Gravely disappointed...and severely concerned!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dragonfly, Jan 14, 2010.


  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Today, I made a serious error in judgement. (yet another!)
    I asked questions of a recent high school graduate. (oh Joy!)
    The questions I asked were simple enough, and I was even polite in doing it..(not easy for an old grump, especially this one!)
    I was (to say the absolute very least) apalled.
    The main reply to 99.9% of any question I asked was simple enough: "I don't know"! ( the other answers were out of the ball park!)
    I asked about who, (and showed the faces on the tv no less) were the people they saw....
    The people were current politicians, and such....(not hollywood types!)
    I asked about the "preamble" to the Constitution of These United States....(I Even gave them a hint: "We the People...")
    I asked about the 3 branches of our government....
    I asked about the constitution...
    I asked about the constitutional amendments....
    I asked questions about everyday events, and the latest news about anything they had read or seen....
    Then, I jumped from the frying pan right on into the fire!
    (my self abuse is evidently now becoming a hobby!)
    I asked questions (most 8th graders would know) about biology, science, chemistry, (I stayed away from history, not a good subject for me, except the last few decades!), and so I asked about geography....(bad choices too)
    Being a completely total IDIOT, I asked about physiology of the human body, that was not a good place to go either!
    I asked various questions and tried to elicit any decent response or at least a partially correct answer.
    I failed in ALL of my attempts....
    Being such an IDIOT, I went on, further, I started to ask questions of 3 of these so-called "graduates"....
    I had to stop my 20 year old from answering, as they were his friends and he felt I was being "onery" or something like that! ( far be it from me!)
    I was set back, and my head began to spin...you know, "the blood shoots from your eyes" sort of thing?
    All had some "skills", in playing, editing and making video's, internet, and games, up the wazoo.....!
    Not one of these individuals were up to par with "real world" skill sets...
    Not one seemed to know what is happening in the entire country.
    Nothing that could have prepared them for a job, and were not the least bit interested in the world, outside of "gaming" and music/videos....
    It was beyond my comprehension to see this in "real time" for myself....
    The educational "system" has "dumbed them down" to the level of a 3rd or 4th grader! ( by my standards.....) I was in 3rd grade in 1959-60.
    Now, I was not cruel, and didn't ask what the speed of light was, or the chemical composition of salt or water was....
    I didn't ask a lot. ( I learn quick, well sometimes anyway...)
    I did ask questions that put me into a frothing mad episode however!
    I asked WHO was the first president of these United States!
    I asked who's photo is on the dollar bill...
    I asked about the date the Declaration of Independence was signed....
    I asked who "Henry Ford" was....( wanna know the answer I got?)
    "He's some guy that was a president once"!
    I gave it up....
    I had reached the end of my ability to reach into so many heads filled with sawdust and try to get something of ANY value, of any 1 of them.
    I took 2 excedrin, and went to my room....I took a long and very disturbed nap!

    So, I ask of you...
    What has happened to the next, generation? (generation "X" I guess they refer to it today)
    What does this say about us and where we are heading....?
    I can see these individuals being "herded" like so many cattle into "workhouses"......(They have no abilities anymore)
    They seem to have NO clue, and are content with that fact.
    Due to cutbacks in school programs, there will be no more:
    Music/band/instrument classes, auto shops, metal shops, electronics shops, drafting classes, wood shops, art classes, and most schools have decided to drop their chemistry and biology classes due to the expensive materials and lack of funding...(besides no one today can afford the "lab fees"!). (Lucky to have clothes and books!)
    Where does that leave the un-educated?
    All to be fast food workers?
    Will they all work in Walmart's?
    No more scientists, mathematicians, engineers...nada.
    These "graduates" are supposed to be ready to head for college?
    Not going to happen!
    Even with the great shortage of nurses in this state, and I assume, all over the country, there are no "qualified" teachers anymore.
    That is the excuse given for not having enough trained nursing staff today!
    I mean, what is happening ? Why did this get so out of control?
    Are "WE" to become a "service" industry?
    No one seemed to take much notice when a not so long ago "president" suggested that WE all go back and learn a NEW TRADE via "community College".
    Due to a lot of manufacturing jobs that went south to mexico, and now they're griping, (mexico), having "lost" those very same jobs to china!
    How many people can be in a "service" industry, when ONLY the elite have the money to go to places that have those services!
    I am flabbergasted by all of it, and wonder what the heck is going to happen next....
    I now understand why I have 2 sons in uniform....
    It's a job "dad"....!
    I count my blessings as it were, they did NOT choose to go into the military......
    But, the worry is still the same, at least for me it is.

