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What do you wish you had been taught as a young child?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 3, 2007

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Photo of Meagan Patterson

“I wish I had learned a second language earlier. Just because it’s supposed to be easier when you’re younger, and I had a pretty hard time with it when I got older.”

Photo of Jenny O'Brien

“I think I would have liked to learn how to draw. In my generation, they just kind of told us to be creative, but never really taught us any techniques.”

Photo of John Glendening

“A foreign language would have been nice to learn at a young age. They say it’s easier when you’re young. Now I try, but I think I’m too old to learn anything.”

Photo of Laura Hosek

“I wish I would have been taught that what other people say doesn’t matter and that you have to make yourself happy.”

Comments

Pogo 6 years, 6 months ago

...that "social networking" pays the bills....not intelligence....that glad handing, smiles, and there accompanying lies are far more important than what one produces....that a university "education" is a joke....that being honest is for the birds....and that sleeping soundly at night cannot be cashed like a check at the bank....

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adriennerm 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish someone would have taught me about the importance of credit. They should teach something regading this in the senior year. Once you turn 18 and apply for loan....boy do the credit card apps flood your mailbox.

I never knew anything about maintaining good credit..now I am paying the price. I will teach my daughter.

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coolmom 6 years, 6 months ago

i would of liked to learn the normal things kids learn instead of the messed up family stuff and being a small lady i would have liked to learn taekwondo while still fast and flexible.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish that someone had warned me that extended participation in these readers' forums could lead to Carpal-Tourette's Syndrome.

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Jonathan_Jason_McDaniels 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree with the "learning a language while young" thing. In high school I took french instead of spanish! Boy!, what a mistake that turned out to be!

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RomanNose 6 years, 6 months ago

The Two-Headed Cobra Biker Gang Sleeper Hold

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GretchenJP 6 years, 6 months ago

I was taught plenty as a child but not enough as an adult.

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Ceallach 6 years, 6 months ago

Py, What can we say? When you're right, you're right :)

ms_c, you should definitely get a keyboard and take lessons. Little M is doing well in her lessons and you have more time than she does :) and my man-cub taught himself!!

I'm not sure how old Leo T was when he learned/wrote this, but it is something I wish I had learned when I was younger, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves."

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mom_of_three 6 years, 6 months ago

I played the saxophone since the 5th grade, and I am so grateful to my mom for allowing me to play. She made weekly/monthly payments on my sax for years until it was paid for. It is the funnest instrument to play.
But I wish I was taught at an early age that caffiene, even pop, is addictive....

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 6 months ago

Py, ;o)

Like so many others, playing an instrument (piano or guitar) and a second language would have been nice to learn at a young age. My bro bought himself a guitar for his 40th and taught himself to play. Then again, he has a background in music and I think that that helps. (Not to belittle his accomplishment.) I can't even read music.

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acg 6 years, 6 months ago

Ms C~ The piano is probably the easiest instrument to learn. And you don't have to clean spit out of it after you play. (Well.. unless you get really, really enthusiastic about your playing.)--Pywacket

Okay, I laughed so hard at that I think a little pee came out.

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Pywacket 6 years, 6 months ago

Trinity--did we come from the same mother?! I bet that's a common trait, though.

ACG~ Thanks for the encouragement. If your sister reads your comments, though, she might make you wail!

Ms C~ The piano is probably the easiest instrument to learn. And you don't have to clean spit out of it after you play. (Well.. unless you get really, really enthusiastic about your playing.) Pick up an old upright--they can usually be found pretty cheap--and take a few lessons. I'd say buy an electronic keyboard, but they're just not the same, of course. Might be useful for learning fingering, though.

I wish I had learned the trick to making a pile of money and retiring at 40. It's the pits being beautiful instead of rich, eh, fellow gorgeous dolls? (That would be Sue, Trinity, Ms C, Gootsie, Ceal, etc..)

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ms_canada 6 years, 6 months ago

Always been sorry that I never learned to play the piano. I would just love to be able to make beautiful music. Especially since I can't sing worth a darn. Also wish my mom had taught me self-discipline. I think you can learn that by being more disciplined by a parent when very young. I think so, hmmm?

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justfornow 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish I had been taught to disregard our laws, like many on this forum.

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acg 6 years, 6 months ago

Crabass is a nice way to put it. :)

Py, my sister, who's going to be 40 this year, taught herself how to play the sax, and now she can wail on it. She was a flute/picolo player all thru school but hadn't touched an instrument in years. It only took about 8 months of working on it for an hour or two daily but she's gotten really good, and if that ditzy b can do, certainly you can.

Nunchuck? Is that how it's really spelled? I've been calling them numbchucks for years because I thought that had you been smacked in the head with them a time or two you would be all numb. I'm going to wikipedia that, now.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 6 months ago

Nunchuck skills, and computer hacking skills.

