A few days ago, as I was eating lunch with friends, I entered a heated debate about the worth of education. "I should not have to learn algebra and calculus because it will have no influence on my life," my opponent angrily shouted as I tried to defend the usefulness of mathematics. Three days later, I still mul l over the issue, trying to arrive at the origin of the disparity of views betw een my opponent and me. I treasure every bit of knowledge I gain, in or out of school. When someone contends that a particular academic field or realm of inf ormation has no applications, I feel compelled to demonstrate the fallacy of such an argument by citing an example from my life.
As a middle-schooler in Moscow, Russia, I took English for three years. Many of my peers grumbled about having to attend the course, adamant in their belief that these skills would be never used.
However, some, including myself, felt that any offer of knowledge was to be accepted and stored away for possible later use. Lo and behold, three years after I signed up for my first English class, I found myself living in the United States, sending sincere thank you letters to my English teacher for supplying me with survival skills. If I had not taken my class seriously, my integration into the American society would have taken much longer.
My attitude toward learning has not changed since. Striving to excel in every class I take, I regard education in all areas as relevant to my life, rather than remote. I try to link each piece of new information either to my intended field of study (Physics/Mathematics) or to personal enlightenment. Living up to my motto, "The measure of learning is...