Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rules of Life

Last Monday I was wandering around my classroom while my students were involved in a project and came across these "Rules for Life" posted on the wall. They were credited to Bill Gates, but upon further investigation, I discovered they actually came from an educator named Charles Sykes and first appeared in his book "Dumbing Down our Kids". I guess they've been around for years, but somehow I missed them. I think they are worth repeating. I've seen far too many kids in my classes who I fear will never be prepared for the realities of life. I probably could have used these, too, as a teenager.

Rules of Life

1. Life is not fair - get used to it.

2. The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to
accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

3. You will not make $60,000 a year out of High School. You won't be a VP with
a car phone (ok, this was years ago.....) until you earn them.

4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a
different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.

6. If you mess up, it's not your parents fault, so don't whine about your mistakes,
learn from them.

7. Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got
that way paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk
about how cool you thought you were. So, before you save the rainforest from the
parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your room.

8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In
some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many
times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest
resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

9. Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few
employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

10.TV is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop
and go to jobs.

11.Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Those of us who have worked or have jobs, know most of these to be true. I think I might have my students write an essay about about them. What do you think?


  1. Will someone please tell me what I need to do to correct the margin issues in my posts? It's driving me crazy!

  2. I love those rules! I will have to get them and share with my they would understand them, yeah right!

  3. I can't help you on the margin issues--I'm still learning all this blog stuff. I love rule #1. My parents pounded that into our heads and I hear myself saying the same thing to Luke constantly. Once you accept that Life isn't fair--it's almost like you quit thinking it's going to be and your okay with it. Great list. By the way, when I was in 6th grade, my friend's dad had a gigantic car phone. We thought he was rich because only rich people had car phones. Now it seems so funny.