What has happened to Hot Topics??

roxanna7

It seems that there have been no new discussions for several days now. Is everyone on vacation? Hibernating? Nothing new to talk about? Surely life at the moment cannot be so dull, can it?


Perhaps we need some alternate subject matter, other than politics, to get the minds active. For instance: "Should education teach to the test or embrace more in-depth general learning?" OR "discussing the funding of athletics at the detriment of arts programs". Two separate topics, not in conjunction, please!


Any takers?

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foodonastump

I struggle with the first. I hate “teaching for a test” but on the other hand tests, standardized tests, are how the kids (and teachers and districts) are ranked. I don’t love that either, but what better way is there to compare results objectively? Just got a notice that my daughter will be taking the math and English tests in a couple weeks. Many kids sit out, but what’s the benefit in that? Sometimes I seriously question the education my daughter in particular is getting, but it gives me some solace when she scores respectfully and is ranked in upper percentiles, both district and state-wide.

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maddiemo

As I have few pleasant memories of school, albeit a long time ago, “could do better” was always a criticism I thought could have been levelled at quite a few of the teachers.

This is an interesting little video I saw a few weeks ago...It features schools from Australia and Finland.


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Jonnygun(zone 7)

Arts vs athletics is a good topic.


I would much rather watch a middle school athletic event than suffer through middle school strings, but that is all IMO. I have kids involved with all of it and my kids benefit from the experiences. Both should be secondary to STEM subjects.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Teaching to the test is evil; it's cheating, in my view. The test is supposed to be passed because the student learned all the material and can demonstrate a portion of that learning on the test.

Also, it seems like in a perfect world students would be able to take tests over again as many times as needed in order to achieve mastery.

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sableincal

"Both should be secondary to STEM subjects."

Why? Why should a girl who excels in athletics and plans on a P.E. major in college and a career in women's sports be forced to suffer through trigonometry if she isn't interested? (Some algebra and geometry I understand, but beyond that?) Or a boy who is a piano genius with Bach and Chopin?

This is probably too personal a subject for me, as I was one of those humanities-loving students who had to endure college trig and physics, in both of which I received mercy Ds, the profs understanding that a punishing Fail would have no purpose.

As a teacher I don't think I taught to the test; rather, I tested on what I had taught.

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elvis

It seems that there have been no new discussions for several days now.

If you don't count new threads that at least touch on impeachment, 1/3 of the threads on the front page are within the past 24 hours.

So, it may "seem" that way to you, but it's not reality. Folks here are fixated on participating in the Trumpy threads, but others are available.

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zmith

School funding based on standardized test scores should be abolished, iyam. I wasn’t blessed with children, and my opinion is based on my perception of a declining knowledge level in college students.

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marquest(PA zone 6)

zmith what you are seeing is the result of many things that are not happening other than 1 and 1 is two. There are so many things that are slowing our children......Environment, unsafe drinking water, nourishment, parents--- nurture.

Breathing harmful air, lead laced tap water. nourishment feeding the kids chick fi a, pizza, mcdonalds, and parents have abdicated that duty by placing a smart phone in their kids hands and walked away.


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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Zmith, I would love to hear about what you are seeing in college students today.

Marquest, at dinner the other night I witnessed two parents with two children under five sitting at the table with an iPad each, and headphones on. I was flabbergasted.

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Jonnygun(zone 7)

I agree with you sable. I just think an emphasis on STEM is more important in a general sense.

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zmith

Hi, Zalco. Thanks for your question. I’ve been to a lot of college job fairs. Our team always ask students questions about basic principles that pertain to our technical profession. I’ve noticed a decline in upper level students’ ability to answer. We’ve also noticed a decline in problem-solving skills. Other factors may be in play, such as maybe we’re just attracting lower quality candidates, but other recruiters have noticed the same. I’ve noticed a marked difference in attention spans, too, in candidates of 15 years ago to a few years ago. That probably has more to do with the problems Marquest described above, tho.

Cellphones at the dinner table. Argh!! That is a huge pet peeve of mine.

