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THINGS THEY DON’T TEACH YOU IN SCHOOL

Ah, education, what a wonderful thing. ABCs, numbers, science, history, all sorts of good stuff we need to cram into our little noggins in order to prepare for life in the Big Bad World. With any luck, we can stay in school until our mid-twenties, soaking up all sorts of facts and skills to better arm ourselves in the fight for scarce jobs that characterizes life at the dawn of the 3rd millennium.

Well, kids, for those of you embarking on the adventure of your own lives, looking for jobs, significant others and places to live, here’s a few tips for you, vital information even the most thorough education cannot provide. Forewarned is forearmed. Pay attention now, class:

YOU CAN FORGET ALGEBRA: Once you’ve left school, your algebra days are done. The only reason you were forced to learn it was to teach you to think elliptically. Most of life is solving for X, whether dealing with members of the opposite sex, trying to figure out tax forms, or wondering why why a college graduate is saying “You want fries with that?” all day long.

A DEGREE IN ENGLISH IS USELESS: There’s already too many English teachers, and no listing in the Want Ads that says: “Wanted – The Next Great American Novelist.” Before you can tell great stories, you need to live some first. The advice here is to start drinking heavily and getting involved with unbalanced women ASAP.

YOUR FIRST APARTMENT WILL BE A DUMP: Assuming you can afford to move out of your Mom’s basement, forget that spacious contemporary layout with the terrace and park view. Think rickety fifth floor walkup here, spotty plumbing, a hooker and a troubled loner living on either side of you, and a preachy, sourpuss vegan roommate.

KEEP YOUR BRIGHT IDEAS TO YOURSELF: Once you leave school, you’re not in Oz anymore, Dorothy. Your imagination will not be stimulated and no one is going to ask you to write an essay about “alternative solutions” to anything. Odds are your bosses will be more interested in what you can do than what you know, and won’t give a rat’s ass what you think of them. Don’t strain yourself looking around for the Suggestion Box, either.

THE GEEKS HAVE INHERITED THE EARTH: From Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on down to your standard irritating tech wizard, today’s world is a Geek’s Paradise. You can be as cool and hep and good-looking as can be, but the Geeks whose lives you made miserable in school are the ones becoming boy billionaires and dating supermodels while you jiggle the handle for twenty minutes trying to flush the toilet in your smelly 5th floor walkup.

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