A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Human whisperers wanted
Previous entry: Madsen Pirie on using bright children to make unbright children brighter
Friday January 18 2008

Over Christmas I told my TV hard disc to copy various TV shows, while I was away seeing family, and when I do that I usually leave a bit of time before and after.  That caused me to pick up random stuff I wasn’t expecting, and I’ve only just seen some footage I thus accidentally recorded of comedian Dara O’Briain, doing stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo.

image

During his act, O’Briain likes to interact with members of the audience, and one of the people he conversed with was a boy taking a night off from studying for his A levels in German, History, Sociology and Music.  Said O’Briain:

Employers will be screaming for you.  “We’ve got a hole in our company the size of a man who knows German, Sociology, and History.  But can he play the guitar?” ... It’s a unique set of talents my friend, and there is one job out there waiting for you, in the Goethe Institute band.

O’Briain then turned serious, and said this:

Just so you know, by the way, from the rest of us here who’ve been through the whole school system and that, and have gone to the other side of the education and all the exams and all that, the stuff you’re learning day to day, all the subjects and all the quotes and all of that stuff, ... that stuff, when you get out into the real world and you’re looking for work and you’re meeting people, that stuff [heavy emphasis] ... is ... vital.

That got one of the biggest laughs of any I saw.  As did what immediately followed:

Frankly, hardly a day goes by that I don’t have to quote a theorem or mention a poem.  I was in a nightclub the other night and a woman came up and said “What’s the biggest of the Great Lakes?” and I went “Er, is it Lake Michigan?” and she said: “Close enough, I will go to bed with you.”

Heh.