Pop Quiz

If you’re like me, you waited until the very last minute possible to sign up for the SAT. And even when you did, you maybe sat through one painful practice test. If you’re also like me, you probably didn’t get above a 1800 on the SAT to your parent’s disappointment. Well I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t give a rat’s ass. Aptitude tests began with a simple idea: a way to measure the ability of individuals in a standardized way. It seemed like a perfectly useful tool for society, but here’s why a perfect idea bore imperfect fruit.

A real measure?

Aptitude tests are supposed to measure someone’s ability, but do they really measure ability? Consider the most famous aptitude test, the IQ test. The IQ test is designed to test a person’s IQ or intelligence regardless of language, race, gender, age, or any other variable. After the test you’ll be placed on a scale of 0-200, with anything under 70 being considered mental retardation and anyone with a number over 145 being considered “genius”. We can only dream.

However, various studies have shown that IQ test, while may accurately measure intelligence and reasoning, does not measure future success. In fact, it has been shows that a sample of those considered average measures equal in terms of success with a sample of those considered genius. So whether you’re a “dumb dumb” sitting at a measly 90 or a brainiac rating at a 145, your ability and chance to be successful remains equal.

The SAT

It may be painful, but think back to those not-so-glorious high school days. As you arrived at school, ready to be forced to share your average SAT scores, your friends were huddled in a group. There stood your idiot friend boasting a 2100 and your jaw became permanently unhinged.

Now snap back to reality. That good, but slightly slow friend of yours is on his sixth year of college. You, you’re struggling to be an adult, but you graduated in four cum laude. It seems that all is right with the world again. So why did he score higher than you on the SAT, when clearly you are much much smarter. The answer, again, is clear: These tests are innately flawed.

The implications

Aptitude tests can be a great tool in many situations, but they are not a death sentence. Scoring low on the SAT does not mean that you are not meant for greatness or a successful career. Sometimes you simply didn’t prepare well enough. Some people simply are not great test takers. But, too often these tests measure very specific skills and abilities and we do not live in a specific world.

Aptitude tests have turned out to be just that, tests. There measure one thing at one time for one person. Their implications are so limited that they become almost worthless. You can look at someone’s SAT score and their IQ test and your guess on where they would be 10 years later wouldn’t be any stronger. Sounds like good news for all of us, especially the slackers.

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Tomorrow

Tomorrow

The concept of tomorrow seems so familiar to all of us. It really shouldn’t. The idea of tomorrow should really be foreign to us because we actually don’t know what it is. We’ve never really experienced it and we never really can. Tomorrow may seem to simply be the day after today, but really tomorrow is the future. And the future, well that is infinite.

We often dumb tomorrow down to something we think we can understand. If today is Tuesday then tomorrow is Wednesday. Logically, that all makes sense unless you count the week backwards. Just because we simplify tomorrow to a simple day on a calendar, doesn’t mean that is actually what it is. When you reach that Wednesday and ask yourself what tomorrow is, I hope your answer isn’t still Wednesday.

Tomorrow is something none of us can grasp because everyday, tomorrow changes. Every night when the clock reads 11 pm, we can think that were one step close to tomorrow, but as soon as that next day comes we are another 24 hours from tomorrow. Tomorrow is simply an unreachable date and an unfathomable time.

Tomorrow can be and should be simply understood as the future. It is something that can never be present and something we can never be present in. Tomorrow is an endless bowl of opportunity. It holds something that today can’t and never will. It almost seems as a discouraging thought at first; we are constantly looking toward a time that can never be reached. However, it should inspire you. Tomorrow should show you that whatever there is today, there is a future. There will always be a tomorrow. There will always be a future.

I don’t suggest you stop referring to the day after today as the “future” or anything else like that because that would be really weird. Weird enough that your friends stop inviting you places. But, remember this when you put something off until tomorrow. Remember this when you wait to pursue something. Don’t put it off until tomorrow because tomorrow will never come. Chase it today. Or at least, push it until Wednesday.

