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Old 08-04-2006, 08:49 AM   #16
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I find the concept of summer camp strange.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:57 AM   #17
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please explain?

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Old 08-04-2006, 11:47 AM   #18
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I'm so proud of my parents and the way they raised us. My dad is a physician who worked as a researcher. He could have made a gazillion $$ in private practice, but he wasn't into that. He wanted to do research in a lab at University Hospital, teach, and he did see patients who came to the hospital. We grew up with the same values. They have friends who think they have to drive Jaguars and wear a diamond ring on every finger and this kind of thing. It's sickening.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carek1230
This kind of makes me feel a bit nauseous. Makes me think about my divorce a lot too, because my Ex and I did not see eye to eye on parenting. My Ex being completely materialistic having to keep up with the Joneses and have every new and better gadget and electronic item that hit the market for our household and thinking nothing of showering our son with the same. I was the opposite. Not to mention, I didn't understand why a 7 year old needed a pager or why did we need 3 computers in the house when we could all share one and use the money on something else more worthwhile like spending time together as a family, communicating and interacting THE OLD FASHIONED WAY!
I wonder what percentage of families actually sit down for a meal together.

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Old 08-04-2006, 02:37 PM   #20
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Anyone who knows me knows that I am notoriously ANTI-cellphone. Can't stand the damn things. I remember a decade ago when the Internet was all the rage and people were afraid that we would all become web-surfing hermits, hiding in dark rooms and avoiding communicating with other people. Honestly, while I know that there are some people out there like that, I think that the Internet has done a lot to really bring people closer together--it's made the world shrink (Um, I think our world-wide fan community is a perfect example). But cellphones have, in my opinion, done the opposite.

Think about it--you're out to eat at a restaurant and inevitably there is some jerk on his cellphone at the next table talking to someone about something not all that important while ignoring the very people he is supposed to be there having a meal with! It seems as if every teenager I see is on the phone, yakking away or texting, instead of just being somewhere. The phones give people this anxiety as if there's something else more important going on somewhere else.

When I was a kid (born in 1970, so it's not the dark ages or anything!) my mom would get so sick of us kids she would acutally lock us outside in the back yard for an hour at a time. She forced us to just play. We were on our own. When I was a bit older (11/12 or so), I'd get on my bike and be gone all afternoon. No worries. My mother loves us, yes, but her whole being never revolved around us.

There's been a recent outrage at this woman who wrote an article about how boring motherhood can be sometimes. It's the unspoken taboo. Her comments fit in perfectly with this cult of motherhood/child-centered society we have built here in the US over the past decade or so. It seems like it used to be that you grew up, got a job, had kids, and coped. Now everything is so angst-ridden. As women, we're told we can do it all...and we're trying our damndest to do and have it all...but no one will step up and say that it isn't all it's cracked up to be. Part of the competition to have it all is never to admit that maybe it isn't so easy or so great after all. So mothers have to outshine one another and be the Best. Mother. Ever. Take the kid out of the equation--to camp or to college--and the mother suddenly doesn't know who she is anymore. She has no ruler with which to measure herself.
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:25 PM   #21
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Originally posted by enggirl
Take the kid out of the equation--to camp or to college--and the mother suddenly doesn't know who she is anymore. She has no ruler with which to measure herself.
Seems to me this was the basis for the feminist movement 30-40 years ago.

There have always been extremely overbearing and competitive parents and technology definitely enables that tendancy these days, but why are there so many more of them?
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by enggirl
There's been a recent outrage at this woman who wrote an article about how boring motherhood can be sometimes.
I would love to read the article if you can find it. Talk about society coming full circle...

I never read The Feminine Mystique but I believe it similarly caused a huge fuss when it came out in the 60s - then people went, hmmm, maybe she (Betty Friedan) has a point lol.

