Grasshopper Soup: Advice for students
December 8, 2009
Before getting to the advice for students, have you seen David Letterman’s nightly bit about things more fun to do than reading Sarah Palin’s book? His writers come up with some pretty gross stuff that can make you cringe. It’s amazing what you can get away with on late night TV. Sometimes it’s even funny.
Letterman also does a bit every night called the top 10 reasons. I needed a quick and easy idea for a column this week, so I thought I would try giving him a taste of his own medicine.
Beginning with number ten, my top 10 things more fun than watching David Letterman are: Shoveling snow; licking envelopes; having all the pipes in your house freeze; getting hit square on the head by a 5-pound pine cone falling from 80 feet; calling 911 because a ton of ice and snow fell off the roof and buried your dad and you get a busy signal; losing your job and house and having to move your wife and five kids in to a homeless shelter only to find they are all full, it’s 22 degrees outside, snowing and your car won’t run; starting your own business and becoming a millionaire only to find out the Obama administration really does have a socialist agenda; pulling a stupid, illegal stunt that shocks the nation just to get on a reality TV show and destroying your marriage and family in the process; being diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 65 only to find out the Obama administration really is planning to ration health care based on age and terminal illness.
And, the No. 1 thing more fun than watching David Letterman is: going to Afghanistan to help build schools and liberate women and becoming a terrorist hostage with a knife held to your throat instead.
Now, on to advice for students. This came as an e-mail from a friend. Supposedly, it’s advice straight from Bill Gates, but, you know the internet. I have no proof either way. These little bits of wisdom consist of 11 rules students may not have learned in school. Not all students need this advice, but for those who may benefit, here it is:
Rule 1: Life is not fair, so get used to it!
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Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a private jet until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up it’s not your parents fault, so quit whining and learn from your mistakes.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents were totally cool people. They got boring after years of paying your bills, cleaning up after you and listening to you talk about how cool you think you are. So before you save the rain forest from the crimes and ignorance of your parent’s generation, try delousing the parasites in your own mind.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they abolished failing grades and give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life they don’t give you a script and they don’t cater your lunch on the set.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.