Torture Class 101

Torture Class 101

So being an engineer is not all fun and games. Personally I think engineers are wired up a little different from others, and our social skills don’t quite fit with what some call normal. I may be talking totally from a personal viewpoint, but as a child at school I think this odd wiring and way of thinking can seriously hamper your abilities. I think that from an early age we are all wired to enjoy and understand different things in different ways. So what did I struggle with – Humanities.

So for people who have not come across the high school lesson from hell that is Humanities then I can only explain it as follows. Basically, the school needed to cover a number of subjects and noted that having a set lesson for any one of these may cause a break down in the space time continuum and therefore bring about then end of the universe.  Thus, the school lumped them all into once class under a subject name that that means nothing to a  13-year-old. The subject areas covered were ancient and modern language, literature, history, and religion.

I guess any of these on their own may not be too bad.  Ok, who I am kidding! Just listing these makes me come out in a rash. However, the memories were much worse because of the teacher we had. Strangely, she and her teaching methods are the only things I remember, other than something happened in 1066. But I may have picked that up from somewhere else!?

My teacher, whose name I do not remember, was little more than a rather old and thin lady that could be compared to the sort of disinteresting temp teachers you got from time to time, with the exception she scared the hell out of you.

One of her techniques, which I did not fully understand, was a mission to minimise the number of text books (notebooks for US readers) we would use in a year. This would mean we had to write on the top line where the title or header would go as well as to write on both sides of the paper. Personally, I think writing on both side makes pages look messy as pen would bleed though. We were also penalised if our writing was too big or if a gap at the end of the line could have been used for the next word. In fact, I feel the whole process of the class was all about getting as many words on a single page as possible, which is why I think I remember nothing else.

As I have gotten older, I still have no interest in these subjects.  Or at best, I have a warped view of them. I don’t know if I learnt so little because I so disliked the teacher or just because of the subjects. In all, having such a poor teacher and having a lesson I found no interest in did not help in any way. I do however wonder why such classes are ever taught to the whole school when, like engineering, it takes a certain type of person to understand and enjoy these subjects. Placing us in these other groups just becomes torture.


You know, now that you mention it, a class in high school I took, dealing with this subject, I don’t remember anything about it, except the teacher. Who was quite the opinionated character, which is probably good, I know we had more than one of these types of classes, at least I remember his.

Your right though, I would say engineering and more of the social sciences kind of stuff, are just two different kinds of thought all together. I had to start breaking the world down into two categories, stuff that involves people, and stuff that doesn’t. Stuff that doesn’t, there are usually concrete answers for, it is this way or that way. Stuff dealing with people, who knows, what is good for one person, is terrible for another, what makes one person smile, makes another cry. One you learn how it works, and the other you adapt to how it works. Probably why I find socializing so much work, I’m not naturally that way, so its all a conscious effort.

In high school, I viewed “soft” subjects such as English, French, and Art to be a real drag on my average, where marks were not given out in a predictable fashion, but was left up to the biased whim of the teacher. But as I got older, my interest in the humanities grew to the point where, now, if I were to win the lottery and go back to university, I’d get a degree in the humanities.

Comments are closed.