Friday, January 27, 2017


The course schedule for the school of hard knocks has been published!  Tuition ain't cheap, though!

In an earlier posting, I was musing that getting ripped-off can, in and of itself, be an education - and an expensive one.   And in this regard, the "school of hard knocks" often teaches us more in life than any high school or college course.

The good news is, the school of hard knocks is open to everyone.   In fact, the lower your SAT score is, the easier it is to get in!   Unfortunately, the tuition can be staggering - you can literally spend the rest of your life paying for it.

Here are some of the courses listed in this year's Fall catalog:

Introduction to Credit Card Debt:  In this course, students will take out one or more credit cards and seek out the best "rewards" payback.  The first few weeks of the course will be devoted to an in-class discussion over which "rewards" offer is best - frequent flyer miles or cash-back bonuses?  Students will learn to lie to each other - and themselves - by claiming to "pay off the balance every month" while watching the accumulated balance snowball at 22-25% interest rates.  Graduates of this course may find Introduction to Bankruptcy a great follow-on.

Buy Here - Pay Here:  In this course, students can learn how to "have it all now" for low, low, low monthly or better yet, weekly payments.  No calculator is required for the course, and in fact, students will be expelled for cheating if they bring one.   Students will be encouraged to view all transactions in their life in terms of monthly payments, and to accept - as fact - that everything in their lives has a monthly payment attached to it.

Introduction to Mortgage Fiascoes:  In this course, students will learn to memorize mantras repeated by real estate agents, such as "buy as much house as you can afford!" and "you home is your biggest investment!" and "property values will never go down!"  For extra credit, students can buy a "look at me!" house to impress strangers with their apparent wealth.  Graduates of this course may also find Introduction to Bankruptcy a great follow-on.

Fun with Auto Leasing:  Why buy the part of the car you don't want?  You know, the icky used part that breaks down all the time?  This an other myths will be explored in Fun with Auto Leasing.  Topics covered will include excess mileage charges, back-end "wear and tear" fees, how to fold negative equity into a new lease, and how to throw away your trade-in as a down payment.   No books are required for this course, but be sure to bring your checkbook!

Check Cashing 101 (Fear of Banks):  Students will learn that banks are mean for refusing to loan them money and for charging them bounce fees when they can't balance their account.   A field trip will be conducted to the nearest check-cashing store where students will learn the fun way to bank with friendly tellers who are never mean to them - all for a low, low service charge!   A suggested follow-on course is introduction to the world of money-orders.

The Wonderful World of Drugs:  In this "hands on" student participation course, pupils will learn the basics of drug use, from binge drinking, pot smoking, to the exciting new trends in methamphetamine and opiate usage!  Students will learn how to temporarily drown their sorrows for only a modest fee of their entire life savings - or their life.   A field trip to the local morgue is included.  Suggested follow-on course is The Wonderful World of Unemployment.

Student Loans:   In this course, students will learn about the joys of going into debt upon reaching the age of majority.   Topics covered include, "which school is best for partying?" as well as "leasing luxury student apartments" and "getting grandma to co-sign private loans".   Extra credit can be earned by protesting Wall Street and attending a Bernie Sanders rally. 

Advanced Bling 201:  For the more advanced student, an in-depth participation study on how to squander huge amounts of cash on status items.  Topics covered will include, how to rent bling rims for your hoop-detattoos and piercings for the unemployed (so you can stay that way!), Rent to own furniture so you can have it all now, as well as up in your face with my grill.  This course is open to students of all economic levels and economic backgrounds who wish to impress strangers.

Sign up now!   New courses are being added all the time.  The registrar's office is always open, too!  The school of hard knocks has a huge student body - but few graduates.   There is always room for more, however.