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Old 04-20-2006, 04:08 PM   #16
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You touched on an excellent point, Martina - Sometimes it's important to realize your own limitations and the fact that this doesn't make you a worse person . I believe the trick there is if you're going to tell little Suzy because she and science aren't good friends that she's probably not suited to being a doctor, because she likes designing and making her own doll houses she would be a great architect. Balance, you know? Again, here I am with the wonderful child-rearing advice & me a childless woman - I'm likely to get stoned! I just know what seems to work with my nieces, nephews, and friend's children.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:35 PM   #17
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Originally posted by BluRmGrl

Constant cheerleading from parents, teachers, etc. doesn't lead to well-adjusted, confident adults. It generally leads to a generation of spoiled, self-indulgent brats with serious entitlement issues... kinda' like we see a lot now.


i agree with most of what you said, except for this part -- i don't think that we're, by default, spoiled brats. in fact, i think we're much harder on ourselves when we don't meet expectations than other generations, and we certainly work as hard as anyone in the past (at least when it comes to things like school, volunteering, etc., not, like, chopping firewood or walking uphill in the snow ).

let me point out this part of the article:


[q]This blasé attitude is very different from the Boomer focus on introspection and self-absorption: GenMe is not self-absorbed; we're self-important. We take it for granted that we're independent, special individuals, so we don't really need to think about it.

This is not the same as saying that young people are spoiled. That would imply that we always got what we wanted. Although some parents are indeed too indulgent, young people today must overcome many difficult challenges that their elders never had to face. While families could once achieve middle-class status on the earnings of one high school-educated person, it now takes two college-educated earners to achieve the same standard of living. Many teens feel that the world demands perfection in everything, and some are cracking under the pressure.[/q]
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:40 PM   #18
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We are struggling with this issue at my school. The school board/district administration would like every student to be enrolled in college prep classes. (including special education students) The thing is, our school offers little to no vocational education. Not every student is college bound and there is nothing wrong with that. As teachers, we continue to push for funding for vocational education.
That's a great point.

I'm a big fan of college because it's a great way to spend 4 years surrounded by your peers and (hopefully) participating in some critical thinking. But for many kids, it's absolutely the wrong thing to do. And these days, it's like everyone is getting BAs, which there is nothing wrong with, but many of these kids are getting them because nobody ever suggested that they have other choices.

Good example - my brother's two best friends. One of them was forced by his father to go to the best college in the country to study computer science. After the first year, he was on probation and transferred to an easier school where he was pulling Cs in with major difficulty. After that he dropped out completely, went to a community college and is now employed in the IT industry, but pretty much at a dead end $35K/year for life job. The other guy was always a mediocre student and his parents encouraged him to look at apprenticeships because he was always interested in working with his hands. He ended up doing a 3 year electrician's apprenticeship and now has his own business, drives a great car and is happy setting his own hours and proud that he has employees under his wing. You tell me which of these kids has a better life today and it isn't the one who spent a lot of time and $$ at a university when he may not have been fit for it.

But it's not as if a guidance counsellor would ever have suggested this to him. Not only that, but his father would probably have loaded a shotgun and gone and demanded why his child is "being held back."
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:40 PM   #19
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I partly disagree with that, Blum. My parents encouraged me a lot, and I'm not spoiled at all... I work hard because I know I have a great potential and my parents were the ones who showed me that. I always try to reach new goals, demanding more from myself, some people say that it is unhealthy, and sometimes I agree, but I don't know if I would be happy in an "average" level. I learnt that I have all the tools to be excellent, why should I conform?
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram



But it's not as if a guidance counsellor would ever have suggested this to him. Not only that, but his father would probably have loaded a shotgun and gone and demanded why his child is "being held back."
It's awful that people still feel pursuing a trade is "being held back." When my father's basketball scholarship to DePaul fell through because of knee injuries he started his pipe fitter's apprenticeship. My siblings and I grew up in a nice home with nice cars, went on vacations and to college. I don't think my dad feels "held back" at all.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:37 PM   #21
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Very interesting article - thanks for posting.

While the focus is on the generation born after 1970, I'd say this is more a recognition of a trend that started post WWII. With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
While the focus is on the generation born after 1970, I'd say this is more a recognition of a trend that started post WWII. With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.
Fighting a war doesn't give anyone the right to rape and pillage America. "The Greatest Generation" (what a romanticist concept if I ever heard one) burned every bridge they crossed.

The pursuit of happiness is often more fulfilling than actually having attained it. And there's the problem. Whereas the WWII crowd could pay cash for their houses with minimal education, everything is now so expensive that even mortgages are exorbitant.

Now try being born into that climate and see how optimistic you get. "Entitlement" is, frankly, a poor word used by arrogant Republicans to absolve themselves from guilt.

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Old 04-20-2006, 09:53 PM   #23
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Prior generations waited until they could buy a house, and the age old tradition of burning the mortgage demonstrates that they didn't pay cash.

Will blaming Republicans revese the trend?
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:10 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Prior generations waited until they could buy a house, and the age old tradition of burning the mortgage demonstrates that they didn't pay cash.

Will blaming Republicans reverse the trend?
Does everything you argue have to end in a partisan spat? This isn't about "Republicans" or even politics.

I imagine, however, that someone born in 2006 will have a hard time ever buying a house with our exorbitant college tuition costs, piss-poor wages, and high housing costs. After all, it seems as if once things go up, they never go down.

It's much easier to blame everything on "entitlement" when you're born at the low end of the cost scale.

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Old 04-20-2006, 10:23 PM   #25
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Originally posted by melon


Does everything you argue have to end in a partisan spat? This isn't about "Republicans" or even politics.

