I know this year alone, after stagnating for a long time, just thanks to a few websites.
Goodreads is another one. At the beginning of the year I was reading about a book a day, but once I got through the introductory and mid level books on a subject I found myself with nowhere to go so instead of reading I would do something else like watch TV and fall out of the habit for awhile.
Now, I can just click over to the site and there are hundreds of books to read, set up better than Amazon, and all easily fetch-able thanks to digital libraries, Google and Audible.
Reading is actually fun when you like the topic.
Who would have guessed that? Why the hell were they making us read 1000 page epics about Thomas Jefferson, when we could have been reading about Alexander the Great, Arnold Schwarzenegger or any number of people who struggled and taught the same lessons?