On one condition

Having hair can be a real fucking drag. I remember as a young strapping high school student thinking, “Man I can’t wait to grow some ‘real’ hair.” All I wanted was a great smooth mane and a five o clock shadow to boot. Well I got my wish, sorta. Instead, around my freshman year in college, I got a glorious mustache. And it was just that at first, glorious. It only took about a month to realize I didn’t look as manly as I did unkept. So I shaved it and I shaved it good. So good it looked as neat as a freshly born baby’s bottom. Well turns out this shit grows back.

I didn’t live happily ever after. Since then I have spent four years continuously shaving small patches of hair above my lip and on my cheek, all the while knowing that these sons of bitches can’t be killed. Ironically, I dream of the day I can grow a five o clock shadow only models and lumberjacks possess. Deep down I know this can only end in the same manner as it did before: a disappointing and endless war.

It’s pretty safe to say that my relationship with hair is a love hate one. I love the look of a nicely and neatly shaven beard, but sincerely hate the act of landscaping. I love to keep my hair nice and smooth and freshly cut by an asian woman once a month, yet hate the process of shampooing and conditioning. And that is really the worst part of it all. Conditioning. Just spelling out the word makes me want to chuck my overpriced iPhone 6 at a moving car.

Conditioner is so expensive; we’re talking like $15 a bottle. The problem is it works and I hate that it works. Conditioned hair is almost as flawless as a Chipotle burrito. Instead of the dry, flaky hair that results of the pure chemical bombing that is shampoo, I will have luscious locks that would make the models at Treseme gasp.

So you see my dilemma. Do I recklessly waste what little money I make on the holy grail of hair products, or do I leave my hair dry, lousy, and live like a goddamn king every month?Or do I try pursuing a career that wont land me in a state of poverty so that I can actually afford conditioner every month AND eat three square meals. It’s a hard knock life people.

 

Drunk as a Skunk

I think it’s time to truly open our minds. For too long we have continued down the same path and it’s time for a change. No longer are the days where the choice for a household companion will only be cat, dog, or hamster. It is time that we open our homes to skunks.

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve always wanted a skunk, but what would your friends think? I’m here to tell you that having a pet skunk is more practical than you think. First. let’s explore the real difference between a skunk and a cat. In my eyes, absolutely nothing. Other than their genetics and the majority of their behaviors, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if some furry critter quickly brushed your leg. A skunk won’t listen to your commands. A skunk won’t do any special tricks. And a skunk certainly won’t play nice with others. Sure as hell sounds like a cat to me.

Second, we should consider your concerns about rabies. According to my expert google search skills learned in college, all animals technically have the same probability of having rabies because they must be first bitten by an animal that has rabies. So your cat and cute dog, Bailey, have the exact same chance of contracting rabies and turning your Sunday into a rather eventful one, than your pet skunk.

I guess lastly we should talk about that insignificant problem with their smell. You probably have never noticed it before, but apparently sometimes skunks are known to spray any area with a certain gas that smells slightly unpleasant. Who really listens to these crazy rumors though? Someone also told me Morgan Freeman was dead. Anyways, apparently as a defense mechanism, when a skunk is frightened it sprays a gas with a strong odor to scare away any incoming predators. Rumor has it, it can smell pretty bad. People also tell me they hate the small of gasoline, but I cant get enough. And maybe, just maybe, we only hate the smell because of the social stigma surrounding the smell. Deep, I know.

Skunks aren’t so bad. If it wasn’t for Pepe Le Pew, i’d probably still be a virgin. That noise coming from your trash, well it’s either a raccoon or a skunk. On the off chance, it’s a skunk, bring him into your home. Give hime a meal. Treat him as if he were clean and could actually play catch. And whatever you do, DO NOT SCARE HIM.

Gravitating to Graffiti

Art is confusing. Times used to be simple and art used to be uniform. We would say here’s a depiction of Napoleon riding his majestic and slightly smaller horse. Wow that’s art. Now when we head to a modern art gallery we see blobs of random paint or some scrambled bubble letters and think what the actual fuck.

I’m no art expert and I studied a real subject in college, but I’m here to finally answer the question on your mind. What is art?

