What They Don’t Teach You in School (Or How I use the Theorum of Pythagorus in everyday life)
A while ago I reblogged a short post someone had written about how they never learnt any important “life skills” at school. The thought keeps coming back to me, and I find myself constantly encountering new challenges, even now, in my mid-twenties. (Did I just say mid-twenties? Oh Goodness, I’m getting old!) Things that everyone just seem to know about. I can’t help but feel like I missed out on something. When I was in school, we never had any kind of class that even remotely prepared us for real life. Being a Catholic Convent, our “life skills” class focused mostly on how to “love thy neighbour” etc. If I had my way, here are some classes I wish they taught in school:
1. Tax101. Ever done a tax return? or had to apply for your SIN number or TFN or whatever they call it in your country? It’s not really that hard- but time and time again I meet people who are actually willing to pay a fortune to have their tax done by an agency! WHY? The form you fill out COMES WITH AN INSTRUCTION SHEET! I guess it’s because we’ve been brought up to be fearful of the tax man. People are terrified that if they fill out their return incorrectly they’ll be arrested for fraud, or tax evasion or whatever it is. I wish that in high school they had a Tax 101 class, it would really make people less afraid, or at least more aware of where their hard earned money is actually going.
2. Transportation: Navigating the Metro Rail Driving, car registration, fixing a flat tire, car insurance, basic road etiquette- all important for those of us who drive. And for those that don’t- public transport classes- how to commute, train etiquette, buying travel fare, how to speak “conductor”, etc. They could even have a special class on air travel and the ins and outs of airport security, luggage claims etc. ALL extremely useful- ALL completely ignored by the school syllabis.
3.Mixology for Beginners Now of course I don’t expect High School to teach pupils how to drink copious amounts of alcohol without getting sick, but maybe a few lessons on the basic drinking know-how. For instance, I wish someone had told me that it’s a bad idea to mix spirits. Or that red wine will leave me with the most brutal of hangovers. A basic class on how to drink with class (one day) would be oh so helpful, and could have prevented so many awkward moments!
4. Business: Climbing the Corporate Ladder in a Cut-Throat Office You know how they teach you the very basics of writing a resume, and how to dress for an interview? why not take that class further: teach about the ins and outs of office gossip; surviving your first staff party; how to claw your way to the top, without feeling remorse for those you saboutage; the importance of reading contracts; how to tell if you’re being scammed/underpaid/treated unfairly in the workplace.
There are so many more things, too. Like basic cooking; what to do in the event of an apocalypse; how to make a basic fire; how to make your last $10 go the extra mile at the grocery store; why it’s never a good idea to date long-distance. But NO, they taught us the Theorum of Pythagoras, and the History of Shakespeare, and sent us on our way. Makes no sense. sigh