I imagine, however, that someone born in 2006 will have a hard time ever buying a house with our exorbitant college tuition costs, piss-poor wages, and high housing costs. After all, it seems as if once things go up, they never go down.

It's much easier to blame everything on "entitlement" when you're born at the low end of the cost scale.

Melon
As one who shoehorns a GOP angle on all too many threads, I find the accusation of "partisian spat" laughable.

And there is no "low end" of the scale. Prices always rise, and those of prior generations faced the same (or in some cases higher) inflation. Economically, we are far better off today than the stagflation faced by those trying to buy their house in the 70's (born in the 50's).
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:26 PM   #26
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
As one who shoehorns a GOP angle on all too many threads, I find the accusation of "partisan spat" laughable.
At least my "GOP angles" have the full brunt of evidence behind them. Your excuse?

Quote:
And there is no "low end" of the scale. Prices always rise, and those of prior generations faced the same (or in some cases higher) inflation. Economically, we are far better off today than the stagflation faced by those trying to buy their house in the 70's (born in the 50's).
I've already made this argument before, and I don't wish to repeat myself. However, if my grandparents' generation could buy a house with cash and work over the summer to pay for an entire year of private university, while my parents' generation could pay cash for a brand new car, I would say that your argument here has no teeth at all.

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Old 04-20-2006, 10:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


At least my "GOP angles" have the full brunt of evidence behind them. Your excuse?



I've already made this argument before, and I don't wish to repeat myself. However, if my grandparents' generation could buy a house with cash and work over the summer to pay for an entire year of private university, while my parents' generation could pay cash for a brand new car, I would say that your argument here has no teeth at all.

Melon
NB always has rhetoric and attacks. Of course this is the habit when one can no longer defend ones position. (in this case it goes to legal as well as moral).
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:41 PM   #28
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If all you have to offer is potshots...why bother posting.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:41 PM   #29
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this generation has never known a world that put duty before self.
I think this more or less summed up the article for me. A sense of obligation towards something larger than yourself can be ugly and destructive when it's instilled through fear, forced subjection and shame, but it can also be a tremendous source of stability, motivation and strength when taught with love, trust and faith in the greater good. If your only goal is your own success--and I mean that in the self-critical, "prove-yourself" sense, not "hedonism" or whatever--then not only your capacity for humility and self-sacrifice, but just as important, your capacity to find satisfaction and contentment from your accomplishments will suffer. "Be the best you can be" is way too vague and circular a philosophy for most people to build a grounded life around.

Most likely the fact that the Baby Boomers were "taught by stern, gray-suit-wearing teachers and raised by parents who didn't take any lip" (and that they "did just about everything in groups") has a lot to do with why they often found creative tension and liberation in freedoms many of us have more often experienced as unsatisfying and hollow. I remember taking a seminar on pedagogical methods in grad school, taught by a (Baby Boomer) professor who was constantly waving his bible, Rorty's Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, at us while heralding the end of essentialist thought and how this was going to "liberate" us as teachers to explore and develop new forms of consensus, new forms of community based not on everyone sharing a common worldview, but rather a common need to talk as if we did (that's not how he put it, but that's pretty much what it boiled down to). To him, this was a grand predicament to be in, and portended a brave new era for both civic and intellectual life. We mostly responded, however, with disinterested shrugs: News flash, buddy--the world without "dominant paradigms" has already arrived; we grew up in it, and FYI, it's long since percolated out of the academy and into the lives of ordinary people, where it's just as likely to breed alienation and profound self-doubt as "solidarity" and "irony." It wasn't that we romanticized what his generation had gladly left behind; it was just that his mind was still 1950s enough to see patterns where we saw only fragments.
Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
While the focus is on the generation born after 1970, I'd say this is more a recognition of a trend that started post WWII. With the end of the Vietnam war, and the realization that a requirement to serve one's country had ended, the full sense of entitlement set in.
Though your take on it is quite different, I remember my father musing about something once which strikes a chord here--that the combination of paternalistic authoritarianism and dogged, relentless optimism which often characterized the '50s was in many ways really the last gasp, and hopeless attempt to reassert itself, of a creed (modernism?) which in truth had already collapsed with the War (totally crushed in Europe, mortally wounded in the United States).
---------------------------------------------------------------
I have mixed feelings on the topic of vocational schools and where they fit into education in a democracy. On the one hand, I certainly have far too many students who are both woefully unprepared and simply not cut out for advanced academic work (though it's damn hard to clearly distinguish the two sometimes). On the other hand, at least in my experience, the students who really bomb out in a spectacular way are *usually* among the brightest and theoretically most likely-to-succeed. Their problems are psychological, not academic. And many of the "naturally" less stellar students are actually very pragmatic, goal-oriented types who think of college as job preparation and little else--which I have my issues with, but at the same time it may be the best outlook to have for these students. I also wonder, given the general trend in the economy towards service jobs (which actually call for quite a lot of communications and conceptual-thinking skills, one of the things a humanities education is good for), if pushing large numbers of young people into industrial training might not be ill-advised. Even the better-paying IT jobs require a lot of the aforementioned humanities skills.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:57 PM   #30
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At least my "GOP angles" have the full brunt of evidence behind them. Your excuse?
Perhaps it would be beneficial to share the "evidence" instead of launching into yet another pissing match about the evils of the GOP.

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I've already made this argument before, and I don't wish to repeat myself. However, if my grandparents' generation could buy a house with cash and work over the summer to pay for an entire year of private university, while my parents' generation could pay cash for a brand new car, I would say that your argument here has no teeth at all.

Melon
What is the basis for your argument? The fact remains that our grandparent's generation did not pay cash for house (though you could pay cash today for the prices they faced half a century ago). The loan industry wasn't created in the last 20 years - but has grown as our desire to acquire has outpaced our desire to save.
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