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#208888 - 10/03/10 03:19 AM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: MartinFocazio]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Some people here have noted that every generation tends to view the kids of their generation as being substandard, and that "it's not that bad" once again in the current generation.

I beg to differ. Using objective standards, the U.S. used to be at the head of the global pack in education. That was only about 4 or 5 decades ago or so. Today, the U.S. is trailing miserably behind the world leaders in education of young people.

No, everything is not going to be OK if we continue along this path. No, it's not OK that most kids nowadays are glued to their X-boxes and Playstations, rather than playing outside and exploring. Nowadays, colleges are the new high schools, where most students don't get serious about their studies until they get to grad school. In the 1950's and 60's, it seems that college was college, not a place where kids are entitlement to get drunk and have the time of their lives while they're still young.

YOUR kids may be OK. Maybe even your little neighborhood is OK. However, on a grander scale, the U.S. has a lot of room for improvement if we want to continue to compete with the best in the world.

I was born and raised in America. I've traveled to various countries, and have lived in Japan for awhile. I describe many Americans as being smug, somewhat arrogant, and barely competent all at the same time. We are our worst enemies. I say that out of love and concern for my country.
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

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#208890 - 10/03/10 04:03 AM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Art in FL: "The evidence is that no matter how weak and dumb the kids seem collectively they always do okay. If any generation had failed catastrophically across the board we wouldn't be here."

I think you're wrong here. This is one whole new ballgame. There has NEVER been a generation so incredibly dependent on technology. Everything they do and everything they 'know' depends on electronics. People say they can 'build' a computer. What they're really talking about is just hooking some finished components together. They aren't 'building' anything.

Turn off the power for a week and see what happens.

JBMat was dead on. If it doesn't involve electronics, most kids are crippled. Many of them are fundamentally illiterate. They can barely read, it's agony to compose a basic sentence, they can't do basic math without a calculator. Besides the sign-up bonuses offered, the main attraction of joining the military seems to be that they will have another mommy to tell them what to do and when to do it. They still don't really have to think.

They have no work ethic at all. They'll make a token effort at a job (offered $10/hr) and then just walk away.

They don't know how to figure things out using their own brain. It isn't that they can't get it exact, they aren't even in the ballpark.

They can't make change. I gave a young clerk a ten and a one for a $6 item. She didn't know what to do and had to call a manager.

They are so used to having everything done for them, I have a young rail conductor who refuses to lock the railroad gate behind us as we leave the railroad property. It doesn't have anything to do directly with his train, so he feels that it isn't his job.

I hurt my thumb and was having trouble gripping things. I asked the boy across the street (10) how much he would charge to fill in the 24"x12" hole with the loose soil piled right beside the hole. He wanted $20, which would have worked out to about $80/hr.

My sister nearly got killed a few days ago when a couple of teenage girls drove through the freeway center divider (for emergency vehicles, signed "do not enter") and made a U-turn into the fast lane of I-5 at 5:30p.m. and dodged right into traffic... with a stick shift. My sister said they nearly caused a 10-car, 2-semi wreck, and they were laughing all the way.

Not only do the rules of the road not apply to them, they think the laws of PHYSICS don't apply to them.

And what about the lying parents and grandparents who keep insisting that their kid/grandkid wouldn't steal gas, doesn't scream up and down the street on 4-wheelers or motorcycles, doesn't mow down the neighbors' plants with their truck? How do they think this is helping?

And their sense of entitlement is approximately the size of the Milky Way. If it isn't given as an expected gift, and whining and screaming doesn't get it, they'll just steal it from someone else, or shoplift it.

Have you read anything they've written? It's all written like they text, a 500-word run-on sentence. Between the abbreviations and the misspellings, it makes no sense at all.

The bottom line is that if all the people who do all the caretaking and all the real work simply vanished, the Nincompoop Generation would probably die off. If you've read The Disappearance by Philip Wylie, you'll know what I mean.

Sue

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#208896 - 10/03/10 11:15 AM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: ireckon]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: ireckon

I was born and raised in America. I've traveled to various countries, and have lived in Japan for awhile. I describe many Americans as being smug, somewhat arrogant, and barely competent all at the same time. We are our worst enemies. I say that out of love and concern for my country.


I've been to other countries as well and I have to admit your assessment of "smug, somewhat arrogant, and barely competent" is sadly true. When you meet a young Finn in Helsinki and he can name the capitals - and governors - of all 50 US states - you really wonder about folks in the USA who can't locate the USA on a map.

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#208897 - 10/03/10 12:32 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: MartinFocazio]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Jay Leno's questions to people on the street about

The Fourth of July.

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#208898 - 10/03/10 01:48 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: sotto]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5099
Loc: SOCAL
Classic Leno -- the grand-dad at the end had no problem because the questions were easy. Parents, talk to your school boards and get rid of the teacher's unions. . . they are not helping educate our kids.