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marquest(PA zone 6)

zmith, they have a need to problem solve. Their wish is every ones command. I am shocked that parents do nothing except live to serve their every command, They do not want vegetables fine they do not want them they do not have to eat them. I did not think I had a choice to object what was put on the table. Definitely tell my parents what I will eat and not eat.

The Michigan water problem is US wide. These kids are going to be slow the rest of their life due to lead poison.

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HamiltonGardener

As a matter of fact, I am on vacation. :-p Enjoying sunny Portugal again.


I agree that parenting is having an impact on how students are faring. Lots of kids get their parents to interfere when grades, rules, or teachers aren’t to their liking.


Lazy minds aren’t good at problem solving.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“They do not want vegetables fine they do not want them they do not have to eat them. I did not think I had a choice to object what was put on the table. Definitely tell my parents what I will eat and not eat.”

I used to think this was bad parenting and then: my younger kids came along.

The older ones (13 and up) have never protested a meal or thought they could demand or even request an exchange. They learned when they were tiny that you eat what is served gratefully or you stay hungry.

The younger ones (4-11) regularly pitch fits, refuse to come to the table, whine for something different, or sulk if I serve something that isn’t their favourite. We’ve never tolerated that behaviour, it is always met with discipline and never with compromise, and they have a good example in their three older siblings and yet every.single.night someone tries it.

Why?

Husband and I are genuinely baffled by it and express disbelief to each other a couple of times a week. We are doing nothing different and are always consistent and yet...??

ETA lol I have to tell this story: right after I posted this comment my 10 year old came to me with a swan that her sister had created for her out of a sliced apple. I guess they’re not so bad! :-D

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marquest(PA zone 6)

No objections must bend to their demands. A parent that raise a child not understanding the earth is not their personal candy store will be unable to cope when everything is not candy. When things go wrong they are unable to cope in comes suicide and shooting up the schools because suddenly they think something is wrong life has always been a bowl of candy,

I raised my daughter with a lot of love and a lot of material things but she knew she had to earn it and respect was first on the list of earning,

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HamiltonGardener

Marquest,

Thats a very good way to put it, personal candy store.


Its not just anger (violence) and depression (suicides)...but also reckless behaviour.

I’ve seen reckless financial behaviour by people who were never taught they weren’t allowed everything they wanted. The phrase “beg, borrow, or steal” is exactly what they do in order to keep up an image of what they want their life to be.

Begging parents for the latest iPhone, shoplifting, student credit cards that get run up on clothing or vacations.... knowing all the while that the Bank of Mom and Dad will rescue them again.


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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

"As a matter of fact, I am on vacation. :-p Enjoying sunny Portugal again."

Sun???? What's that? :-)

Have a great time and enjoy the sunshine and warm temps!

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maddiemo

I wonder if all generations have reservations about the one that follows, so looked up a couple of articles on what teenagers think about us...

There’s some interesting points raised in the comment section at the bottom.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/learning/what-do-older-generations-misunderstand-about-teenagers-today.html


Here’s another one which ends with a perspective that’s sometimes missed....

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_teens_today_are_different_from_past_generations

We can’t market technologies that capture dopamine, hijack attention, and tether people to a screen, and then wonder why they are lonely and hurting. We can’t promote social movements that improve empathy, respect, and kindness toward others and then become frustrated that our kids are so sensitive. We can’t vote for politicians who stall upward mobility and then wonder why teens are not motivated. Society challenges teens and parents to improve; but can society take on the tough responsibility of making decisions with teens’ well-being in mind?

The good news is that iGens are less entitled, narcissistic, and over-confident than earlier generations, and they are ready to work hard. They are inclusive and concerned about social justice. And they are increasingly more diverse and less partisan, which means they may eventually insist on more cooperative, more just, and more egalitarian systems.

Social media will likely play a role in that revolution—if it doesn’t sink our kids with anxiety and depression first.

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HamiltonGardener

Maddiemo,

You have another good point on the role social media plays on what I said.


Psychologists have pointed out the Instagram lens of viewing life (look at me having constant and glamorous fun!!!) has young people trying to keep up. Social media influencers are making kids think that their lives are boring or inadequate, so they are depressed or angry or doing the “beg, borrow, or steal”.