    My youngest son aspired to become a photograper like I was long ago....(when I was young!)
    Today, there is little profit much less a living to be made there.
    When I did it, there was a need for advertising in newspapers, magazines, and even in portraits. Not even in the insurance industry anymore.
    Today it has become a "luxury" item, and money has dried up steadily.
    I gave him all of my equipment, some 30 all total-35mm film cameras, 4-
    2 & 1/4"/120mm Hasselblads, some cameras that are as old as 35+ years. All 7 of my 4 x 5 studio cameras, and thousands of dollars in lenses, plus my digital equipment and all the darkroom equipment he could ever use.
    It sits in cases, (about 12-14), covered in dust today.....
    No more Kodachrome, no more "Polaroid" film for test shots, no need for film today say many.
    I have many books, a library, and I have taught him since he was in 7th grade. He began shooting portarits in his freshman year in High School and earned a modest amount....A good beginning.
    It was his dream job.....He has the tools, he has learned many of the skills, and he is thinking of looking for work today as a janitor!
    "It's a job...dad"!
     
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I wish it were not so, these "kids" these days. Ever watch Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" skits?
     
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Dragonfly, thanks for another educational post for all of us. My best friend has 3 children all in their teens. The oldest is 19, also a high school grad, mostly home schooled as are they all. She stills lives at home but has a full time job at a local grocery store. The middle child is a bit of an air head, is a looker and boy crazy, and I steer clear of that one. The youngest, a fine young man seems to have a good head on his shoulders, is a hard worker, and his dad hustles jobs for him around the neighborhood. All the cash earned is his, but they make him save a percentage for his future. Bottom line, until I read your post I considered all that was going on with this family to be better than most and perfectly acceptable. ... I have reconsidered and will be printing out your post and sending it to my friend with a note. I think it may be an eye opener for him as well and may steer things in a different better direction. Thanks.
     
  4. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    In generations past, it was sufficient to rely on the school system to educate our children but that is no longer the case. Although we cannot all home school our children, we must include education in their home life. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles can share their knowledge, discuss history and current events, turn off the television and video's so that we can have an actual dialog with the kids. Involve their friends in the discussions, take them to local historical site so you can explore the past together (every state has historical sites and most site are free of charge).

    Stop depending on teachers who are themselves frequently undereducated. Stop leaving the job of instilling the love of learning to people who use their position to instill their own agenda's, values, and prejudice.

    The responsibility for educating our children rests on our own shoulders.
     
  5. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    Great post. People are always asking me why I'm so hard on my kids. I make my oldest (6) sit and do all of his home work and I make him re-do it if it's messy or in coherent (spelling etc). He gets mad at me and he gets frustrated, but what he doesn't realize is that he reads at a 2nd grade level now, and his handwriting, for a 6 year old, is great. He also excels at math with an understanding of negative numbers. They had to put him into a special group in his class that dealt with content that was a little ahead of the present content they were teaching but not quite 2nd grade content.

    My wife hates when I talk to him about the government, but I do it anyway (when she's not looking)...

    All of this because I don't want to hear "it's a job dad". I want to hear "I have 5000 employees now, dad!"

    He can "hate" me all he wants now. 20 years from now, hopefully, he'll forgive me.
     
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Starting back in the dark ages, ...lol...1958, I was encouraged to go to the local library often. I was expected to read at least one book a week. I was gently steered but not pushed into certain areas to look and to read. Often popular movies were used to steer me to an area of books by my parents. We actually sat down to dinner together most every night and talked about the days events, the news and what was going on around town. I developed an insatable desire to read and learn. I am the better for it. I am pretty content with my life so far. As I look back, and around my family, I see that I am better off than some, less so than others, but more secure and prepared for an uncertain world than most all of them. I am now retired, and largely debt free and working hard at making that 100 percent debt free. My personal library and knowledge is extensive and varied. I consider the day a bonus day if I learn something new. Yes, I too shake my head and wonder about how to get America back on the right path. I fear for where we are headed now.
     
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    It's during those early years that it all begins. Congrats for talking the helm. children are like sponges and really enjoy learning but not all of them are interested in the same things. If you have a son, any age, who is into the war video games, research a particular battle from one of the wars around the world, anytime in history, and relate how the real battle was fought, how the enemy was engages, why one combatant won and why one lost. If you have girls interested in cloths and fashion, get a discussion going about "Rosie the Riveter", the cloths of that era and how things changed in the fashion world (and our American culture in general) when women began working outside the home. It's all about engaging the kids in some sort of dialog that may spark their interest and teach them something. Almost anything in history can be used as a correlation to history and world events.
     
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The whole American dream is as fake as Pam Anderson Lee's breasts. Just fake.

    I think it would be wise to raise kids to be themselves (identity is hard to come by these days) and learn a profession which they enjoy. Homeschooling is preferable over State institutions of indoctrination. And, I never expect much out of those who have attended mass ZOMBIE centers, so news of them not being able to answer basic questions about our republic and its founding documents is not shocking...

    but your point is well taken ;) It angers me as well.
     
