Everyone Needs To Know About Economics

We Need To Stop Overlooking Economics And Realize That Our Society Needs To Know How It Works

"Too many people think that economics is this subject that should wait until the university level, but it can't wait that long." -Robert Duvall


Heading into my freshman year of college I had no background in the field of economics. In fact, most if not all of my classmates had the same experience. If I wasn't required to take the principles of microeconomics and the principles of macroeconomics, my life would be totally different right now. Being required to take those two classes impacted my life more than I could ever put into words. So, let's talk about that. Why are high schools not teaching the basic principles of economics?

Maybe it is because they believe economics should wait until the university level. Maybe it's because they don't have teachers that understand economics. Maybe it is because they don't understand the magnitude of the subject. Whatever the excuse is, it needs to be addressed. Not requiring an economics course is an Achilles' heel for any high school.

If a student is not introduced to economics in high school, they might never be. If a student is not pursuing a degree in business, the odds are they will not touch an economics class in college either.

So why is this a big deal? It's a simple answer; without economics, it's incredibly difficult to understand how the world works. Economics is used in everyday life and if we are not exposed to the basics, we will never have the slightest chance at understanding the world we live in.

Now I understand that economics is not for everyone, but high schools require you to take classes such as art, music, history, foreign language, and English which aren't for everyone either. All these subjects can change your life but not all of them can be applied to everyday life. Not all these subjects can help you understand how to balance your finances and live within your means. Not every subject can help you make choices that will benefit you for the rest of your life, but economics can. Even if a student does not decide to pursue their economics education into college and they had an econ class in high school, they will still have valuable knowledge that will forever help them in their life.

But let's say that that one class inspired a kid. Let's say that one class ignited a passion they never knew they had. Let's say that kid went on to major in economics and later became an economist. That one class just gave that kid a job that is irreplaceable. That one class just gave that kid a job that will set them up financially for the rest of their life. That one class changed the whole course of that child's life. One class just impacted the whole world.

All of us have had that one class that changed our lives. All of us have had that one class that put us on the path to our major and our career. We owe this to today's youth and ourselves to incorporate economics into high school curriculum. We always talk about how one child can change the world, but what if that one child never got the chance because they were never exposed to an economics class? We're holding back today's youth and jeopardizing ourselves by not incorporating economics into high school curriculum and that needs to change.

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Why Working With Special Populations Doesn't Make Me A Good Person

What you're missing from the bigger picture.

"What do you do?" might be one of my least favorite questions. Let me tell you why.

I am currently a registered behavior technician at a wonderful program (MAP) nestled in the heart of North Carolina. Usually, when I tell someone what I do, their response is either an uncertain nod or a plain look of confusion. At that time, I break it down by saying, “Basically, I work with children who have autism."

Now, more times than not, the response I receive is along the lines of, “Wow, that's so amazing of you", or my personal favorite, “Good for you. I could NEVER do that."

I understand that working with special populations isn't for everyone, just like being a neurosurgeon isn't for everyone. But, working with special needs children doesn't make me a good person, a saint, or a hero. Every time someone tells you he/she is a teacher, do you gasp and express how much you could NOT be a teacher?

What about when you meet a pediatrician? These people work with children just like I do. I'm certain if you spent one day in my shoes you would see just how much you COULD do my job.

Maybe not all of the technical work, but after a day with these children, you would be humbled by how much you could learn from them.

After all, these children are just children. They want to be accepted just like every other child.

They want to be understood and to be part of a community just like the rest of us.

My job has given me the opportunity to get to know a handful of the more than 3.5 million Americans on the spectrum. I've gotten to know each of their personalities, their quirks, and what makes them unique. I can't help but imagine a world where everyone gets to know these individuals as I have.

A world where we accept all of those who might appear or act different from us and educate ourselves on these populations. A world where that education helps us see that they aren't so different from us after all.

Working with individuals with special needs doesn't make me a good person, because I do it for selfish reasons.

I work with them because I don't know what my life would be like without them. They have taught me so much and changed my life in so many ways. I get to play a small hand in these children's lives. I get to help them learn fundamental life skills you and I take for granted.

But, I also get to leave work every day having learned a lesson. These children have taught me to be a better version of myself and to appreciate even the smallest of things life has to offer. Each day they challenge me to laugh more, have more fun, and not take myself so seriously. They show me more love than I ever knew possible. Maybe it isn't with their words. Maybe it's with the smiles and giggles when we're singing their favorite song, or the way they look at me when they finally get something they have been working so hard to learn.

The hugs, the kisses, and the moments where our two worlds collide and we finally connect; these are the moments that remind me how much these children have to offer the rest of us. If only we would take the time to let them teach us, we would be more selfless, less judgmental, and have a greater appreciation for life.

April is National Autism Awareness Month.

My hope is that this month we work to spread awareness for Autism, as well as other special needs. We take this time to learn something new, to help educate others, and to stop looking at these individuals as though they need special people in their lives to help teach them and focus more on opening our minds to the things they can teach us.

Explore Odyssey's featured Autism Awareness content here.

Cover Image Credit: Katharine Smith

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4 Essentials You Need In The Elizabeth Holmes Starter Pack

Here are key artifacts that worked to conjure up such an individual.


Elizabeth Holmes is one of the most infamous entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. Her company, Theranos, which was once heralded as a groundbreaking health-care changer, deceived thousands of people, giving them false blood results and examinations.

What stunned people all over the globe, was Elizabeth herself. Her image, her demeanor, and her overall haunting presence became the center of several documentaries and past news articles. Here are 4 key artifacts that worked to conjure up such an individual.

1. Makeup 


Ms. Holmes' beauty routine is quite consistent and easy-to-follow. For special occasions and public-speaking events, Elizabeth wears her signature black eyeliner, smeared all over the upper eyelid, and a muted red-colored shade of lipstick. Her eyebrows and face remain minimal, as the enhancement of Ms. Holmes' ice-blue eyes is the centerpiece of the look.

2. Black turtlenecks


Several news outlets and documentaries make note of Elizabeth Holmes' obsession with Apple creator, Steve Jobs. In the midst of building her billion-dollar scheme, Holmes would adapt Job's characteristics and professional practices, such as live product launches and copying Apple's style of commercials. However, the most obvious form of imitation was Elizabeth wearing black turtlenecks every single workday.

3. Green juice


Since Ms. Holmes worked long hours, she followed a diet that she believed would provide her energy and health. Theranos insiders reported that Elizabeth was never seen without her green juice, either in her hand or on her desk. At home, her personal chef would whip up a small dish of vegetables for dinner, giving the fraud a one-way ticket to malnutrition.

4. A deep baritone voice


Of all the mysterious anecdotes written and said about the Silicon Valley scam, the most bewildering tale derives from Elizabeth Holmes' deep baritone voice. Luminaries who knew Elizabeth during her time at Stanford claimed that her speaking voice was high-pitched, typical of a young white female. As years passed, when Elizabeth was quickly gaining fame and momentum, her voice dropped a couple of octaves when she made public appearances. According to Theranos employees, when Elizabeth drank at company parties, her voice slipped back into the high-pitched tone.

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