Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How the Coronavirus Stole Easter

Short answer - it didn't.

I always loved "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - of course, being a true Baby Boomer kid, I loved the TV adaptation best.

In that spirit, I offer you this:

It hadn't stopped Easter from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Crinch, with its crinch feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. "How could it be so?
It came without baskets! It came without Ham!
It came without packages, candy, or eggs!"
It puzzled and puzzed till its puzzler was sore.
Then the Crinch thought of something it hadn't before.
Maybe Easter, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more!
The same is true for graduation - with or without the frills, the Pomp & Circumstances, the gowns, the cap & tassels - you have graduated. That event marks the end of your childhood, whether or not you stay dependent on your parents for money/support.

At that time, things change:

  • You are responsible for your debts - think carefully before racing off to college, if the price is taking out loans. A rash decision could cost you for many decades to come.
  • You are responsible for your actions. No longer is there the easy option to be tried as a juvenile. It's adult court for you, even if you were self-impaired at the time. Try to take the freedom to drink/smoke pot with a hint of caution, mkay? A good idea is NOT to drink at all for six months (which would take you roughly until Christmas 2020). Nothing is more educational than watching your friends getting drunk and acting stupid while you stay sober.
  • You can make some life-changing decisions. You can enlist in the service, marry, get pregnant/impregnate another, and get a tattoo. None of which I suggest in an uncertain economy. Take a time-out from those kinds of decisions. You can always do them later.
  • You can vote. This is one action I solidly recommend. Preferably after a lot of research. Don't just do what your family and friends do, actually check out the positions and history of candidates. Watch BOTH candidates for President - both their own website's videos, and the other side's. It's amazing that the same events can be reported so differently, using the same video sources. Consider asking some not-radical supporters of each side for their thoughts - you might be surprised that neither are the stereotype that they have been portrayed as.
  • What education should you aim for? I've got some ideas about that:
    • Get some kind of skill/trade that you can put to use without spending a lot of money. It might be something as easy as learning to work a vegetable garden, or cut hair (not necessarily barber school, just learning to do it well enough to pick up a few bucks). Most fast food places are desperate for assistant managers - you'll lose some of your free time, but the training can be leveraged into some solid experience, and you'll be able to bank a few dollars.
    • Learn to code? Nope. A coding job will always go to the lowest bidder, and that will not be you. Instead, I suggest that you learn to repair computers. Learning about Apple products would pay off BIG - I have a Macbook, and could not get anyone to replace the battery. Same thing with learning to replace screens, batteries, and otherwise extend the life of cell phones and tablets. Wouldn't hurt to be able to troubleshoot internet access and networks. Any job that requires physical presence will be one that is more available to American-based workers.
    • Look into construction and other physical jobs. These guys have been working all along, and they are, in most places, hiring. You have an edge if you aren't a user, as you will be able to pass a drug test (that keeps a lot of people out of contention). You'll build up muscle without a gym, earn a decent amount, and have some work experience that means something.
    • Look into technical colleges/community colleges, particularly those with extensive online options, and a 2 + 2 transferability to a 4 year school. You can shave a lot off the base price by doing so. Make sure that, should you want to, your Associate degree will guarantee you entrance with Junior status. Some for-profit schools don't have that ability.
Most importantly? Don't whine, don't hide in the house, don't imbibe and spew on social media. Take charge of your life, and don't complain that you've gotten a rough deal with the pandemic. Stay optimistic.

1 comment:

HoundOfDoom said...

Great advice. Too bad that programming is no longer a viable direction for US citizens. Like all careers, masters at the craft will command high wager and career stability, but it takes years of focus to become one, and you can't get that and make a living when competing with people that work for $10/day.

On the military: I'd still consider that. Instills discipline, fitness, and you'll learn to work with all sorts of people. Of course, if you screw it up, you'll spend your hitch doing scut work, so personal commitment and application is paramount.