5 Things I Wish I Had Learned In High School

5 Things I Wish I Had Learned In High School

The real world requires a lot more than square roots.
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When I graduated high school in 2016, I was thrown into this massive world lacking knowledge on certain things I wish I had learned in high school. I understand the parent’s role in a child’s life such as being their mentor who teaches them manners, household skills, or even religious methods. There are also some things we can learn from experience. Although, we are in school to learn and what we learn does not always help us in the “real world” after high school. Sure, I graduated knowing mathematic formulas, run-on sentences, and all of the U.S. presidents although, I wish I had learned a lot more life skills to bring with me to college and the real world.

Conversation

Being an adult brings job interviews. Job interviews often require communication skills. The current generation that is most recently out of high school is considered “the silent generation” due to being very caught up in technology and social media. In my past experiences at job interviews, I have lacked knowledge as to what to say and how to come across to the hiring manager. I shouldn’t have to google “what to say to get the job” as frequently as I have. I wish I had learned in high school the skills needed to have a professional conversation.

How to handle money

Accounting, finance, and business classes explain money handling strategies and financial arrangements but do not focus much on personal finances, saving, or investing. Recently, I have found myself asking my parents or the bank questions that made me feel relatively childish, uneducated, and immature. I watch those around me questioning credit or loans, such as how to build and manage credit or how to take out a loan. Money is essential to living and that doesn’t mean you need to be rich, but you need to know how to handle it in order to live a successful life. I wish high school taught me how to handle my money and how to financially get started in life.

Insurance

What insurance do I need as I get older? Why do I need it? How do I get it? Why wasn’t I taught these things in high school? Knowing these things makes life so much easier. When it comes down to life’s necessities, such as insurance, I draw a blank. I can tell you things about comma splices and square roots, but I do not know anything about how to handle insurance in life. I wish I learned in high school the importance of insurance and how to approach it.

The law

Yes, we all do not go to school to be lawyers. However, we all live under the law and need to follow its rules. We should learn what a felony is and what a misdemeanor is. We are thrown out into the world uneducated on the judicial system. We need to know what the repercussions of our actions could possibly be rather than finding ourselves in a situation where we do not know what is at stake.

First Aid/ CPR

Some high schools teach their students first aid and CPR. However, mine did not. I wish I had learned these methods when I was in high school due to the importance of them in life. These methods could teach me how to save someone's life. I would be grateful to learn these medical methods in the future, however, I would have liked to learn them in high school so that when I was thrown into the real world, I would be more prepared.
Cover Image Credit: marada / Flickr

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18 Bible Verses That Prove God Would NOT Be 'Pro-Life'

Stop using the Bible as an excuse to take away women's rights.

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"Abortion is WRONG because God (the highest authority) says so! Not because I say so, or "religious" people say so or the government says so...because the CREATOR OF ALL HUMAN LIFE SAYS SO."

This argument is bullshit and I'm sick of hearing it, because it just isn't true. All these Christians claim that the Bible and God says that abortion is wrong, and it's clear they've never read the Bible. Have you ever seen them use a biblical verse to validate their claims? Yeah, me neither. And you know why? BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS NOT PRO-LIFE. They pick and choose vague verses to attempt to back up these ridiculous claims, completely ignoring the damning evidence that the Bible, and therefore God, actually supports child murder, infanticide, and abortion.

Unlike pro-lifers, I'll actually provide some evidence:

1. Numbers 31:17 "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him"

2. Deuteronomy 2:34 "And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain"

3. Deuteronomy 28:53 "And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the seige, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee"

4. 1 Samuel 15:3 "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass"

5. Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished"

6. Isaiah 13:18 "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children"

7. Ezekiel 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house"

8. Hosea 9:14 "Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts"

9. Hosea 13:16 "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up"

10. 2 Kings 2:24 "And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them"

11. Psalm 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones"

12. Numbers 5:21 "-here the priest is to put the woman under his curse- "may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell"

13. Hosea 9:16 "Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb"

14. Psalm 135:8 "He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;"

15. Psalm 136:10 "-to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever"

16. 2 Kings 6:28-29 "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.So we boiled by son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son"

17. Leviticus 26:29 "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat"

18. Jeremiah 11:22 "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:"


Stop using your religion to try and push propoganda that "God says abortion is wrong because it kills innocent children." Clearly your God doesn't care about killing children. There is more than enough proof that the Bible and God are NOT pro-life. Stop acting like you're good Christians upholding the values of God when you clearly haven't picked up the Bible and actually read it. God doesn't agree with your backwards thinking. Maybe try do your research before spewing your religious bullshit to try and take away women's rights.

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Ilhan Omar Revisited: My Mistake and a Damaged Discourse

There's more to the controversy than meets the eye.

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I think it does best to be upfront and honest in this scenario, as in all scenarios: I made a mistake.

I usually don't mind staking such a claim. I acknowledge and engage with my imperfection on the daily. Even still, when I failed to provide full content and context of a quote that landed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in hot water back in late February/early March, I can't help but say that I blundered.

At the time I was content to join the widespread denunciation of Rep. Omar as anti-Semitic, or at least allow enough spacing to suggest that such a notion could be true.

And while I can't entirely redact what I said back in March, I didn't necessarily do the complexity of the situation justice.

But first, there is the question of timing. Why am I writing about this now?

Firstly, given the heated nature of the situation, I knew it needed the time. Although I shared my past article only once on Facebook, it garnered a very strong reaction from folks who disagreed with me. Which is absolutely fine. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and if everyone were to blindly affirm my every whim and postulation I think I would be a much less reflexive person. Yet, I knew if I were to rush back in headlong, the dialogue could be more reactionary than anything else.

