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  • Writer's pictureTina

What I Wish I Had Learned In School

It is time again for the first of the month man blog. My little Mini-Me has been on break for over a week, and it has given me time to pause on everything I wish they taught or I paid attention to at her age in school. First and foremost, when I think of gym class running on the track and dodgeball come to mind. The older I get and the more bending and even starting to move in the mornings become more difficult. I cannot help but think perhaps proper lifting techniques would have been helpful. I am pretty sure almost everyone was born with the skill of avoiding a face hit with a ball. Lift with your legs, and keep your back straight, slow, and steady; that would have been a gold mine. Double down on helpful and add some morning stretch routine. That's a valuable life lesson I could have benefitted from and applied to my daily living.

Basic world geography is another set of life lessons that would benefit me in adulting. I know it was taught. I also think it was skimmed as it was being taught. Now, I have basic world geography that I believe is all the more the instructors had to begin with. In the world, there is here and everywhere else is not here. We do not care about there unless there is fighting a war. Briefly, we care about there and study its history of there. Eventually, there keeps up the war, and we lose interest. After all, it is there and not here. Europe had different countries but had wars, and now it is different. Africa had Europe move into different countries, Europe left countries adjusted, and now it is different. Asia had its own setup going forever; Europe showed up and wanted goods, introduced drugs, made a mess, Gondi became famous, countries changed, and they didn't get along. The Americas were discovered, Europe changed everything, got kicked out, or were asked nicely to back off if you were Canada. They tried a comeback tour that failed and moved on. I can't keep up.

Let's talk mathematics. The basics and even theoretical math are covered. It is great to know addition, subtraction, etc. Even understanding that the square root of negative one is imaginary is not entirely useless. But every single week, a refresher on basic statistics or common sense would be helpful. Every time I see someone buying lottery tickets or playing the now-legal everywhere gambling machines, I cannot help but wonder, do they understand statistics? Even a smidge of common sense would tell you that machines exist to make money. They do not exist to make you rich quickly. To be made rich fast, own a machine. Unfortunately, there is a monopoly on said machines. Personal finances would be a massive win for a lot of folks. Just because you can get an $80K jacked-up truck with financing doesn't mean you should. A cheap starter car will also get you down the road.

Essential life skills would also be helpful. You will get further in life not being stupid than most people will being smart. Even with the best education and/or a god-given talent but failing to understand how to file your taxes, you won't get far. Looking at all of the musicians, actors, lawyers, and doctors that should have had the world but lost it due to not understanding twenty percent interest is not a good deal, or a financial advisor that is left unchecked is dangerous. Meanwhile, someone that shows up to a fast-food joint every day sober works hard and takes all of the training not only misses out on four years of spending money at a university but ends up regional manager in the establishment. I cringe whenever I hear a soon-to-be graduate state they are going to college as an undeclared major. If the statement was, I am going to work; I don't know where or what, but I am going to work. Or they said I am starting a business, not sure what business, but I am starting a business, they would be redirected. The prestige of saying you are pointlessly wasting money and, more importantly, time taking Basket Weaving 101 while you discover your path trumps common sense. After all, the guidance counselor spent four years in school, and they indeed won't say it was a waste. The phrase, do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life, makes me want to beat my head against the wall. I am lucky enough to do what I love and have never worked harder or been more focused in my life. The simple reason is that I have also done what I hated and have no intention of returning. Perhaps a rewrite is in order? Do what you love, and you won't be a complete misery to everyone around you.

Marketing and business should be required. I have been fortunate not to go through many interviews in my life. Every interview that I have had was one where I was not concerned about which way it went, and I believe that made it go better for me. However, if someone also interviewing was trained in marketing themselves, it would not have gone my way. Our biggest hurdle for the business, in my opinion, is marketing. Both Tina and I are introverts by nature. Add on the formative years of being told it is good to be humble and no one likes a show-off; we are crippled in marketing. An introductory business class that would explain that living at home while you save is different than playing video games in the basement forever. The money saved on cheap, practical vehicles and homes early in life adds up later.

As children, we are all told, don't be jealous. I am convinced, be jealous. See what you want and how people got it and get it. Jealousy for the sake of nonmotivation is indeed pointless. Jealousy as a direction or motivation is powerful. Do I want to be Bill Gates? Nope. That guy can't have an opinion without everyone saying he is evil. Martha Stewart? Getting warmer. She is successful. I am guessing secure. She certainly has street credit after doing time and being friends with Snoop. When I see an Amish buggy going down the road mid-week with a fishing boat behind it, that is when I am jealous. Those folks have life figured out. Every Amish craftsman that I know has three lifetimes of work waiting in their shops. Their only marketing is word of mouth and a scrap piece of siding at the end of their lane stating custom kitchens, no Sunday sales written in marker. With enough work for a crew of ten, they do what they can get done and have no problem living their life while everyone's kitchen is behind schedule. We have been waiting for months to restock our soap decks made by an Amish family friend. The last time I checked, the answer was I didn't forget. I can send you to another place if you are in a rush. Their definition of rush is not the same as mine. So, wait, I shall.

We are taught that succeeding and being correct are good—the more right answers on the test, the better. Failure teaches more than success, plain and simple. If you are always right, you never have to back up and punt. Being wrong makes you think harder and figure out things differently. Failure should motivate, not discourage. We can all remember C-average classmates from school who could not spell money and became self-made millionaires. Those are the folks that should be at graduations telling students that they were so fed up with failing they were willing to try anything, and finally, something stuck.

Everyone gets punished, not just the guilty. If an entire class was terrible, everyone missed recess. But if an individual student were bad, they would be the only ones to miss. Today no one can get good cold medicine because it is used for drug making. The original knock you out fix you up Sudafed and NyQuil have gone the way of the dodo. The first time I tried Mucinex, I lost ten pounds in gross sick mucus extraction. Now all medicines have been watered down and proven to be less than they once were. With our livelihood depending on our animals' well-being, I fear the future of much-needed dewormers. Luckily I believe that the giants in agriculture have better lobbying and political power than anyone wants to admit. I mean, after all, they can avoid calling almond juice almond juice and call it milk. For God's sake, almonds do not even have nipples.

Until next month remember, just because it was taught to you doesn't make it right; keep safe and enjoy the bubbles.

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