School Days 

What do you remember learning in school about the place you grew up?

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What do you remember learning in school about the place you grew up?

Christopher Westergard: I grew up in Arizona, and for some bizarre reason, I loved my Arizona history class and now know lots of useless facts about my home state. Did you know that the bolo tie is the official state neckware, and turquoise is the official gemstone? This is literally all I remember from my Mesa public-school education.

Paula Saltas: That it’s a magical land of rainbows, unicorns and Karl Rove, at Olympus High School.

Jackie Briggs: I learned that the poppy is California’s state flower in fourth grade, when they taught us state history. My sister told me that if I was caught picking them, I’d get arrested. One time when I was super pissed at her, I picked a bunch on my walk home, hid them in my backpack and then tried to frame her by putting them in a cup with water and placing them in her room. I remember hiding like a psycho and thinking that the cops would be coming for her at any moment, but instead I just got in trouble for being in her room without permission.

Derek Carlisle: That I was American by birth but a Southerner by the grace of God.

Stephen Dark: Skinners Grammar School in Royal Tunbridge Wells, U.K., provided me with an education built around whether or not you passed Latin. Pass and you were a candidate to go to Oxford; fail and you were sent to the bottom two classes, where the skinheads, punks and those viewed as jail fodder were dispatched. I failed Latin and so lingered there for two years, learning that, in England, the class one came from—and the connections that class offered—were indeed more important than a desire to learn.

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