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Columnist Peyton Hamel reminds of how diverse our society is when it comes to education and encourages others to examine if their life makes them happy. 

When I scroll through Instagram, more often than not, I am very grateful for my education. I'm sure all of you have been there: you look at a post and question, "How... just how.. and why?" 

After about 20 minutes of scrolling on Instagram (to be honest, I really didn't want to get up this morning), I found a video from the infamous TikTok where a high school girl was taking a small quiz. The quiz questions ranged from general knowledge to a little more obscure knowledge, where people who only soak in random facts would get it right. 

As I was watching, a part of me wanted to hope her answers were purely for humor and she would sneak a "Just kidding!" in the end, but, unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The video went a little like this:

1. What is a doe?

Answer: "... *stares off into the distance* like bread?"

2. Which star is at the center of our Solar System?

Answer: "Isn't it like... the Big Dipper?" She immediately covers her mouth and her eyes widen, knowing dang well the sun is at the center of the solar system. 

3. Who discovered America?

Answer: "The Americans???" She giggled. Technically, she isn't wrong. Indigenous peoples saw it first and I would say they discovered America long before good ol' Christopher Columbus. However, for the quiz's sake, she was wrong. 

4. What is the human body's biggest organ?

Answer: "The arteries?" For you science fellows out there, you were probably hoping she would at least say liver or lungs. Skin is, in fact, the correct answer. She continued with, "That's an organ?" 

5. Who painted the Mona Lisa?

Answer: "William Shakespeare?" Don't worry, da Vinci, your artistic revelations are not forgotten. It just so happens that Shakespeare is more notable and likes taking credit for all works that seem archaic. 

6. Where does the British Prime Minister live?

Answer: "Britain." I'll give her that one. The real answer is "Downing Street." Boy, was she angry when she found out, "Yeah, like I would freakin' know that." Me too, kiddo, me too. 

This video lightened my morning because it made me think of where people focus their attention and education. Some people focus on history, astronomy, physics or philosophy. It reminded me not all education looks the same. We have our trade school folks and our entrepreneurs and our social citizens all alongside our college-educated people. 

Let this remind us our differences are highlighted, exacerbated and hung on a string during this chaotic time. Are you happy about where you focus your time? Does social distancing tell you about how happy you are with your lifestyle? Your job? I hope so. 

We've been shaken up, turned over and smacked up the side of the head due to this virus. This change can tell us so much about how our lives were going before it started. Don't be too rushed to get back in the swing of things. 

You have a clean slate to be able to change what you need to in order to be happy. Take advantage of it. Who knows when we will have another opportunity like this?

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(1) comment

Steve Gregg

3. Who discovered America?

America was discovered over and over again. If Asians crossing the Bering land bridge were the first, there were at least five different migrations of them. It's possible that ancient Europeans crossed the Atlantic, created colonies on the East Coast, and were absorbed into the Asian migrations. Thor Heyerdahl proved it was possible sailing across the Atlantic in the Kon-Tiki.

The Basques were the earliest known European discoverers of America, having found the cod fisheries off the East Coast. Cod was one of the few foods that could be preserved then and so, was valuable. The Basques kept that secret, whispers of which Columbus apparently heard. The British found the cod fisheries next and kept it secret, also. The VIkings discovered America sometime in there. Columbus finally discovered America. He was the first European to announce his discovery and so, got the credit for it.

5. Who painted the Mona Lisa?

Leonardo Da Vinci. It's tiny in real life. If you go to the Louvre in Paris to see it, as you should, it's about the size of your computer screen. It's covered by a screen that protects it against fading from all the flash photography that would otherwise bleach it white.

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