I’ve been out of high school for roughly 20 years. In those 20 years I’m sure you can imagine the amount of life scenarios that I’ve had to duck, dodge, flip over, and barrel through.
And it’s not even so much the major things. It’s the little pieces. The small things. That’s what makes up the bigger picture, whatever the portrait, no matter the canvas. There is so much that high school crammed down my throat, but in actuality it really didn’t teach me anything. Ironically, I had to learn that I hadn’t learned much.
The first bit of pertinent information high school should have equipped us with should have been how to save money. This basic life skill seems to elude most people. I’d even go so far to say that it’s the public health crisis.
Because the higher the poverty line, the higher the crime rate, and that’s just a general yet realistic statistic.
So the first thing you teach baby adults is how to circumvent being poor. Educate them. I believe that would change the social landscape much more so then so-called college education. In fact, college education literally offloads you with ready-made debt, and if you never learned how to save, you could be looking for a job without a place to live or food to eat. Meanwhile student loans pile, as do the other, “more important” bills. It’s a vicious cycle.
In the same vein, an adjoining course could be how to fill out a job application/build a resume. Why the hell not? These things would be of timeless value and significance.
The purpose of high school, if you ask me, is to give you the necessary training and guidance and preparation for adequate existence in society. What better way to start this process than by teaching a kid how to get a job and how to save the money he makes from that job?
I was never taught how to save money. That’s a lesson I learned by not having any. Had I some to glean from ahead of time, who knows? I may have become a banker like my little brother. It’s so easy to run across the graduation stage, waving your shiny new diploma at family and friends, and jump right into debt. Before you know it, real life is knocking at your door.
Speaking of which…
I had sex education in the 6th, I think. The course consisted of trying to scientifically gross out all of the children and convince us to stay away from premarital sex, in my opinion. It illustrated things like the aftermath of certain diseases, what happens during childbirth, and what types of preventive measures can be taken to avoid these sorts of things. What they never talked about was how real life can get once you start having sex with people. That there is the real sex education.
There was a part of the class where we were taught how to properly put on a condom. This was actually pretty informative, and they also provided some background info on the importance of slipping a hat on your Jimmy. What they didn’t tell us, however, was the true importance of a condom and how you’ll never want a bunch of different babies with a bunch of different women. They should have brought in some poor bastard whose life has been totally destroyed by illegitimate children, vindictive baby mothers, and flagrant child support payments. This would have lasting effects, etched and burned into the memories of young boys for years to come, much more so than a slideshow about Herpes and Chlamydia.
Lastly, a course in — literally — how to get along with people would round these out nicely. Back when we first begin going to school, we’re taught about playing well with others, “sharing is caring,” keep your hands to yourself, and all that jazz. For the most part, it seems successful, for most people. Kids, by nature, are loving, innocent, affectionate creatures anyway, and this type of early training merely reinforces the positivity they were born with. But the training seems to begin to wear off by the time junior high school begins, seeing most children blossom into full-fledged heathens by ninth grade. This happens almost entirely at a disconnect from race or social standing. In other words, most kids are savage beasts and should totally be tamed before released out into the wild. Relying on parents to do this is clearly a waste, and the evidence is strewn across the landscape in front of you. This is a void that a class in human decency would fill.
Teaching kids about geography and history, two things which don’t generally come into play much after education ends, is great for
lying to the masses enlightening the minds of young people, but without the fundamental balance of how to get along with the rest of society, what’s the point? That’s a clear cut case of casting pearls to swine.
As humanity lurches forward into a robot-controlled future, I guess these issues will become less important. We’ll just program our kids, place them in the automated car, and hope for the best.
Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad.
Words by Tony Grands