I'm not sure what I think of Laura's response; it seems like an overreaction to caring a little too much about what other people say. I think it's a bit extreme to say that what other people say simply doesn't matter; at that point, if I knew her, I would wonder why I bother to say anything at all to her, because it doesn't matter to her what I say.

So what I'm saying is that I don't think she actually completely means what she's saying; her answer is a sentiment sort of on par with "You can be anything you want to be."

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bobberboy 6 years, 6 months ago

How towhack a hose and bloww bubbles out of a weasel.

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bobberboy 6 years, 6 months ago

How to whack a weasel and blow bubbles with a garden hose.

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concernedparent 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish when I was younger and my grandma told me to get out of the kitchen I would have said no. I should have been right there next to her paying attention to how she made all of that delicious food that we ate every sunday afternoon.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes, then you'll be a mile away and you'll have his shoes. (Stephen Wright, I think)

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trinity 6 years, 6 months ago

to let go...my dear mama had a knack for holding on to past hurts&grudges like you wouldn't believe! serves me well in some cases, but for the most part-nah.

joie de vivre! :) am very glad i learned that, long long ago.

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dminear60 6 years, 6 months ago

What goes around comes around

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Pywacket 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish I had learned to work the saxophone

or the drums

or the harmonica.

I have an old friend who blows the most incredible blues on the harmonica. He carries a case of them around with him, so he'll have whatever keys he needs. He's been in bands over the years, playing weddings & at festivals, but mostly he likes to jam around a campfire with guitarist friends. Many good times..

I would love to have that familiarity and ease with the harp but just can't seem to self teach the way he did. He was a virtuoso at about 16, so maybe you need to start real young, when the drive and purpose haven't been beaten out of you by life. ;-)

Who knows--maybe I will buy that sax and take lessons yet.

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

ACG -

Will Dotsline come and berate me? If so, please teach. Wow, what a crabass, huh?

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acg 6 years, 6 months ago

TOB I can help you out with that. lol! :)

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Ceallach 6 years, 6 months ago

True_to, that sounds like my mother. Then, when I was old enough to actually have opinions on things she changed her tune. It became, "Ceal, it is not polite to give your opinion on every single thing you hear." Lo these many years later I often have LJW opinion-givers telling me the same thing :P

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True_To_KU 6 years, 6 months ago

As a child you're always taught to analyze everything "Now what do you think about that junior?", I wish I was taught to not analyze everything so darn much! Life would be so much better. Because of the way I was taught I tend to treat other people like they are stupid, and that makes me feel really bad when I think about it.

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toefungus 6 years, 6 months ago

Could you repeat the question? I wasn't paying attention.

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Ceallach 6 years, 6 months ago

RI beat me to it! I wouldn't change what I was taught, that was more than comprehensive (I've always thought my mother had a secret desire to be a teacher), but rather what I didn't learn until I found out the hard way.

snap, have you read MySQL & mSQL? First time I opened that book I thought it would have been better titled "You are SOL!" :):)

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

How to write queries with inner selects in SQL. Of course, SQL didn't exist when I was a young child. If you were lucky, you had a stick and a rock.

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mom_of_three 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish I would have learned a foreign language when I was young and how to cook.

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't know as a young child what I would have wanted to know more, but if I could go back in time and do junior high and high school again knowing what I know now, whoa....................

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Gootsie 6 years, 6 months ago

Love it hitme!!!

That I was OK if everyone didn't like me.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 6 months ago

The truth about any number of things instead of the whitebread crap that we were spoon fed.

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acg 6 years, 6 months ago

A second language, then maybe I would've retained more of it than I did in school. To play an instrument. To let the stupid things that morons say roll off my back so that whenever an idiot makes an idiotic comment around me, I'm not automatically hit with the desire to kick their a** up over their shoulder blades. To rebuild a car engine and transmission. I always wanted to learn to sew, too.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't stand up on your tricycle seat and reach up and pull down those fire alarm thingies on the neighborhood telephone poles......I learned the hard way at 4 yrs old.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 6 months ago

Never, never to talk to strangers (especially if I have to type to do so).

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Das_Ubermime 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't pet the doggie with the foaming mouth.

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canyon_wren 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish I had been taught to be kinder to other people. I had a great childhood with lots of encouragement and grew up feeling like I could do whatever I set out to do, but there was never a real emphasis upon kindness and compassion that I see being taught and lived, in (unfortunately) a very few families. That is something that a person can learn as he or she grows older but how nice it would be to have that as an important part of one's home life.

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hitme 6 years, 6 months ago

The white zone is for loading and unloading only; there is no parking in the white zone

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inmate 6 years, 6 months ago

That Spotted Owls were on the endangered list and their habitat in the old growth forests is protected by the government.

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jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Can't think of anything. My problems aren't because of a lack of childhood education.

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moveforward 6 years, 6 months ago

I wish that I had grown up more multicultural and learned through travel and other languages.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

taught? I was taught enough... I would rather learn than be taught.

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