Thursday, August 19, 2010

generation gap

Class is back in session and college teacher Bonnie discovers some interesting facts about this generation of students, such as - they don't write in cursive [seriously?] and they don't wear a wristwatch [I know, because whatever handheld device they are using has the time displayed!] Which brings up another question - can they tell time on a real clock with hands? Bonnie even found the teachers take notes on their Blackberry while she was scribbling away on paper.

The latest Mindset List is up to provide insight into the mindset of this generation of college student: It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.

Admittedly, about a lot of the things listed I am completely clueless, but here are a few of my favorites:
  • Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
  • Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
  • They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
  • Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.
  • They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.
  • Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.
  • Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

For some reason this song comes to mind, something from my generation, about school and Kodachrome:

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away

~Kodacrome by Paul Simon


colleen said...

I wonder about the loss of cursive too. Maybe it's obsolete. The world has sped up so fast I can't do it anymore in any readable way. It comes out like scrawl.

Never came home. said...

I wonder if sometimes a generations experiences are not affected by their interests, but instead what they are exposed to. I bet there will be a teen out there that collects old wrist watches cause he/she just thinks there cool and one day a trend to have old phones in the house to contact other rooms. I know in my generation we got into lava lamps and polyester.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I'm glad you found the list as interesting as I did. Cursive seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs because it is no longer being taught, someone told me. I don't know if that's true, and I can't imagine why it isn't considered important.

I'm returning to adjunct teaching and have been astounded to learn how much has changed in three or four years. Now I am expected to do everything online: record daily attendance, post grades, "talk" to students via school email (so there will be a record,
if needed), receive their "written" essays through an electronic "dropbox," mark up the essays using Word, do tests and quizzes online, etc. In other words, I'm supposed to keep track of everything they do ... online. I'm beginning to wonder when I'll be told to record every time a student takes her eyes off my stimulating and fascinating class presentations.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I read this exact same post on someone's blog yesterday... This is the Freshmen Class of kids born about 1992... They are 50 yrs. younger than I am... AND--gee, how times have changed. AND--many of these changes are not all that good I don't think.

People want things faster than ever and don't take time to sit at the table and enjoy a family meal together. Kids don't know how to entertain themselves anymore --and don't go outside and play things like "Kick the Can"... They are too busy texting, talking on their cells, playing XBox or some video games, etc... NO communication much anymore....

SO--are things better now??? Some are --and some definitely are not.


Motherkitty said...

I mourn the loss of correct spelling and grammar. If u r not riting in cursive, u r texting and developing carpel tunnel syndrome in ur thumbs. I think I'm becoming an old curmudgeon because I abhor texting (and those who do it in public and in their cars when they are driving), poor grammar, talking jive talk (everybody tries to talk as if they were Black for some reason), and seeing everybody talking on their cell phones at every opportunity, especially while they are shopping and in the checkout lines. Ugh, I must be getting old.

I long for a much simpler life with fewer electronic gadgets. But you know that's not going to happen in this day and age.

Rose said...

Interesting facts, Susan.

You know, I still don't take my cell phone with me every place I go...I don't always want to be connected! And even if I take it, I bet I don't use it once a month....just not a phone person.