By Morgan Housel / The Motley Fool
February 2, 2015

An introduction to brevity: Student turns in an essay, professor deletes every other word and shows them how much better it sounds.

What I wish I knew when I was your age: A group of octogenarians lecture students on their biggest regrets in life.

An introduction to disagreeing with people without sounding like a jerk: Teaches students that equally smart people can disagree with each other. Emphasizes that most of what you think is a product of your upbringing, almost all of which was out of your control.

Sometimes life isn’t fair 101: Twenty percent of the class’s homework is randomly deleted. The other 80% get scholarships for no obvious reason.

Things you were taught but should quickly forget: A group of business owners tells students what theories their business professors taught that are theoretical nonsense and should be disregarded as soon as possible.

An introduction to negotiating with people who are about to rip you off: To be taught by a repentant used-car salesman.

Adult free time 202: A three-month college summer break is replaced with seven days annual vacation, to be taken only with a teacher’s approval. Approval requires three months’ notice and is granted no more than 25% of the time.

Statistics for real people: Regardless of major. And practical statistics, with real-world problems that you’d actually encounter and can solve with a calculator or Excel.

What I wish I knew before I failed: A group of bankrupt business owners share their stories on what not to do.

An examination of the easiest ways to ruin your life: Course has three parts: debt, diet, and exercise.

Public speaking for introverts. Don’t make it optional. No one will get through life without having to do it at least once.

A survey of biases: Students read an old State of the Union address given by a president they disagree with, but told the speech came from a president they admire. After the student glows about how wise the speech is, the true speaker is revealed and the student instantly finds parts of the speech they dislike.

Investing for normal people 101: Makes no mention of alpha, beta, portfolio theory, or derivative pricing. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of low fees, the danger of selling low, and the power thinking long term.

Humility 101: A test is given on a subject the student feels they are experts in. Everyone fails due to ridiculous technicalities they’ve never heard of.

Introduction to grasping reality with both hands: Private university students who try to take out $250,000 in student loans when they’re barely out of puberty are patted on the back and given directions to a high-quality local state university.

Real-life behavioral psychology: Students have to make a major life decision in the middle of taking the most stressful math test they’ve ever had.

Understanding compound interest 101: Students are given one homework assignment on the first day, two on the next day, four on the next, then eight, 16, 32. Once someone points out how absurd this is the professor says, “Yes, it’s completely absurd. Now go invest your money.”

For more:

More from The Motley Fool: Warren Buffett Tells You How to Turn $40 into $10 Million

Contact Morgan Housel at mhousel@fool.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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