We need to promote “earn, save, and sacrifice” instead.


One of the better Millennial movements in this regard is the FIRE movement (financial independence retire early). The FIRE adherents take more of a “I control my own future” rather than “its everyone else to blame” approach to life.

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maddiemo

Very interesting Hamilton Gardener. I just checked it out and the FIRE organisation is starting to make an impact over here in the U.K. too.

Maybe the trends of excess are starting to turn? If it becomes fashionable to be more frugal, I’m sure our youngsters will turn out to be very imaginative.

I know my son’s always pleased to report his special offer supermarket purchases now he lives away from home. It’s probably off the back of him growing up with all my proclamations of 2 for 1s on my returns from shopping.....Lead by example was always one my Dads mantras.


The pressures of social media and keeping up with appearances are very real to teenagers, so I couldn’t agree more about promoting and celebrating a bit more reality, along with a healthy dose of a lot less illusion.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

My experience with teenagers is that the pressures of social media are intense in the earlier years, say 11/12-14ish and by 16 only people who are “lame” (my characterization) care about influencers or even their peers’ online opinion.

Of course that’s just the trend I’ve seen among my own kids and their friends so hardly a representative sample.

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maddiemo

That’s good to hear miss lindsey.

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Jonnygun(zone 7)

I actively downplay the importance of social media with my kids. I directly challenge the relevance of social media in their lives. If it becomes to important I happily remove their outlets.

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HamiltonGardener

Maddie,

I don’t know if it’s so much the idea that frugal is cool, rather that it’s possible that they can stop working and enjoy life. They do the frugal thing so they can finally stop working, same as any other retiree, only young enough to enjoy the retirement more.

I think it’s good that there are a group of millennials (and Gen Z) that are looking to work hard, earn, save, in order to get to a more comfortable place in life.

Hopefully that idea will spread, but I see many, many more younger people who are more concerned with image and they are conditioned to believe they don’t have to work or earn it.


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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I think the youngest two generations are hit with a lot of conflicting perceptions.

-They wait too long to move out of their parents’ homes AND they are criticized for taking on too much debt by moving into wildly expensive homes (supposedly for the sake of “appearances”) BUT if they move into a more run-down neighbourhood and fix up a house they are criticized for raising property taxes and, ridiculously, for using grey tile.

-They saw the physical, mental, and emotional toll of the incessant pursuit of wealth and career advancement of the younger Boomers and Gen X so they strive for more balance in their lives and they are called lazy.

-They are criticized for being on their phones all the time AND their Boomer/Gen X bosses expect them to be available 24/7/365. If they are not so available, they are seen as lazy, unmotivated, childish.

-They value thrifting, up-cycling, and making do with what they have AND if their kids go to school with jeans that have a hole in the knee or a shirt with a stain the teacher starts a chain of “interventions” to “improve” the life of the kid because s/he is surely neglected and/or parents are poor and/or parents don’t know how to buy a shirt. (This is a real life example from one of my daughters who wore her favourite sweatshirt everyday of grade 2, ragged cuffs and all. I buy my kids clothes at the beginning of the school year; if they wear their favourites out by Christmas they get to wear ragged clothes. Am I neglecting them because they have ragged cuffs, or am I teaching them to take care of their clothes, to not be entitled, and that their value as a human is not based on what they are wearing?)

-They are told their kids should have a focus on STEM to the detriment of arts and sports AND they are criticized for exposing their kids to tech too much/from too young an age.

-They are presented with study after study that show their kids are too scheduled, too overworked, and stressed because of it AND they are told by well-meaning guidance counsellors and college admissions that students need sports, academics, extra curriculars, and volunteering just to have any chance of making into post secondary school.

This isn’t a “poor millennials/Gen z” post but really, the expectations are ridiculously contradictory. I sometimes wonder if people hear themselves.

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HamiltonGardener

Miss Lindsay,

Well, hopefully they can figure out how to get it in order before their parents are no longer able to help.

There are a lot of other capable and well adjusted youngsters who will displace them if they don’t.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

HamiltonGardener I guess my point was that they have it in order. Some older folks don’t like the order they’ve chosen, for various reasons, but that’s just opinions. What you consider to be “in order” might not be what my parents do. It might not be what my neighbour does. It might not be what I do. Everyone has the right to make decisions for themselves and their families as they see fit.

