Not all facts are created equal. I know a lot of stupid stuff that is wildly unhelpful, but for sure the least helpful things I learned all come from grade school. If I’d known where life was going to take me, I would’ve been like “Oh, I only need like half of these classes.” And yet here I am, my head full of things I no longer need to think about, taking up space that could be utilized with something more useful, like “Which planets in Warframe can I farm plastids?” If you gave me the option, here are six things I learned in grade school that I’d love to release from my brain…

Roy G Biv

I think of the hypothetical man named “Roy G Biv” probably once a day. That’s how thoroughly Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo and Violet, the colors of the rainbow, have embedded themselves in my brain. It’s odd, because it’s not like it was something that is taught to you over and over again; I think we spent one or two classes on the spectrum of rainbows, and I can’t imagine the teacher said “the acronym is like a guy named Roy G Biv” more than, I dunno, once? And I’m not alone on this one either — if you mention “Roy G Biv” to someone, the odds are VERY good they will laugh, because they too think it’s ridiculous to still remember the name of the fictional color man.

The fastest way to write lines

I haven’t been in grade school for a long time, so I don’t even know if students are still being punished by being forced to «write lines» (for the unaware, this involved writing a phrase over and over again, theoretically to enforce goo behavior, I guess?). I wrote… a lot of lines during my school years, and I wrote them pretty quickly because I used the magic formula of writing it not line by line, but word by word. Say you have thirty lines of “I will not talk during class” to write; you start by writing “I” thirty times vertically down the page. Then, you do the same with “will” and so on until you’ve completed all thirty lines. I don’t know why this made it more manageable, but it did. I think about it a lot, which is a total waste of brain power, considering that I am an adult and thus I cannot be made to write lines (maybe a judge could sentence me to it, but even then…)

”Our God is an Awesome God”

Not a lot of non-Canadians know about this, but there, Catholic grade school is a part of the public education system. I attended one such school, and it was a lot more normal than you’d think — we had a religion class, and every year you had a teacher with some incredibly strange religious beliefs (“I don’t let my kids celebrate Halloween because Pagans used to throw rocks at Christians on that day” was a classic) but otherwise it was an incredibly standard issue secular education. Oh wait, I forgot one crazy weird thing — the assemblies. The whole school would be marched into an auditorium or gymnasium, and we’d have to sit there and listen to religious talk for a half hour. Often, a part of those assemblies including singing hymns, or, if we were truly cursed, more “fun” songs. All such songs have since left my brain except for one: “Our God is an Awesome God.” I have for decades been able to sing this song with absolutely no preparation, start to finish. And I know it’s not the most lyrically complicated song in the world, but still, I don’t even remember my girlfriend’s birthday half the time, so it’s still super weird.

The corresponding dance for “Our God is an Awesome God”


Well, it’s not so much a “dance” as it is “a series of hand motions that vaguely relate to the words that you’re singing.” Imagine if Uncle Joey’s “Cut it out” bit were translated to fit a religious song; it’s like that.


If you thought “Roy G Biv” was a dumb thing to hang onto, may I point you to “BEDMAS.” At least old Roy was a name to remember, BEDMAS (said like “Bed mass”) is two words that don’t make sense together, and is the order of equations when it comes to doing math. It is, without looking, Brackets Exponents Division Multiplication Addition Subtraction, and I have absolutely no use for math in any facet of my life outside of “figuring out the tax on this box of donuts I am buying.” PLEASE NOTE: Some people instead use “PEDMAS”, something I refuse to do because it makes me think of a church service for pedophiles.

Never Eat Shredded Wheat

Never Eat Shredded Wheat is immediately what I think of when I try to figure out which direction I’m going. It is an analogy for “North East South West”, and is not something you need anymore once you develop any sort of sense of direction. I am an adult. I know what direction I’m going. Please delete this sad thing from my brain. Only a first grader would actually need it.

UPDATE: I’m remembering that my editor told me that he still uses this to figure out which direction he’s going, so uh actually it’s good now.

Please help me, I stopped learning new things in fifth grade.

Will Weldon
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