Art takes on many forms such as: painting, sculpting, drawing, etc. Each artform has its unique characteristics and brings something a little different to the table. For example, if you wanted to show the fine details of a Roman warrior, sculpting might be the appropriate option. If you want to splatter some random colors on a canvas, I assure painting is the way to go. And each artform has its debatablely inartistic works.

I remember one time at my college seeing hangers jumbled up into a pile that resembled a mangled cat. Modern sculpting. I’ve also seen galleries full of bubble letter paintings and have been told that “This, this is art.”

So what is art? Well when I look at napoleon on that horse, I get this feeling of “go on with yo bad self”. And when I see what’s look like a sprinkler of rainbow colors was hovering over a canvas for hours I feel boredom. Either way, however, I am FEELING.
To me, that’s what makes art art. And if you asked me what I consider music to be, I would give you the same criteria. So if you seem some very thought provoking graffiti and that gives you the feels, dub it art. Put it in your instagram and hashtag it artsy.

The Taco Transition

What’s your favorite day of the week? Well it’s fucking Tuesday. After all it is the celebration of the end of the most despised day of all: Monday. But I refuse to engage in any more hate speech of God’s bastard son. What makes Tuesday great for most of us is the opportunity to chow down on at least 5 tacos and actually have a valid excuse. Its Taco Tuesday bitch.

However there is a serious issue with our most beloved day. Well its fucking Tuesday. The next day is Wednesday. Wednesday I usually actually try and get some kind of work done. I don’t know about you but I’d rather not spend my entire Wednesday in the bathroom. I’m usually not one to call for social reform but in the spirit of the times: “Let’s make America great again.” Let’s move this to Thursday.

I’m not going to do any work on Friday anyways and don’t sit there and judge me. We both know you’re just sitting there impatiently until four when you can finally rush to the closest bar. Thursday can be an announcement of the upcoming weekend not a premature day vacation to the bathroom. And as if God were speaking to us, in his immense wisdom he has placed Cinco de Drink tequila and Eat tacos on a Thursday this year. It all makes sense now. Let’s not just make America great again, let’s make Thursday great again.

The beautiful endeavor of careers

What makes a career so central to one’s life. A popular argument would be that having a purpose, especially through one’s career, gives life meaning. A more relaxed argument that is popular is that a job is simply something that fills up time that could otherwise be wasted. While I think both are accurate, I think both widely miss the point.

A career that one is passionate about certainly can give life meaning. Working for an animal shelter to help find homes for those adorable pets you can’t stop staring at can make you feel like you were put on this earth for a reason. But, some jobs, like working at a sandwich shop for five years, may not seem to meaningful unless you have a hankering for making every sandwich the Mona Lisa.

What if the reason careers really are so central in modern life is because it is an endless endeavor. There is simply no limit to how much a career can grow. For example, let’s say you own a small sandwich shop. Well obviously there is room for growth. You can increase your customer base, increase the shop size, open up other shops, become a nationwide chain, branch out your menu, become a worldwide chain, and even become the biggest sandwich making chain in the world. Hello Subway.

It might seem like the buck stops at becoming the biggest sandwich makers in the world, but does it really? Subway can always increase revenue. Subway can always open more restaurants. Subway can always add new options to their menus. Subway can even start to buy out every fast food competitor. The point is: the opportunity for growth is endless.

Let’s say instead you are the Flash. For my Flash watchers out there, if you’ve seen the show, Barry Allen is always finding new enemies to fight. He is always finding new ways yo use his powers. He is always getting faster. There is literally no limit to how much his power can grow, which makes for a show that often becomes stale. I still love you Flash.

This principle can be applied to any job, any career. The opportunity to grow is never ending because there are endless frontiers and opportunities to explore. It might seem at first a droll and pessimistic perspective (can you really accomplish anything if there’s always a new level to rise to), but it really should inspire you. There is always room for growth in your career which means there’s always something to work towards and always something to strive for. That striving for self-betterment is core to humanity and a career is simply another tool in which we look to improve. Just as in every aspect of life: the opportunity for growth is endless.