As far as I'm concerned, any lifestyle that is one-dimensional is out of balance and unfulfilling.
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:55 PM   #23
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The crazy, obsessive parents would be crazy and obsessive with or without cell phones. I knew plenty of kids whose parents fit that category 20 years ago when none of us had Motorolas.

The cell phone has become ubiquitous but for a lot of people like myself, it's the only method of communication given that we don't have home phones. Most students I knew who were living away from home just had cell phones instead.
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Old 08-06-2006, 12:44 PM   #24
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I came across this article in The Guardian

Has anyone read 'The Price of Privilege'?
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:06 PM   #25
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I haven't read this book yet (Prince of Privilege), but the points brought up remind me a lot of my own experiences teaching college students. I taught freshman English/writing for a couple of years, and there was such a disconnect between the students' expectations and the reality of college. So many students expected to get an A, just walking in the door of class. As if just showing up was enough. It made me wonder how many of them had parents that constantly told them they were doing wonderful when, in fact, they needed help (though perhaps the parents had no idea how far behind college-level standards their kids really were). When the students would get Cs or Ds on a paper, they were shocked! I spent a lot of time reminding them that they were in SCHOOL. These kids often voiced a hatred for high school, and I had to remind them that college was school, and more of it!

On the first day I'd ask my students their majors, what they wanted to do (career-wise), etc. This often "morphed" into asking them WHY they were in college. They all said "To get a good career and make money." They had this idea that if they just came to class and were THERE then they were in college. And so many of them would bitch about being in English class when they planned on being nurses or somesuch (you know the drill: "This class has nothing to do with what I'm going to be/do.").

In this sense, they were, like the book says, career-minded robots. They didn't understand that you take a lot of different classes in college because (a) it's nice to be able to speak intelligently about lots of different topics, and (b) most students change majors at least once.

They never learned how to fail. They saw failure as the END. That's it, I've failed, there's nothing good coming out of this, it's the end. I tried to make them understand that failure is part of it all--if you screw it up the first time, you're that much further ahead in understanding it the second time around. They were so much like the previous article describes these kids.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:30 PM   #26
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There was a point in time when a high school diploma was an acceptable entry point into the workforce. Today, the diploma has little meaning so the college degree has become the minimum benchmark.

Interesting to hear your experiences regarding expectations of the students. That is a trend I saw back in the late 80's - it appears to be growing.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by enggirl
I haven't read this book yet (Prince of Privilege), but the points brought up remind me a lot of my own experiences teaching college students. I taught freshman English/writing for a couple of years, and there was such a disconnect between the students' expectations and the reality of college. So many students expected to get an A, just walking in the door of class. As if just showing up was enough. It made me wonder how many of them had parents that constantly told them they were doing wonderful when, in fact, they needed help (though perhaps the parents had no idea how far behind college-level standards their kids really were). When the students would get Cs or Ds on a paper, they were shocked! I spent a lot of time reminding them that they were in SCHOOL. These kids often voiced a hatred for high school, and I had to remind them that college was school, and more of it!

On the first day I'd ask my students their majors, what they wanted to do (career-wise), etc. This often "morphed" into asking them WHY they were in college. They all said "To get a good career and make money." They had this idea that if they just came to class and were THERE then they were in college. And so many of them would bitch about being in English class when they planned on being nurses or somesuch (you know the drill: "This class has nothing to do with what I'm going to be/do.").

In this sense, they were, like the book says, career-minded robots. They didn't understand that you take a lot of different classes in college because (a) it's nice to be able to speak intelligently about lots of different topics, and (b) most students change majors at least once.

