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I remember as a student in high school, staring into middle space, wondering why they teach us such irrelevant skills such as trigonometry.

I mean when in the real world would you call upon tan, cos or sin in your everyday life? If you were truly flying a kite and it got stuck in a tree and you measured the tree was 50 metres high and you were standing 30 metres from the tree, would you really care what angle the kite’s string is off the ground? I think not!

In reality, I would either yank really hard to get the kite down or cut the string and walk away…..then race to the shops to replace the kite and return it to my child’s room, before they realised their mum has been out playing with their toys again!

So my whole life I have thought the concept of trigonometry irrelevant and a waste of time. That was until my daughter started studying trigonometry in maths at school. It was only then that it became clear. The time in your life that having learnt trigonometry becomes important is when your child is staring blankly at a text book and needs assistance in understanding trigonometry!

I guess the morale of this story is that no matter how irrelevant the things that you learn in life seem, maybe one day you will be called upon to dig them up from the recesses of your mind to pass on this irrelevant knowledge to the future generation. No experience or knowledge is a waste of time – you never know when you will find a time that it comes in handy!


  1. And those of us with no desire for reproducing continue laughing.
    Schools shouldn’t teach things that aren’t relevant to life. If someone wants to go into a maths-related career, they should be able to take trig or anything else like it as an elective, while the rest of us can learn things like, you know, how to file taxes, register to vote, or fix an internet connectivity error.

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