Friday, March 28, 2008

Life lessons

A couple nights ago, HannahC was sitting next to me, watching me play Bubble Shooter. She started talking about all her career plans. She was telling me how she was planning to be a farmer, but would have a part-time job as an entomologist. I saw this as what liberals like to call a "teachable moment". They call it that because they're too dumb to realize that you can teach things about just about everything that happens, but instead they think you have to wait for a grand convergence or something.

I told HannahC, "Han, you need to learn about something called 'return on investment'."

"What's 'investment'?"

OK, maybe this would take a little time. I spent time explaining what investment was, then I talked about how many years of college it would take to be to be an entomologist (I guessed a part-timer only needed a Masters, but probably there are few jobs in the entomology field for anything less than a PhD), and how much college cost per year. Then I explained how she'd have to finance it with student loans that she would have only ten years to repay. Somehow, it worked out to like $1400/month for 10 years.

Then I 'splained how she probably wouldn't be making an extra $1400/mo in entomology if she was a full-time farmer. Cuz being a farmer is pretty much a dawn-to-dusk job, and tiring as hell. And it doesn't pay real well, so she would probably really need that $1400/mo to keep the farm running.

I 'splained how education for the sake of education is largely something foisted upon us by education elitists, and she'd be much better off in life looking at education like any other investment. Something which costs a whole lot of money up front and takes a whole lot of time up front for which there needs to be an even bigger payout later. Not something that you do for fun while sitting around waiting for someone to marry you.

She said, "Well, if I'm going to be a farmer, I'll probably need to be a veterinarian, too."

Which led into a discussion of the cost of becoming a veterinarian vs. becoming a farmer, but the relatively lucrative return a vet can make if properly positioned. We talked about how vets need lots of patients, from each of whom they extract a little bit of money, so that they can make a whole lot overall. She found that quite fascinating.

Later, I was telling this story to The Mrs., and she said, "She's a little girl. Don't wreck her dreams."

That's the kind of support I get in my parenting. I'm trying to teach her an incredibly valuable life lesson on return-on-investment, and the woman sees that as stomping on dreams. There's a little life lesson there for all of us: to a woman, the concept of planning ahead for financial well-being and working towards that goal from an early age is anathema.

Women are all about dreams. Men are all about paying for them.

Let that be a lesson to you.

10 comments:

ellie said...

i agree with the sister. one can both live his or her dreams and make money at it.

ellie said...

I have to confess, I found myself a little irked after reading this post. i even thought about it this morning. I'll sum it up with this. That's one hell of a low blow. . .

CherkyB said...

I suppose I could have quoted Tom Leykis instead. "Women crush your dreams. That's what they do." Would that have made you happier?

ellie said...

what are your dreams? i wanna truck

CherkyB said...

Well, I'm not paying for it.

ellie said...

i need to stop telling people i wanna truck. first, i decided i would drive my car (nissan w/50,000 miles) into the ground b4 buying any new car. second, i probably will never actually buy one, as i have no need for one. today i told granny i wanted a truck and she went off on me about how they are unsafe and rollover. she kept insisting i buy a subaru, to which said, "it is out of my price range."

ellie said...

i forgot to add, you can just tell your kids that they must get into ivy league. Yale, Harvard, and Princeton are all offering enough need-based aid and not offering loans anymore as part of the aid packages. This will solve the dilemma. Or, suggest that they work at a college. Then they could get free tuition, like I did. Another solution to the dilemma would be to encourage Hannie to scout out garage sales. She has a wicked eye for high quality items(remember Dior). Finally, I am inclined to believe that there is a good amount of grant funding out there for entomologists. Here is one example: http://news.ucanr.org/newsstorymain.cfm?story=800

Anonymous said...

Did I see the words "student loan" on a CherkyB post? A super genius like Hannah C should certainly qualify for a merit scholarship. Also, savvy CherkyB with his fat-cat salary from The Company is most certainly up-to-date on college savings plan and undoubtedly is already squirelling away and will have the means to send The Childrens to the colleges of their choice. Lastly, the highly educated The Mrs, can leverage her job skills when The Childrens are ready for college and enter the work force. So, I say, follow your dreams HannahC.

Anonymous said...

You're funny, I think my husband would really like you. I really like what you got going here with all your bloggin'.
Tams

CherkyB said...

I must admit, I'm damn funny. I'm sure your husband would like me, so much that he'd feel compelled to buy me a beer or two. Alas, I do not live in Ohio.