Continuing Ed, Apocalypse Style

blacksmith silhouette greeceWe’er all familiar with the scenario. Whether it’s on a raft, a desert island or a post-apocalyptic plains community, the results are the same. When it boils down to the nuts and bolts of survival, those with skills regarded as indispensable are kept alive while those seen as redundant or unnecessary are cast aside.

This indisputable fact is why it’s important to begin your apocalypse skill set training today. Yes, we all know you majored in political science with an emphasis in Middle Eastern affairs, or that you aced Anatomy and Physiology on your third try. But unless you learned anything about navigating feuds between rivaling warlords or you can identify and process the most nutritious parts of the human body, you probably haven’t done much to ensure being picked for Team Survival when Armageddon comes.

At the same time, gaining usable skills might not be as obvious as registering for classes at your local Y2K survival store (although in some areas it might be). For most of us it will take some creative scavenging to put together a top tier resume for the end times. Here is a list of the Green Porch’s favorite options.

1.) 4-H or Boyscouts: This one might be obvious to many of you, but still worth mentioning. When society reverts back to a state of barbarism, the wilds of nature will need to be navigated with confidence. This confidence may be found in things as small as knowing how to tie knots, sharpen a knife or build a fire. (Knowing how to darn your socks, milk a cow or navigate by the stars won’t hurt).

2.) The History Channel: This little gem has a show on every apocalyptic scenario from super volcano to singularity. Know the possibilities, know the iron-clad methods to survive them all. Know thy History Channel.

3.) Community Education: Most areas have access to some form of community ed classes on everything from cake design to chocolate tasting. Learn to discern the worthless classes from the priceless. Something like, “How to field dress a weapon,” or “Identifying edible and medicinal plants” could be worth their weight in canned goods. While the whole cake decorating thing or learning origami could end up being a waste.

4.) Apprenticeship for a dying art: Think of a skill that will truly set you apart. Sure there might not be much demand for blacksmiths or farriers today, but after the apocalypse? Become a cobbler or take up moonshine. Prostitution aside, just try to think of the careers that have survived the test of time and go for it.

5.) Rosetta Stone: Learn a second or third language. As formal institutions wither and the written word grows rare, language will most certainly diversify rather than simplify. A skilled translator will be a highly prized position in every community that won’t require gutting spazzed-out-thunder-dome-junkies with swords fashioned from auto parts.[divider]

In the smorgasbord of apocalyptic education there is something for everyone. Learn how to use a hand lathe or practice building sheds from earthen materials. Learn to build and operated a mill, press or still. Then when it comes time to choose teams (small, post-apocalyptic tribes) you can relax knowing that while your liberal arts major is worthless, your knowledge of which plants make the best toilet paper is invaluable.

2 thoughts on “Continuing Ed, Apocalypse Style”

  1. Good suggestions, except the translator part. I intend to be in one of those post-apocalyptic communities that eats or enslaves all outsiders. Except for the occasional Conan the Barbarian rescuing his girlfriend, it’s the life.

    • David, that’s always a good way to go. I’ve also just been put onto a French film… name escapes me. But the isolated individuals left on earth have lost all form of spoken language. I guess there is supposed to be one word at the end. Anywho, I guess translators would be worthless in that sort of setting as well.


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