  9. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    My son loves war games and is interested in strategy. he's a keen video game player too, but I don't let him play too much and only after he's completed his tasks. But your idea is a great idea and we've watched many a History Channel show on the world wars, though he's taken with our family history of Kings of Norway (dating back to 932) and he loves vikings. So we watched the Barbarians series on History Channel (military) and he loved it. I was then tasked with making armor for him out of cardboard ;)lol..
     
  10. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    I can remember being taught America Civic's and everything about the U.S. Constitution when I was in the third grade, now I have never been married, nor will nature ever allow be the pleasure of becoming a father, what I would like to know is when was American Civic's removed from our primary education?
     
  11. HOP

    HOP Monkey+++


    Reading , it is the original brain food . While I am no Einstein for sure , reading has been the joy of my life since about 1958 as well (8 years old).
    I live with my daughter and grandkids and around Christmas I bought a big bag of mixed nuts in the shell and set up the nuts and ask them to identify them , brazil, hazel ,almonds ,pecans and walnuts they had no idea and the peanut was a maybe even shelled they were lost on most nuts . I have actually tried to school them for years about the outdoors but the gizmos won out. They aren't dummies but the knowledge is really compartmentialized.
     
  12. Loansharkx

    Loansharkx Monkey++

    There's a reason these things are not being taught or reinforced.
     
  13. mtbkski

    mtbkski Monkey++

    Have two girls. What amazes me is that they are A and B students. Yet, they can't spell worth a darn. Now how do you do well in school and not know how to spell?
     
  14. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Spellcheck!!!

    It's also disappointing to me that penmanship is no longer taught. I see so many young people coming out of the education system today who's handwriting is indecipherable. Trying to read job notes on their time cards is almost impossible.
     
  15. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    My experience: At 5th grade, they're taught not to worry about penmanship, because everything from now on will be typed. Assignments don't even have to be printed, as long as it's in the teacher's requested format, it can be handed in on disk. Egads!

    I try to make writing a priority for the younger ones. They just don't seem to grasp the thought that their laptops will not always be there for them. :rolleyes:

    I think a lot of the problem is that parents aren't parenting anymore. They leave a lot of that to the teachers (What the..?!?!). No dinner table discussions about the day's events, no time together as a family unit.

    It about broke my heart one day to hear (from one of the kids' friends):
    My favorite part about coming to your house is dinner. You guys actually eat at the table... and talk. :( Poor kid.
     
  16. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Ah...the old days of penmanship practice with a Quill pen and ink doing circles and slants. Ghrit is probably the only one who remembers that besides me
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    [fnny]
    Yes, I do, slants and circles in both directions. Not a fond memory either, fine motor skills are still on the hard to find side. Thanks be we did Palmer instead of Spencerian. And continued to at least 5th grade.

    They wouldn't let us use quills, but they had them in the supply cabinets along with replaceable nibs for the nib holders. Had to use pencils. Nor would they let us put ink in the inkwells on the desks. May have had something to do with pigtail dipping, I wouldn't know about that ---

    I finally learned to letter properly way into my engineering design career. One outfit I worked for put all drawings on mylar with hand inked dims and notes. CAD was in its infancy, and Leroy templates were forbidden as they thought presentation suffered if it wasn't hand done. Took some months of practice to get it under control. (Drove my ex nuts practicing on the dinner table.) Drafters today can't even figure out how to load or clean a lettering pen, much less letter a drawing.
     
  18. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    My fourth grade teacher made us do a lot of slants and circles. I thought it was stupid at the time, but thank him silently every time I get complimented on my handwriting. :)
     
  19. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    One thing about Spell Check?

    You have to know how to spell in order to use it properly..I see letters with "there" "their" and "they're" misused ALL the time...And any words that sound alike, but have different meanings. It ....drives.....me.......nuts! Business letters!

    RH? I didn't use a quill, but did have to use Fountain Pens..and make sure you had extra cartridges for them at all times, or you got in BIG trouble..! The Nuns were not very forgiving about things like that.

    Tracy? Your story reminded me of the woman that came in to where you work and was sooooooo happy because the kids were "going back to school" and she didn't have to be responsible for them anymore, or have them underfoot.....Good Grief! :rolleyes:
     
  20. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Cartridges? Hmph. That came later, we started with the old bladder type that you dipped in the ink bottle and sucked up a load with the lever on the side, then dealt with the mess from dipping in too deep.

    Some things I just don't miss from wayback times.

    I can be persuaded we are deviating, off point, taking the thread away from topic and all those mystical statements. Damn, what fun, almost like the old days ---.

    Our apologies to D-fly for the excursion into prehistory.
     
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