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20 classroom 'facts' we learned that weren't actually true at all

Who remembers tongue taste maps?

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Look, teachers aren't perfect.

Education has certainly changed over the years, and is continuously evolving. That goes for teaching methods—utilizing more technology, providing more resources to students with special needs, and incorporating more personalized approaches—as well as what information is actually being taught in classrooms.

Surely, if you think back to your childhood, you'll remember certain "facts" being drilled by your teacher that nowadays seem like straight up nonsense. And if not, you can copy off of the Reddit community's homework.

Redditor u/authorized_join31 recently asked "What’s a fact that was taught in school that’s been disproven in your lifetime?" and people did not disappoint with their answers.


Of course, while many of these are harmless fun, it's easy to see how very problematic others are. Particularly when it comes to health and history—diet fads, medical myths, falsely idolizing historical figures to perpetuate a skewed narrative…you get the picture.

If anything, these anecdotes just go to show that we should never stop trying to learn, even after school if over.

And with that, class is now in session.

1."That strangers will give me free drugs on street corners and on Halloween candy."

—u/Slight-Mess-6615

2. "All fat was bad for you. Thus, fat-free foods became a thing for a while."

—u/SpewPewPew

3. "I learned about tongue taste maps at school. Turns out it’s complete nonsense."

—u/TimmyMTX

false facts

If this were true, I'd only be using the "sweet taste" portion of my tongue.

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4. "In pharmacy school around the turn of the century, we were taught that people in legitimate pain don't get addicted to opiates and opioids."

—u/PayEmmy

5. "Your permanent record will follow you into adulthood."

—u/Darth-Byzantious

6. "The whole 'A meteorite killed the dinosaurs' thing wasn't yet the accepted theory when I was a kid."

—u/senefen

7. “No one is going to wait for you to look up information in the real world, you have to know it.”

—u/cheezturds

8. "That George Washington’s teeth were made of wood."

—u/alloverbeautiful

A brilliant example of an inaccurate piece of history that was completely injected onto our consciousness during school, that perhaps covered up a more difficult truth to swallow. In truth, Washington's dentures were made of materials from lead-tin, copper and silver alloy, as well as cow, horse and human teeth. The latter of which were bought from slaves, or at least a portion of them. That might have been more pertinent to know.

But what's even more baffling is why this false fact was so important to teach in the first place. And is we must talk about a dead president's teeth, why not tell the more exciting (and true) story of how Washington's dental trouble helped mislead the British Army in 1781? But I digress.

9. "The Food Pyramid."

—u/CharlesNotManson69

10. "Once you get to high school, nobody will accept papers not written in cursive."

—u/FridgesArePeopleToo

11. "You won't always have a calculator on you."

—u/Deuteronomy93

school. learning

Algebra was a complete waste of time for some of us.

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12. "I once asked one of my elementary school teachers what a rainbow was, and she told me scientists hadn't figured it out. I walked around until my early 20s thinking that. Also, I think it was this same teacher who told me Columbus thought the Earth was flat. They were training teachers a different kind of way in the '70s and '80s. It's honestly one of the reasons I'm thankful for the internet, because depending on your teacher or an outdated encyclopedia for answers could be a real roll of the dice."

—u/UhOhFeministOnReddit

13. "So many professions that we were taught were ‘lesser-than’ or just looked down upon. Being a plumber was always a joke… wish I woulda took the 70k, Union job with excellent benefits and a pension joke at 20 years old lol."

—u/Ok_Reporter1407

14. "You only use 10% of your brain each day."

—u/E8inches2Short

15. "My primary school teacher told me our bodies can't make new blood and we're born with all the blood we'll ever have. As someone who got nosebleeds, I knew it was bollocks. When I questioned that adults are obviously bigger so have more blood, she said it's watered down."

—u/Appropriate-Divide64

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16. "Carrots are good for night vision.This was a lie the British used to explain how they could spot German bombers during WWII. The truth, that they had broken the German Enigma machine and were decoding secret messages, was kept a secret for decades. The full story was not told until the 1990s."

—u/dylans-alias

17. "That we would all but run out of oil by the year 2000."

—u/fatbongo

18. "That lemmings commit suicide."

—u/study-sug-gests

19. "That Canada didn’t ever have slaves. What's worse is, to my knowledge, they still don’t teach this. I had to look it up myself."

—u/Blue_Moon_Rabbit

And last but not least....

20. "If you study well and have excellent grades, you will end up with a nice job and lots of money."

—u/MyKinkyCountess

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

Brielle Asero lost her job after 2 months.

TikTokker Brielle Asero, 21, a recent college graduate, went viral on TikTok in October for her emotional reaction to the first day at a 9-to-5 job. The video, which received 3.4 million views, captured the public’s attention because it was like a cultural Rorschach test.

Some who saw the video thought that Asero came off as entitled and exemplified the younger generation’s lack of work ethic. In contrast, others sympathized with the young woman who is just beginning to understand how hard it is to find work-life balance in modern-day America.

“I’m so upset,” she says in the video. "I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don't get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don't have time to do anything!" Asero said in a video.

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