Secondly, situations outside of my control exacerbated the Palestine-Israel debate within the Emory community. I'm referring predominantly to fliers that were placed on the doors of Emory students by a pro-Palestinian student organization, the desecration of an ablution room at Rollins School of Public Health, and the response to these incidences by Emory University President Claire Sterk and her administration.

In such an environment, I knew I could not address my mishap in any way that would contribute to a constructive conversation precisely because in said time there was often little stomach for dispassionate talk. Perhaps more precisely there was great confusion, commotion, and competing narratives among the student body, so much so that I just could not see how I would fit myself into the puzzle in a positive way.

Sprinkle into that equation the fact that finals season hit particularly hard, and I found myself caught between a rock and a hard place.

So, here it is now. My reassessment of the situation, for what it's worth. Trust me, I have no delusions about my own grandeur, so if you've ignored this or discounted what I've said and will continue to say, I can rest easy with that. I'm not here to assign blame to those who disagree with me. Rather, I want to make sure I rectify my own error for the record, and for all those who are generous enough to listen.

When I wrote the original article in March, I was critical of the comments Omar made supposedly in regard to a suggestion of Jewish dual identity to the United States and to Israel. Here is her quote in full: "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

When I drafted my article, I did not include the section of her statement citing "political influence." In fact I did not provide a direct quotation at all, instead simply providing a link to a longform piece that had a portion of that quotation buried within it. For an explanation I can only attribute my negligence of the situation.

While I had anticipated some preemptive background knowledge that my readers would bring to the article, a direct quotation is perhaps the only way to confirm that all parties engaging with such a piece have the full breadth and scope of the conversation. Depriving my readers of that was grossly unfair on my part.

In prefacing my article, I read. I read extensively. And yet in all my reading, from Politico to the New York Post, I did not find this quote printed in its entirety. It was often not given its due diligence. And smothered with that narrative, I was all but too happy to indulge.

Now, to specify what this alters in my mind about the Omar controversy: "political influence" is not the same thing as the Jewish people writ large. Many in the news media glossed over this context and took it to mean all Jews. There seems to me an attempt on the part of Omar (although I will discuss my evaluation of the effort behind said attempt in a moment) to qualify this as a criticism of PACs and Super PACs pushing an agenda which wipes Israel's slate clean and puts the onus for the continuation of the conflict almost entirely on the Palestinian people. Obviously, the criticism of a PAC is far different from that of a religious body, especially a persecuted one.

This is not a narrative that was given appropriate room in virtually any media I read prior to writing the article.

I should have been more mindful when I spoke.

I should have been more mindful of the fact that as a subject dealt with in increasingly sacred terms over the years, any intonation of critique against the state of Israel is sure to bring some kind of condemnation. Just as the flag and other portions of American symbology has been mythologized into a sort of civil religion (see Kaepernick), so too has discourse about the Palestine-Israel conflict. And in writing about a Muslim woman whose brothers and sisters in Islam are at the forefront of the divide in Palestine, I should have better qualified and quantified Rep. Omar's position.

I should have been more mindful…and Omar should have too.

Because, as much as I screwed up in joining in a singular angle of attack within a damaged discourse (one that culminated in vicious mockery and horrific cartooning of the Representative) Rep. Omar and her Democratic colleagues must need be mindful of the verbiage they use when addressing the conflict.

Now, that doesn't mean that no Jewish American is above reproach. Goodness knows Republican criticism of George Soros stems little from his faith. But that does not exempt Muslim Americans (or any Americans for that matter) from criticism either.

As this Vox article outlines, the vagueness of Rep. Omar's commentary, even in the couching of her critiques within the frame of unwieldy "political influence," provides space for anti-Semites to root their arguments. David Duke being the most prominent ant-Semite to come to Omar's defense, there is no denying the danger of this. The possibility of directly harboring anti-Semitic sentiment by Omar herself aside, making space for the promulgation of said sentiment is certainly no better.

There is also the question of identity, and the fact that although not all Jews have been offended by Omar's commentary, some very much have. They also are not all of the political punditry whose job it is to home in on such statements, and thus their critiques cannot be thrown out on that selfsame political whim. There are real feelings here. If Democrats wish to be all encompassing and all inclusive (especially as the 71% of Jewish voters for Hilary demonstrates strong support from that demographic) then they cannot dismiss such criticisms, even if it means members of their own ranks must guard their language in ways that are ironclad.

I would also be remiss, I think, in this recap if I did not denote the disgusting ways in which those on the right have exploited this controversy for political cheap shots, sometimes even encouraged by the party apparatus. The most glaring example that comes to my mind is that of a poster in the West Virginia capital building equating Rep. Omar with the al-Qaeda terrorists who committed 9/11.

Such targeting of Omar, almost inherently because of her race and religion, is the kind of putrid behavior that has become all too common in the United States. It is a putridness that stems almost directly from Donald Trump. It is a putridness that has now become part of the normalcy of the landscape, left and right.

Yet, it is luckily through this atmosphere of stink that I have found dialogue with some of those who disagreed with me. It is in part by their efforts that this article is even possible. Elsewise, there is the very real possibility I might have wallowed in my own preconception without fully engaging with the compounding gravity of this situation.

Bottom line?

I made a mistake. I should have quoted Omar in full. And yet, Omar also need by wary of how her commentary is issued; of what it its ignorant and to whom it offers space to multiply hate and bigotry.

At the end of the day, words matter. That goes for all words, no matter their origin.

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