"Right On!" they do still say it 'cause you just said it then.. ha! :)
I was trying to show my dad a few things on guitar yesterday and what I realised was that "learning scales" and practising your scales is not about playing scales.. it's about putting the music theory, which you are learning at the same time, into practice. These modes and scales and all that stuff needs to be somehow practised so that we can understand the theory/art/craft of playing better... it's not about the scales themselves but what is underneath them, the foundation, that matters.