This week: Learn me a skill
I was 6 years old when I decided school wasn’t for me. I could sense the salty bitter disappointment of my teacher as she pointed in my direction during Morning Sing-Alongs. A little indignant, I always had the same response: Mrs. LeFever, WHAT DO YOU MEAN the middle of the alphabet song isn’t M-M-M-O-P?
The resentment built as I shuffled into class each day, forced to learn stupid shit like addition and manners, while my 4-year-old brother was at home watching the Snorks or tagging along with my mom to cool places like the dry cleaner and the DMV.
My parents were pissed when I notified them that I was dropping out. I could tell they were grasping at straws as they made one weak argument after another: “But you only started school last year!” and “How are you going to succeed in life if you only have a first grade education?”
Even at the tender age of six, I already had all the essential skills to win at this thing called Life. I could pop the top off a can of delicious Spam. I knew my favorite treat from the ice cream truck required two big silver coins with ridges and one medium-sized silver coin with no ridges. I learned that calling 9-1-1 for fun and hanging up wasn’t such a good idea because people with guns would still show up at my house. Or that stamps from the Publishers Clearing House weren’t honored by the U.S. Postal Service.
Still, my parents argued that if I wanted to live in their home, I would have to go to school. This was a low blow because I knew that getting a place of my own would probably cost more than the nine dollars I had saved up in my Teddy Ruxpin Fund. Assholes. They knew how to work my weaknesses.
I stayed in school. I got a high school diploma. I even tried out college. But I never took any of it seriously. To this day, I have to count on my fingers and toes. If I’m wearing socks, I’m fucked.
I think I’m past the point of going back for a traditional degree, but I’d consider enrolling in a program to learn at least one marketable skill. Maybe I have a hidden talent with carburetors. Perhaps I’d be a great stenographer. Maybe I’ll get some goddamn coordination and become a certified aerobics instructor. Or I could walk around the shady part of town until I get jumped, become a gang member, and learn how to sell used electronics. The possibilities excite me.
Any suggestions for what skill I should pursue? What’s the most valuable course you’ve ever taken? Or, on the flip side, a program you consider to be a waste?
P.S. Pro Travel Tip: If you’re in Germany and the hotel is being a stickler about bringing food back to your room from the free breakfast buffet, it’s probably not a good idea to complain loudly to your family, “God, I don’t understand why they’re being such Nazis about two croissants,” in front of the hotel staff. Just trust me. I’m always thinking about you guys and ways to make sure hotel people don’t spit on your toothbrush.
P.P.S. I post thoughtlessly insensitive things + funny pictures + thug life thoughts on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. “Like” the page to see them in your news feed.