Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What You Really Should Have Learned in College


The other night, my sister texted me in a panic.  Her Chemistry lab report was due the next day (well, technically later that day seeing as it was midnight) and she was having some trouble.

Unfortunately, I knew her hysteria too well.  My natural state is generally panicked; a midnight session of college thermodynamics has quite literally brought me to tears.

But for every pencil flung frustratedly across the room in the name of science, I have not once calculated Gibbs free energy since college.  The closest that I come to confronting entropy is the state of my closet and the only Kelvin in my life is the guy who restocks the milk rack at Walmart.  (Nerdy science jokes, maybe not blog appropriate.)

Which sort of got me to thinking: if the stuff I was learning wasn't actually helpful, what should have they been teaching?  I've learned a lot since I graduated two years ago, and none of it involved the thymus of a formaldehyde soaked mink.


The Art of Timing: When to Go Grocery Shopping
You know how grew up thinking that you alone were a special little drop of angel poop from God because that's what your mom said?  Well, you're not.  You're also not the only one who remembers on the bus home from work that you don't have anything to eat and need to go to the store.

Spark Notes: High blood pressure is caused by lack of exercise, a diet high in saturated fats, and the grocery store on weeknights from 5-6 pm.

Signing Leases 101
Last year, I got an amazing job offer... nine months after signing a one year lease.  How does that work?  I'll give you a hint: hoping your landlord doesn't notice isn't it.

Spark NotesWhen breaking a lease, the hell through which you will go is directly proportionate to the number of months left on said lease.  And landlords are like elephants: they never forget.

A Lecture on How to Get Things Done
I now live in a very old building in Chicago.  My very old building is fully equipped with very old pipes.  One of the conditions of my lease was to never, under any circumstance, use Drāno on the old, frail pipes.  (They are grumpy in their old age and don't take well to these newfangled household products.)

It wouldn't be a problem if they never got clogged.  But as old, grumpy things usually do, they're clogged about once every three weeks.  Which means I'm emailing maintenance once every three weeks.

Spark Notes: Be polite when requesting maintenance's service.  If that doesn't work, be persistent.  And if they don't respond to you after three days of three inch deep puddles in a clogged shower, threaten them with the Drāno card; they'll be there in an hour.

An Introduction to Taxes
After your first paycheck, you'll think your tax deduction is a mistake.  After your second, you'll be convinced that the deduction is illegal.  After the third, you'll submissively admit defeat and learn to fight the urge to throw rocks at every public school you see.

Spark Notes: How to Calculate Taxes: Close your eyes and bang your head on the number pad.  That's how they named the W-2, isn't it?



Looking back, I'm not sure why they filled our heads with all that nonsense about first derivatives and oxidation-reduction reactions.  Frankly, the only reaction I'm concerned about is the one when Derrick learns that I cut up one of his beanies to use as a makeshift running mask... and that's one reaction for which I will never be prepared.

Happy Tuesday!
It's like Monday, only better.



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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for teaching me everything I need to knows about life, I'll be ahead of the game when I graduate in June.

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