BY TAHLIA PRITCHARD
In some ways high-school is a colossal waste of time. Don’t remind me I said this in 20 years when I’m trying to tell my future spawn to do their homework.
It is my firm belief however, that high-school can probably cut a useless class such as oh I don’t know, computer studies, to slip in a life skills class. I know a lot of people out there, myself included, would have probably benefited from this. Don’t worry about the fact I have no idea how my superannuation works, because THANK GOD I learnt how to make a clay ice-cream bowl that one time in Design and Technology.
After thinking about the classes I took in high-school, I then started thinking of ways they could actually improve them so I feel like I’m ready to go from a gawky, spotty teen into a beautiful and mature adult (still waiting on that beautiful and mature part though). For example, in maths instead of teaching me something I’m never going to use again like algebra (I mean first there’s numbers, and now letters and I just don’t know what you want from me) how about we slip in some education on how to manage your money and finances properly? How to save for a house? What kind of insurance company is going to benefit you the most? You get my drill.
In English, brush-up lessons on how to use proper grammar and how to edit your writing would have been far more excellent that trying to analyse what some weird guy who was probably on crack was writing about hundreds of years ago. Everyday I’ll see someone from Gen Y on social media sites using the wrong ‘your’/’you’re.’ It makes me want to hurt someone a little bit. I have no hope for Gen Z if we’re this bad.
Moving onto science – I’m really glad I learnt how to work a Bunsen burner once. That knowledge has been vital in my tertiary studies. Oh wait no it hasn’t. Geography – what do you mean people had to use actual real maps? Haven’t they heard of the iPhone? P.E. – a real, proper sex education talk might not go astray. I’m not talking the ‘don’t have sex, you will get chlamydia and die’ kind of stuff, I’m talking the ‘when a girl says no she means no’ talks or the ‘always use protection.’ Sure I went to a catholic school so it was more like ‘SAVE YOURSELF FOR MARRIAGE’ but that really shouldn’t mean that teens shouldn’t get the right sex education instead of herpes. Also don’t get me started on the sexism when it comes to P.E. prac – ‘let’s play a typical boys sport for ten weeks oh and okay we’ll throw in one game of netball just to satisfy the girls, but you can’t expect us to do that all the time, the boys won’t like that.’
Art – look a five year old could probably paint better than me. The fact this is a compulsory subject up until year 10 is a bit mortifying. Don’t worry about teaching us politics or how the country is run so we become educated voters once we hit 18, but seriously keep teaching us about how Van Gogh cut off his own ear. He sounds about as normal and stable as Tony Abbott.
I’ve talked to many people my age that think a good old life skills class wouldn’t go astray. Don’t worry that my generation is slightly useless when it comes to adult tasks such as paying bills, picking the right car insurance, investing money, or how to apply for loans. But praise the Lord we can graph polynomial functions…
Oh wait I can’t even do that.
Tahlia is a last session Media and Communication student at the University of Wollongong and the founder of BULLSH!T. She’ll strive to annoy you on twitter here and for other inane ramblings click here.