Sunday, April 14, 2013

The (Post Secondary) School of Hard Knocks

Greetings Fellow Suckas!

Given my obvious penchant for board games, please allow me to indulge a brief analogy.  Can you imagine if you sat down to play your very first game of Monopoly and your opponents explained the rules thusly:

"Yeah, so you win by throwing the dice and moving around the board., yeah, that's pretty much it."

Notwithstanding the fact that you've just been duped into playing a game that continues to give the entire hobby an irreparable black eye, you might want to go ahead and preemptively pop your "friend" right in the mush for criminally misrepresenting how to play.  Honestly, you're better off doing this then suffering through your buddy's inevitable and painfully protracted march to victory.

Such is life.  We spend too much of our early education being inundated with theoretical bullshit ("Trust me, this pre-calculus stuff is gonna be gravy.  Whattaya mean you're not going to pursue a career in math or science?") to historical minutia ("And that's when Alexander the Great whipped King Darius's ass for a second time at the Battle of Arbela.  Wise students should keep this in mind when dealing with your future co-workers").  Now I'm not saying that these pursuits are valueless, I just would have preferred a more, shall we say, practical curriculum if I'd been given a choice.

Wouldn't it be great if we supplemented our education system with information that students could actually use?  Consider the value of these hypothetical real-world courses:

Career Guidance 200  Via a series of personality tests and one-one-one interviews our instructors will help you chart a career path towards a job that actually embodies your own unique skills and interests.  In other words, this course will do exactly what your High School Guidance Councillor was supposed to do years ago.  

Resume Exaggeration 202    Employers often interpret a resume's dearth of experience as carte blanche to abuse the applicant.  This course will give students the tools needed to creatively extrapolate your limited work experience and design a resume that's both impressive and intimidating.  Learn how to turn that "Hot Dog Vendor" gig into a "Nitrate Distribution Engineer". 

Smokescreen Interviewing 203   In this course our veteran instructors will divulge their trade secrets on how to wow clueless interviewers with the strategic application of inexplicably-prized corporate buzzwords like "going forward", "robust dialogue", "action plan" and "discovering efficiencies".  Please note: this course is a prerequisite for Career in Politics 401.  

Workplace Navigation 205   Since most work environments have a tendency to reward employees who talk about how much work their doing versus how much work they're actually doing, this course will give students the optimal formula for a perfect balance.  The second semester will focus on how to cast aspersions on co-workers in order to make yourself look good in comparison.

Debt Avoidance 300  This valuable series of lectures teaches young people how to avoid becoming debt slaves.  Successful candidates will gain an immunity to the siren-like call of unscrupulous banks by learning that things purchased with a credit card AREN'T FREE.  Future lectures will provide graphic examples of abusive interest rates and the Cosa Nostra-style chicanery of student loans.   

The High Cost Of Existing 301  In this informative course, students will be taught that even the most basic needs required to sustain their continued existence requires copious amounts of cash monies to be paid by non-negotiable due dates.  In order to become acclimated to this ludicrous concept, participants will be shown just how much it costs for basic necessities such as food, shelter, heat and water.  For their term project, students will design a budget for their projected lifespan based on family medical records (Please note: the school can provide family medical records for a research fee of forty-five dollars). 

Tax Acceptance 302  By engaging in our innovative training techniques, participants will learn to associate positive thoughts with this despicable annual ordeal.  While listening to soothing music of their choice and receiving a full-body therapeutic massage, students will fill out one tax return after another until it becomes second nature.  By successful completion of this course students will become noticeably aroused at the mere mention of T4's and RRSP's.

Investing to Eat 303  In this series of indispensable lectures, students will get an inside track on how to provide for themselves in their Golden Years.  Participants will learn about the abandonment of company-paid pensions in lieu of the "do-it-yourself" approach of a 401K crapshoot.  Topics of discussion include "Fancy Feast: Palatable and Nutritious Options for Both Owner and Kitty", "2008: The Year Real Estate Became A Not-So-Safe Bet", "Why You Need Risk In Your Portfolio Like a Fish Needs A Bicycle" and "How to Avoid Unwittingly Investing in Child Labor Camps, Sweat Shops and Monsanto."

First Car 100 This class will give students valuable advise on how to buy their first vehicle without getting sucked into a maelstrom of hidden charges.  After learning how to avoid paying salesmen to do their own jobs, students will be given several creative suggestions as to what orifice will best accommodate the dealership's sleazy "Administrative Fees".

Car Maintenance and Repair 102  This course teaches students the importance of having a friend as an auto mechanic and how to determine what shops in your area are guilty of overt rip-offery.  Please note: any students who have already completed Canadian Tire Avoidance 101 will receive partial credit towards Car Maintenance and Repair 103.

House Hunting 404  This course gives students all of the tools required to avoid being crushed under the financial burden of a giant monolithic lemon.  Via an extensive series of in-depth lectures, students will learn to recognize the tell-tale signs of a Money Pit: asbestos insulation, Biblical flood basements, balsa wood roofing, schizophrenic wiring, fractured foundations or hordes of rabid, attic-dwelling possums.  As an added bonus, our learned instructors will also show you how to detect neighbors who are nosy, have a penchant for playing Psy at volume "12" at 2 am in the morning or are in the habit of announcing "HOW 'BOUT THIS HEAT!?!" during every day of the summer.


EPIC DEBATE  Yay, the internet wingnuts are with me

FAIL-ED COURSES  "In the mid-'80s the college provided students with the option to explore weaving techniques in both pool and Jacuzzi environments."

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