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'."
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.