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#208899 - 10/03/10 01:52 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: Art_in_FL]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
Every generation tends to look at the kids of their day and see them as substandard. There are inscriptions from several hundred BCE that make many of the same complaints. The evidence is that no matter how weak and dumb the kids seem collectively they always do okay. If any generation had failed catastrophically across the board we wouldn't be here.

Kids tend to adapt to their situation. Situations change. The knowledge, skills and personality traits that worked for our ancestors are not the same that are vital today. The ability and willingness to work sun-to-sun tilling a field isn't so important.

Kids adapt. But also, we have adapted. We too easily forget that when we were young we were stupid and weak. Give them time. Don't underestimate them.

There's truth to what you're saying, but there's a lot of other good points in this thread. I really think today's kids are dumbing down, though, just like others have noted. My mom is a teacher, has been for the last 25+ years. Some of the answers she gets on her quizzes are ridiculous. But the problem is, EVERYONE had ridiculous answers. I think of the 30 or so quizzes I helped her grade, 1 had a 100% (5 questions, several multi-section, fill in the blank type). Maybe 5 had in the 50-100% range, and the rest were just flat out wrong. How can you teach when you have to fail entire classes?

I work as a doc in the military, and one of my jobs is physicals - there are forms where you need to explain any illnesses. Now granted, medical terminology isn't a strong suit for most folks, but I see often people spelling things wrong, to the point where I don't know what they're saying. One genius even spelled the same word three different ways, on the same page of paper (regular English too, not medical). One of my corpsman is more interested in reading online comics - I've told him at least 4 times in the last 3 days to write the room number on the chart so I can go to the right room. He can barely take vitals if the machine doesn't. I've already spoken to his chain of command, but he's totally incompetent in the very basics of being a corpsman in a clinic. I'd hate to see him under fire overseas.

Am I the world's greatest at anything? Far from it. I don't know crap about cars, but I've been tinkering with my truck. I bought a house a few years back, then went to Home Depot to buy their home repair book. I can't fix my computer either when it's wrong, but I can work it well enough for what I do, I can trouble shoot the basics, and I can follow directions if neede. I realize I need to work to get somewhere in life (but then again, I spent 10 years in college)

It's not about 'skill sets' or generational knowledge. Yes, true, I don't know how to use a slide rule like my dad does, but I don't need to. I can do math in my head or on paper if my phone, computer and calculator all die simultaneously. I can find north without a compass. I may not be able to till a field or milk a cow, but I know that cows make milk and could figure it out, I know seeds need to be in dirt and get water, so I could figure it out. At 32, I feel like I just barely squeezed into the generation where common sense was still a common attribute. Middle-late 20 year olds are (I think) on whole a lot ditzier than me. A lot of times I feel like I didn't learn something, but at least I know where to go to figure it out (library, Dewey decimal, card files) if the internet suddenly crashed. I know what puncuation is.

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#208900 - 10/03/10 01:55 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: Susan]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
Susan,

As a 25-yr plus veteran and retired Air Force guy, hence an insider's perspective, I take small issue with the statement about the kids joining the military so that they can have another mommy. Many of the kids join for the aforementioned bonuses and education benefits; initially. I agree it is rather mercenary, but that is the fact. What happens with many is that they find a sense of purpose to being part of something larger than themselves. They really enjoy what they do. Those that don't usually end up getting out and bad-mouthing the military the rest of their lives because they "didn't like being told what to do". That ends the mommy argument. What they soon realize is that they will live their lives "answerin' to the man" in some way or another.

I still like you.

YMMV

My $.02
_________________________
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

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#208901 - 10/03/10 02:45 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: MartinFocazio]
AndrewC Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Boise, ID
ireckon:

I've talked to enough of my parents' generation to know that drinking on campus wasn't invented 20 years ago. After all, Animal House was released in 1978! Some of my peers are more focused on drinking and parties, but the majority of us are concentrating on our degrees and future careers.

Our educational system does have room for improvement. Personally, I think we need far fewer standardized tests and much greater independence for teachers. Then we need to fire the teachers who can't actually teach.

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#208910 - 10/03/10 04:48 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: sotto]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
NY never had margerine dye laws, so I never got to experience that until I went visiting out of state
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#208911 - 10/03/10 04:56 PM Re: Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? [Re: Susan]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
Originally Posted By: Susan
...snip...
They have no work ethic at all. They'll make a token effort at a job (offered $10/hr) and then just walk away.

They don't know how to figure things out using their own brain. It isn't that they can't get it exact, they aren't even in the ballpark.

...snip...


I've just started a new job 3 weeks ago, and I'm the "Old Man" - by a lot - next nearest in age is 7 years younger, and he's NOT a programmer, but a desktop support guy

I've been asked to mentor these guys, so we have a Friday afternoon show and tell - I watched all but 1-2 people's eyes glaze over not caring, when I'm showing them a short method that will save them HOURS of work later. They are Mid 20somethings and younger, and don't seem to CARE about learning their chosen field of employment - they are 20+ years younger
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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