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Crash course in 'adulting' at Carbondale Area

From basic car maintenance to learning how to tie a tie, students at Carbondale Area High School are getting a lesson in 'adulting.'

CARBONDALE, Pa. — Some high school students could likely run circles around adults when it comes to algebraic equations, but hand them a tie or ask them to make a phone call, and they might feel a little helpless

"Instant panic, honestly. I really didn't know what I was supposed to do at all."

But now, junior Caden Brennan can confidently make a doctor's appointment over the phone.

As part of Carbondale Area High School's Career Day, the teachers are hosting "Adulting 101" sessions for students. 

Business teacher Licia Olivetti was inspired by a previous wardrobe malfunction.

"Last year, when I was at Future Business Leaders of America states, one of my juniors did not know how to tie a tie, and it was 7 a.m. trying to get him up to the Hershey hotel to tie a tie. So that was a little frustrating," Olivetti recalled.

That junior, Matthew Totsky, is now a senior, ready to suit up both for prom and that first job interview. 

"You don't want wrinkled clothes if you're going in for an interview or meeting with businesses tomorrow," said John Gorel from the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.

The high schoolers aren't just learning skills for the workplace but for everyday life, too. Like - how to make french toast.

"I won't lie - I don't really know how to cook, and I don't really know how to make phone calls, so it was interesting to learn how to do it," said senior Shauna Durst.

One of the lessons is aptly named "Things Your Mom Does For You."

According to the students, that list of things is pretty long.

"Basically everything. Cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, basically every essential life task," said freshman Olivia Lawler.

"My mom is my best friend, so she does everything for me. Like, every time I have to make a phone call like we're learning how to do, I literally go, 'Mom, what do I say?' I just got a job, and she had to do everything for me. I did not know what to do," said freshman Natalie Giordano.

"We're gonna do basic car maintenance and repair, home repairs. We're also gonna have tasks like resume writing and resume revisions. Some of our students are at the age now where they're gonna go out for jobs, " said science teacher Samantha Masco. 

"I was just saying with one of the students, they don't know what they don't know. So having all of this flood of information will help them hopefully and guide them in the right direction," said guidance counselor Gabrielle Pidgeon.

And they'll be in good company at this career day; more than half of the presenters are Carbondale alumni. 

This is the first time the school is hosting this event, but teachers say, it won't be the last. 

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