Grade school for me was interesting. Considering i did not attend until 9th grade, the remaining four years was a hodge podge of football, underage drinking, fist fights and copied homework. But there were some solid takeaways. I learned how to function socially and i got a piece of paper that states i’m a cunt-hair above homeless crackheads, i’m a high school graduate. But after transitioning into the real world, there were and still are some things lacking that i wish had been bestowed upon me in my formative (albeit rebellious as hell) adolescent years.
1. How to handle money.
We learned the fucking Pythagorean theorem, how to dissect pigs and how photosynthesis works, but I have no fucking clue how to balance a checkbook or file my taxes. Self help books from millionaire money gurus tell me to invest in stocks and bonds, but i had no idea what stocks and bonds were until i was 26 and i still don’t understand how to invest in them or how much to invest. The whole idea of school is to create working contributive members of society and develop the skills to become financially stable, yet i dont remember finances coming up in one single class other than an economics ‘elective’ where we played the board game ‘life’ for a semester (im seriously not making this up).
So now the only option is to pay rich people with money i dont have, to teach me how to invest more money that i dont have, in order to maybe one day have money (or not).
I wish school had some sort of form of pre-marriage counseling. My recent studies of psychology have taught me that all humans see ourselves through ‘rose colored’ glasses. The mind and ego have just as advanced way of protecting itself as the body does. Just as the body will send out blood cells to fight infection, the mind will concoct its own version of whatever is happening and spin it in such a way that justifies anything we do. No matter how self-aware we are, in the deepest corners of our subconscious mind we can do no wrong in our own eyes. I have no idea when to apologize, when I’m wrong, how to accept an apology, or how to compromise. I’ve spent the first two decades playing life on “one player”, so when it becomes a co-op I have no idea how to navigate. Obviously not everyone goes on to get married or find life partners. But it would have been nice to have developed the skills to become a good partner rather than trial by fire. Perhaps many less nights would have been spent on the couch had i been pre-groomed into a better partner.
3. Car stuff
A lot of people learn car shit from dads or uncles. But my biological dad disappeared somewhere along the Mexican border when I was 3 and the man i’ve always known as my father was busy working his fingers to the bone making sure we had a car in the first place. I paid thousands of unnecessary dollars to more well learned men than myself over the years until i finally discovered Scotty Kilmer on Youtube and learned how to do shit myself. Tires, brakes, oil changes, hell even jumper cables- all this stuff should be learned in school. Perhaps instead of learning how to make a fucking bird house in woodshop we could have been learning how to change tires and oil in auto shop. I know every state of matter and how to solve for X but all eleven lights that are on my dash might as well be japanese to me.
As awesome as folkstyle wrestling is, it’s lacking in a few areas as far as self-defense goes and only 1% of high schoolers go out for wrestling as it is. Not everyone should or has to go out and be a competitor or train everyday like a fighter, but everyone should know how to defend themselves in hand to hand combat. The world is a scary place and its only getting scarier with every passing generation. With would-be bullies, rapists, and street thugs seemingly rolling off conveyor belts, every man woman and child should be sufficient in unarmed combat.
5. How to be your own boss
A great idol of mine, Gary Vaynerchuk, made a very interesting point on one of his keynotes. He stated that school is not made to produce entrepreneurs, its made to produce workers. You’re programmed to wake up at the asscrack of dawn, and go memorize and regurgitate information for 8 hours a day. You learn to do what you are told and complete tasks on time. Which is great- but what about those who want to start a business? or think and work for themselves? Nothing. Owning a business for me, just like marriage, has been trial by fire- learning by doing. I never learned in school how to file for permits or what ordinances or zoning laws are. I never learned how to haggle or negotiate or how to read contracts and know if im being treated fairly or evenly compensated. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working for someone else, but I wish school had also helped me develop the tools to work myself one day as well.