[229] Teach Me!

Recently, someone shared a tweet by a young celebrity that said something that I have thought about a lot and even written about. This quoted 20-something person wrote that every day she learned something new that was never taught in school.

The public school system in the United States is an absolute embarrassment. This is not anything new, unfortunately. Even back in the late 1980s, when I was in high school, basic life skills and principles weren’t taught. Even less are taught in the 2020s. In school, there were home economics and food classes. Kids were taught cooking and how to balance a checkbook. Sure, no one writes checks anymore, but you still need to know how to keep your bank account from going in the red. Is cooking still taught in school? Or has that now become a liability that districts don’t want to get involved in?

The federal government has taken our education system and totally fucked it up, just like it does everything else. The US Department of Education needs to be abolished, and that responsibility divested back to the states. Get rid of that Common Core stupidity, stop dumbing down kids and actually teach them something useful, instead of how to take a test. That’s all officials care about: testing scores. Forget credit basics. Filling out a job application can be learned on the fly! Filing your taxes? Meh. Not a concern. How do I change the oil in my car? So many simple, basic, necessary life skills are excluded from school. Sure, parents can teach a lot, but wouldn’t teaching how to sew a button or what the process of financing a major purchase make students more well-rounded?

I hate that the government wants to mandate everyone purchase health insurance, but refuses to explain to anyone, especially the younger generation, how it works, and what all the numbers mean. What’s a deductible? What the hell does 80/20 mean? I’m pushing 50, and I don’t even know what some of this shit is!

Thinking back on education for a second, why is going to college rammed down everyone’s throat? What good is having a college degree if you can’t get a job afterwards, the field is useless, or you have to take out hundreds of thousands in student loans to pay for it? Yeah, loans that you’re stuck with until you die, or your co-signers are plagued with. The only two debts that bankruptcy will not eliminate are tax debts to the IRS and fucking student loans. Why aren’t kids given the explicit option of vocational or trade school? It’s much cheaper, takes much less time, and these jobs are actually in demand. Plumbers, mechanics, chefs, pharmacy technicians, etc. What? Are American kids too good to do manual labor? They can’t look hot for their Instagram and TikTok followers? Is America that self-absorbed and narcissistic that we can’t get our hands dirty? Whatever happened to work ethic and being proud of a hard-earned dollar? Oh, that’s right! Many people of all generations now are a bunch of whiny, entitled pricks that are too fucking lazy to get off their asses and actually work for their money. Instead, they want to sit all day worshipping social media quasi-celebrities, while holding out their hands, waiting for their government handouts so they can trade in their new iPhone 12 and buy a shiny, brand-spankin’-new iPhone 13. They sit in their “safe space” because they can’t handle being in a workplace where they might be told they’re not special and that they are fucking losers. Oh! The fragile feelings! They can’t handle that life doesn’t give participation trophies and not everyone wins! I know this doesn’t apply to everyone. There are people who do work hard and don’t get easily offended. As for the others, though? Holy shit! They don’t want to have to deal with pain and disappointment in their lives. You know who is disappointed in these lazy asses? Their ancestors—their grandparents and great-grandparents. People living through the Great Depression, who actually valued a dollar and wanted to go to work.

“If you want the kids’ test scores up, bring back band and bring back shop and get kids actually learning stuff instead of teaching them how to take a test.”

Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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