Recession Mama

{May 20, 2009}   Whut I Lerned In $kool

–by Carla


I understand the purpose of an education, I really do. I went to college. I have a bachelor’s. I dig teachers. Honest. In fact, I am half teacher. My Dad has been teaching for almost 40 years and my step-daughter is a brand new teacher. I love ’em, I really do. WHAT I was taught all those years still does boggle my mind. I just don’t know how much of that stuff helped me out in real life, day to day tasks. You might be able to relate:

* Dissecting a frog: I have yet to put any of that to good use, but had I paid more attention, maybe I could have removed my own gall bladder three years ago.

* Diagramming a sentence: Noun, verb, got it. Why did that have to look like a math problem?


* Math problems: I never really saw them as problems, therefore I never really cared to solve them. I mean, it looks just fine to me. I’ll just leave it alone. Again, never had to do that in real life since college. Never.

But what I really could have used were classes on other, more useful things, like MONEY, for crying out loud:

* Aside from spending it, what are some options when it comes to income?
* Savings, checking. Ok, those are basics, but how can I make my money grow and work for me? 

And don’t get me wrong, I did have a few classes over the years that taught these things, but they were brief and we never lingered much on the topic. It was like your parents talking to you about sex or smoking. “Don’t smoke. Ok, we got that out of the way, let’s go out for pizza”. (Come to think of it, we never had that conversation in my family)

I do, however, know that there are other ways of teaching kids about money. Aside from my 2 boys, my Mom, my Dad and my brother, all of my family lives in Mexico City. Picture the people from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then picture a bunch of Lebanese folks who speak Spanish, and that’s them…a big, bold, smokey family who are all up in each other’s business 24/7 (which I love, by the way). My aunts and uncles taught my cousins (all 20 gazillion of them) about business and money and working hard and saving up, and at very young ages, (teens, early 20s) most already had their own businesses. Granted, my relatives most likely loaned them a little starter money, but they all did something with it, other than blow it on junk like yours truly.

I hope to find a nice balance with my boys and be able to teach them the basics and beyond. As for me, I can’t dwell on what I didn’t learn all those years ago, I just need to pay attention to the crash course in economics that I’m living as a 30-something and learn as much as possible right now.

And at least I don’t have to buy any books. Whew…



Teresa says:

Beautifully done, Carla!!!!!!

Katy says:

Yes, I always wished I learned about compound interest when I was younger. If I had started saving $100 very month when I was in high school, I might be a millionaire today. Or maybe not. But at least I would’ve had the choice.

Heather B. says:

I used to joke that the only things I learned during college were my SS # and how to stay up really late and cram for a test. But I was lucky in that I had a professor who helped me get real world working experience. Thanks Dr. Casey! She was fabulous. Also, my DRAMA professor did give us a week long lesson on getting a 15 year home mortgage INSTEAD of a 30 year. Not in his field of expertise… but doth did listen. He put the math right there on the board (that I could understand) and he was right! You spend a TON more on a 30. Thanks Mr. Drummond!

I had a “real world” type class in high school. We had to plan a wedding, open a checking account, have a baby, all that jazz. It all focused on the research of doing the finances for each event. BEST CLASS EVER!

Katy says:

That sounds like an awesome class! Do you apply anything you learned in that class to today?

marie says:

uhhh, the people in My Big Fat Greek Wedding were MY relatives, picture speaking Italian, also bold but rolling meatballs and stomping grapes (truly, my grandfather made wine in this basement – big big vats!!)

Carla says:

Marie, I love your family! I’m jealous of Jennifer and Heather’s classes, too. It’s funny how those types of really amazing classes on the subject of $$ were hit or miss, you know? Now imagine if EVERYone had to take Heather’s drama teacher’s 15 year mortgage class. We might all be much better off today.

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