So doing well in school was THE most important thing in my house. My father is an atheist, so we didn't go to church. We didn't play sports. We studied. I skipped a couple of grades, graduated early, got a scholarship to a private university. Seems like Dad's plan worked.
But the thing is, the BIGGER thing is, my father also sneered at education. He told me from the time I was in third grade that my teachers weren't ANY smarter than I was. They just happened to go to school for teaching. So I should never be intimidated by them, I should ALWAYS question their authority. And I shouldn't believe anything they told me unless I verified it from independent sources and formed my own opinion. Also sensible--I mean, you can't believe history books all the time. You can't believe anything--you have to search for your own truth.
However, what was really important in terms of school was I was educated in the school of life. My father made me read the NY Times every day from the time I was in first grade . . . I HAD to read a paper each day. My mother didn't just read--she devoured books. I wasn't allowed to watch much TV at all--but books overflowed from my nightstand.
My father was a classic pain in the a**. If you had an opinion, you had to defend it. And woe to you if you formed some kind of snap judgment of war or politics without a solid basis to defend your beliefs.
So when I look back on my education, granted it was a little unconventional, but the message I got was the school was important, but education was more important, even, than school. The piece of paper is important--but it's nothing if you just grab it without having LEARNED in the process.
How about you? What did you learn from the school of life?