Bill Gates High School Speech - 11 Things Kids Will Not Learn in School
OutlineEmail claims that a list of eleven rules that kids will not learn in school was taken from a recent high school speech given by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Brief AnalysisThe list was not written by Bill Gates and it did not originate as a high school speech. The set of rules is an abridged version of an original piece written by author Charles J. Sykes and published in the San Diego Union Tribune in 1996.
Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a high school about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept sets them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault; so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 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.
Rule 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.
Rule 10: Television and video games are NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
According to this email, the enclosed eleven "common sense" rules for life were voiced to high school students during a recent speech by Microsoft's Bill Gates. Many parents and older people are likely to agree with the ideas expressed in this set of "rules", dubbed "11 Things Kids Will Not Learn in School".
However, the rules were neither written nor spoken by Bill Gates, they did not originate as a high school speech, and they are not at all recent. In fact, the current incarnation of these rules is a somewhat abridged version of an original piece that was penned by author Charles J. Sykes. The full version was printed in the San Diego Union Tribune on September 19, 1996 and in a number of other publications since then. Sykes is the author of "Dumbing Down Our Kids", "50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School", and several other books.
The piece has been falsely attributed to others as well as Bill Gates, including the late science fiction writer, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Some commentators rather stridently offer the opinion that it does not matter if Gates actually uttered the words or not since the advice is worth heeding. But, perhaps a twelfth rule on the list might be "Give credit where credit is due." And the thirteenth rule? "Don't lie!"
The list speaks for itself. There is no reasons to try to enhance or embellish it by falsely attributing it to some more famous individual.
Last updated: November 26, 2013
First published: June 10, 2008
By Brett M. Christensen