Honestly, if you add bad parenting to poor education, you get a guy like me. It's not pretty. I have a few things I wish that my parents and educators would have taught me, but instead I mastered the art of memorization:
-1 Credit is Bad: In my senior Health Class I did very well on the budget project. The problem, I included a lot of borrowed money and no one said a word. The simple economic principal of "never borrow money unless you can make money with it" would have been nice. Unless you own a business, cash is the best way to go. I happen to be a Dave Ramsey fan, he has some sobering thoughts in finances.
-2 Relationship Skills: All my skills came from my parents and media; neither were good. The guys resolved a good conflict with a few fisticuffs, and the girls with some hair pulling. I didn't really know how to end a conflict. I didn't know how to say "I was wrong," or "forgive me." I still think those are two of the basics in relationships. I love stuff like the temperaments, 5 love languages and other facets of the successful relationship pie.
-3 Real Life Skills: I learned all that math and English for no apparent reason. Sure, I use it now, but I learned i on the job. It might have been good to connect it to something - anything! I never saw a purpose in any of the classes I took. I just went in, memorized whatever I needed to, and passed. Of course math and English were not so easy, but history, civics, biology, physics, sociology and even psychology didn't require any thinking on my part. How about buying a car, managing a checkbook, interviewing for a job, budgeting, saving, voting, growing old, and the list goes on. To many of these things were a total surprise.
-4 Second Language: I am so impressed with my daughters' Spaish immersion school, that I only wish that I had learned another language a long time ago. I attended her school fair themed on habitats today. Each one of the first-graders made a scene (didn't we call these dioramas?) with the desert habitat of their animal; Charlotte choose the camel. She did a 5 page illustrated report in both Spanish and in English which she read to each parent as we took turns sitting with the different students. Me, I had to wait until I was in Brazil with no interpreter to learn Portuguese!
-5 Citizenship: There was no real connection to understanding the importance of participation in politics, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I did have a couple of teachers that tried, but it more about their agenda than actually teaching. It was worse in college. Had I known these things, I would have understood that phrases like "the separation of church and state" are principals, not laws that deny the expression of religion within the government.
-5 1/2 Jesus: I didn't have Him back then, and all the religious folks that I knew didn't either.
How about you, what do wish you learned a long time ago?