Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Things they should have taught us in school

I was an English major in college. This means I never learned how to create a website on my own, which to be honest, would have been a pretty useful skill. Any business venture this day in age needs to have a website. Really, every person pretty much needs one. In my case I just have this blog, and while I have "webmaster tools" for it through Blogger, I'm still learning what the hell a Sitemap is and stuff like that. I wish I had been taught the basics of how this kind of stuff works, either when I was in college or in high school.

There are subjects that should be on that list.

The first is basic personal finance and paying your taxes. We all took civics classes so we'd be good citizens who know how to vote, but none of us learned anything about how to manage the money we were getting from minimum wage jobs working at record stores and waiting tables. We never learned how to prepare our taxes, or learned enough to know when we really need to get professional help. So we have a population in this country who doesn't know what the hell they're doing every April, and even high government officials can't get it right. Way to drop the ball on that one educational system.

The last one we should have been taught was basic auto maintenance. I'm not saying we should all be changing our own oil (although that would be nice), what I mean is stuff like knowing how to maintain your car, change the tires when they blow flats, and how to diagnose a problem when it happens. Instead we have people calling AAA for flats and getting ripped off by garage mechanics who know you're clueless when you pull into their shop.

I'm a very well educated person. I was fortunate enough to be sent to a very good high school in Boston, and I went to one of the best colleges in the world, and I was still a babe in the woods when it came to these subjects. I'm not saying we should have everyone in trade school, but honestly, a heads up about things we were guaranteed to encounter in our lives wouldn't have been out of line.

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