I’ll start off by saying that my school is for adults. The number of ignorant, misinformed adults I run across, both online and in person, is mind-boggling. So, no one under 18 will be admitted to the Common Sense Academy. With that said, let’s delve into some of the courses you can take there:
- Literacy 101 — This isn’t just the ability to read, but the ability to write. When I say “write,” I mean “with a pen/pencil and paper.” Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and penmanship will all be taught. You need to be able to do more than scratch out your signature on a check or a birthday card. If you can, look at Twitter some time; the worst spelling/grammar mistakes I see, 140 character limit notwithstanding, are made by adults. It’s shameful. Learn the goddamn English language.
- Geography — If I show you a map of the United States, can you find your state? If I show you a map of the United States without the state boundaries drawn in, would you know where to draw them for where you live? One thing you’ll be required to do is take a blank map of this country and fill in where all the states go, plus their capitals. No, Chicago is not the capital of Illinois, and no, there is no state just called “Dakota.” There was a Dakota Territory, but that was well over 125 years ago. While we’re at it, you’re also going to be required to learn where various countries in the world are located. If you can’t find Laos on a map, fine. If you don’t know where Iran is, we have a problem.
- American Government and Civics — Who are your senators? Representatives? If I show you a picture of John Kerry, can you tell me what position he holds and what some of his job functions are? Do you know what’s really in the Constitution? If you answered no to any of these questions, congratulations, you’re a moron. Also, you’re in desperate need of this class. Here, you’ll learn all the things Fox News doesn’t want you to know about, like how there’s nothing in the Constitution that says Muslims can’t be President. You’ll also learn the definitions to words like “socialism” and “communism” since no one in this fucking country uses either word correctly. You’ll also be automatically registered as a voter, since we have one of the lowest voter turnouts in the Western world, and it’s goddamn embarrassing. People fought and died for your right to vote, take it seriously.
- Budgets and Financial Acuity — Here’s one that really should be taught in high school, if not junior high, but we’ll stick with adults right now. Things cost money. In order to buy something, you need to have the money to afford it. You’d be amazed at the number of people that don’t know this. If you make $2,000/month, how much money do you need to cover your expenses? How much money do you then have left over when you’re done paying everything? Do you know what a checkbook is and how to balance it? Have you ever heard the words “debit” and “credit” used to describe something other than a plastic card? Do you even have a budget? If you can’t answer any of these questions, please, put the AmEx down.
I know, this seems a bit harsh, but some people are stupid, and stupid people make life difficult for the rest of us. It’s our civic duty to help the stupid become less stupid, and the only way to do that is through education. I may have snarked a lot in this post, but there’s also a lot of bitter truth in there as well. It’s not just our youth that need help.