They never learned how to fail. They saw failure as the END. That's it, I've failed, there's nothing good coming out of this, it's the end. I tried to make them understand that failure is part of it all--if you screw it up the first time, you're that much further ahead in understanding it the second time around. They were so much like the previous article describes these kids.
I teach political science, not English, but I see all the same things with my students--and I'd want to add to your list of reasons for varied classes "Because it will likely prove helpful--no matter which career you choose--to know how to analyze situations, and develop responses to them, using techniques and theories drawn from a variety of disciplines." A career is not a "major," and workplaces aren't social and intellectual vacuums where nothing takes place that wasn't fully addressed by the nursing school (or whichever) curriculum. Invariably, my best students are the most academically well-rounded ones, and this is true from sophomore year (when I usually first encounter them) on up to the graduate level. Unfortunately though, outside the occasional "Now switch papers and evaluate your classmate's work" exercise, and true seminar formats--which are, sadly, a rarity--students tend to be quite unaware of what sort of work their classmates are producing, and so to them I think it often comes across as me spouting old-fashioned romantic "liberal studies" bullshit when I tell them their work would be improved by taking a more diverse array of classes, and reading more widely than just newspaper articles from the preferred poli-sci cognoscenti sources. The fear of failure (i.e., not getting an A), I think, goes hand-in-hand with this--because they lack an appreciation of learning for its own sake, they also lack humility about how little they really know (both factually and procedurally), and thus wrongly interpret a C as some kind of fundamental dismissal of their potential.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:10 PM   #28
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From somebody who is a student, I can tell you that most people my age want professional degrees. Education has become so prohibitively expensive these days that a lot of kids don't want to be dabbling in this and that to "expand their horizons" - they want a bachelor's degree that will let them get into their professional school of choice, get their second degree, their license and go practice whatever it is they've chosen.

People my parents age were able to dabble in different things in college and most of them graduated without loans or some minor debt. We don't have that kind of luxury anymore these days. I recently watched a documentary on the future of jobs and the experts were essentially advocating any profession that is licensed because you can't outsource that as easily, or a profession where your physical presence is necessary. When you are graduating with debt in 6 digits, you won't necessarily care how fabulous your paper is because you've taken a breadth of courses. All you care about is a good GPA and a prep course for your entrance exam, be it the MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, DAT, OAT, etc.

The bachelor's degree is completely overvalued. It's worth almost nothing anymore in the workplace. We need to stay in school for longer and spend more money and I don't for one second bear any surprise that you see the attitudes in class you speak of.

I need $25K/year for school. If I didn't have generous parents, I'd be knee deep in $hit.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

I think, goes hand-in-hand with this--because they lack an appreciation of learning for its own sake, they also lack humility about how little they really know (both factually and procedurally), and thus wrongly interpret a C as some kind of fundamental dismissal of their potential.
Growing up, C's were not acceptable in my house. I used to argue that C's weren't bad; C is average.

My mother's reply was always the same: "You are not an average student." And she was right, I wasn't Well, okay, in math I was.

Anyway, perhaps these students have parents like mine who have been telling them all their lives that they are above average, rightfully or not.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:23 PM   #30
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I'm with anitram. I tried so hard in HS to pull all As and then went to one of the best "liberal arts" private schools in it's class and what do I have? $100,000 in debt and no job because the economy in this part of the country is so bad you can't even find work bagging groceries third shift. College was over 25K a year, just for undergrad, most classes were seminar, no class had more than 50 students, and a diverse core curriulum was required, but looking back I really feel like I got jipped. Like Doug said, not too long ago, a high school degree was enough, but now you've got to have at least a masters with a decade's work experience to be able to comfortably support a family. I feel like the whole experience has only made me more bitter, because I spent four years with these profs that kept promising this education was special, and now I realize these profs grew up in bubbles and their PARENTS paid for their education, rent, and living expenses, so yeah they can sit there and spout off on how lovely it is to have this liberal arts degree because it was so EASY for them. Reality check: my digital AND financial umbilical was severred for good at age 16, at which time I was expected to spend every waking hour not studying to be working and saving for my college ed which my parents have nothing to do with because they have their own shit to sort out. Apples don't fall far from the tree. If parents cut the shit and show good examples of being competent, independent, respectful, hard-working adults and just tell their kids too fucking bad your friends all have cars and get trust funds for college, the kids will adjust accordingly.
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