Their parents make the choice to help, or not. That’s on the parents I think.

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HamiltonGardener

Ok, I understand.


Yes, if they have made decisions (for example, bought an affordable house and ignored claims of “gentrification”) then yes, they are capable. But I don’t think Boomers and Gen X fault them for it. I think most criticism are for the ones who don’t become independent or are catering to the demands of social media rather than ignoring internet strangers.


I think my criticism is of parents who enable their children’s “Peter Pan” problems.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“But I don’t think Boomers and Gen X fault them for it.”

Not all, certainly.

But as a Millennial I can tell you I hear and read it a lot and there is never any clarification given that it is “...the ones who don’t become independent or are catering to the demands of social media...” being referenced.

A big, broad brush is applied.

Thanks for the conversation about it :)

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maddiemo

Hamiton Gardener, with retirement age increasing, timely finances will certainly become more important if our youngsters are to enjoy some real down time when they’re older, and these kind of organisations will hopefully become much more mainstream.

As far as my thoughts on youngsters is concerned, I must say I’ve often compared my teens to my sons, and feel very lucky at the lack of pressure I had.

I don’t remember being anxious about getting a job, or what my future held. It all seemed to just happen, leaving me to simply enjoy being young and take the age appropriate steps to leave home and go on to build my own.

I don’t remember my parents worrying about me either. I even asked them once a while back, and they both said they never had. The same can’t be said for most parents of my generation. It seems life has become more complicated. That can have detrimental effects, especially on a young mind.

Having said that, my son and most of his friends seem to have turned out OK, although admittedly the teen years were a bit hairy.

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HamiltonGardener

Miss Lindsay,


I suppose it’s the same as the broad brush of “Boomers are responsible for killing the earth/climate/racism/consumerism/whatever else millennials can use as an excuse”. All this in spite of being the most activist generation in recent memory. (Darn hippies that they were)

Gen X has the contradictory broad brush of “slackers AND soulless capitalists”... of “irrelevant generation AND unprecedented negative social impact”.

Find some solace that you’re not the first and certainly not unique in dealing with life’s obstacles and the labels that will come with them.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“I suppose it’s the same as the broad brush of “Boomers are responsible for killing the earth/climate/racism/consumerism/whatever else millennials can use as an excuse”.”

I can say with absolute certainty that I have never seen or heard this opinion expressed by anyone except Boomers. I don’t know where folks are getting the idea that we think that; we don’t. Or the people I am exposed to don’t, anyway. I’ve read/heard other Boomers say it to each other though, like “think of your grandkids, our lives are almost over but...” and I’ve read/heard people use it as you did, ostensibly quoting Millennials.

I also haven’t heard “irrelevant generation AND unprecedented negative social impact” applied to Gen X but I don’t doubt you have. The older Gen Xers are more like the Boomers and the younger are more like the Millennials so I can see why “soulless capitalist” or “slacker” would be the charge. Maybe the same is true for older Millennials vs younger ones, too, I don’t know.

I think the takeaway is that people are people and it is never wise to make broad assumptions based on a person’s age or judge that someone is wrong because s/he didn’t do it the way I would, and that is good advice all around :)

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HamiltonGardener

You’ve never heard millennials say that boomers ruined the environment or climate or economy for future generations?


Im surprised.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

No, I really haven’t.

I have read/heard frustration that governments and corporations aren’t doing enough to try to reverse it, and I suppose by default that means Boomers and Gen X since they are the ones in government and running corporations.

To me that’s more an ideology thing than a generational thing though.

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marquest(PA zone 6)

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

I think the takeaway is that people are people and it is never wise to
make broad assumptions based on a person’s age or judge that someone is
wrong because s/he didn’t do it the way I would, and that is good advice
all around :)

------------------------

If you had not said your are a millennial it would have been what I thought you were. Generational placement is mostly going to be the biggest part of how you think, what you do, and how you relate. No doubt people are people they bleed, they breath but experience, age, environment, nurture all come into play I think you would agree right?

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