Monday, November 6, 2017

No, We Don't Need a Class Called "Life 101"

If you are on Facebook, you have probably seen a meme about schools needing a "mandatory class called Life 101" that teaches basic skills everyone should know. It looks something like this:

Often these pics get plenty of likes, and the post asks if you agree. Well, I don't. Not at all. And I'm a bit annoyed by the ridiculous implications of this idea.

No, we don't need a "mandatory class" for arbitrary skills that should be taught at home by parents, if they even need to be taught at all. First of all, who "balances a checkbook anymore"? Online banking and statements pretty much handle that. And if someone feels kids need to know that, then teach it yourself. It takes about five minutes, and I learned from my dad when I was about twelve years old. And, changing a tire or changing your oil? No. Not many people need to know that, and practically no one does that themselves anymore. I would bet 90% of the people who "like" this meme have never done either of those tasks. And, they don't balance checkbooks, sew buttons, or grow their own food either.

The primary issue I have with these posts is the complete abdication of parenting skills and the absolving parents of any responsibility for teaching their children any life skills. If the parents don't know it or can't teach it, it's probably not that important anyway. The arbitrary premium that people are placing on these skills and tasks is completely out of whack with reality. I'll bet right now there are thousands of men and woman in their local ER saving lives, and they probably can't change their own oil. But they don't need to because they spent their time developing an expertise in something a little more significant - like how to jump-start the heart of someone in cardiac arrest.

Geez! The kind of "internet wisdom" that goes around these days baffles me.

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