Coddled college kids

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Tom Wells, Sep 7, 2022.

  1. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    I did a year in BSB hall, a year in Speed, and two in the upperclass halls they built across the lake. I've only been back twice, once to give a lecture a few years after I finished grad school, then for my 30th reunion. Terre Haute isn't exactly a vacation destination.

    I've been annoyed with the school since they disbanded the varsity rifle team a few years ago. It was a fairly obscure sport, but also the winningest team they'll ever have. We were something like 89 and 2 my senior year, crushed the Big 10 schools, and had three qualify for the selection finals for the US Olympic team. Realistically, none of us would have made the team, but thanks to the ill-conceived 1980 Olympic Boycott, we can forever claim that we might have.
     
  2. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    They kept on calling asking for donations for a while (they get students to do this). So I told one "Look, you know how much this school costs - and I've already paid. The school isn't getting any more of my money." He got it, and that was the last call I've received.

    I will say that if I could do it over again, I'd have done a better job of taking advantage of some of the things they had to offer. However I still took good advantage of its offerings overall.
     
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  3. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    To say we have different experiences and views on this subject is an understatement. Over the last 14 years I've done volunteer teaching of chemistry, math and coding (been involved ever since my senior year of college), and in my humble opinion the raw materials that universities have to work with are getting substantially worse by the year. I recognize that's just my observations and opinions, but I've accrued enough data points to convince myself that it's a very real trend.

    My experience with kids today is that their attention span is no longer than the average TikTok video (about 5 seconds), and like an automaton they'll regurgitate whatever their Instagram/Snapchat influencers or YouTubers say. They may be "tech-literate" in finding videos online or doing Google searches, but I wouldn't confuse that with an ability to discover truth and knowledge (or separate BS from reality as you say above). It certainly does not demonstrate an ability to do research into a critical issue and form their own independent opinion. So I find the claim that they're somehow more knowledgeable of the world around them puzzling. Maybe they can read a headline on their smartphone about climate change or a school shooting, then hold up a poster board to protest it while they hope to go viral and gain followers, but that's about the extent of the average kid's involvement in the world around them.

    And while they may have a lot of "information at their finger tips" they're choosing instead to use that bandwidth for watching NFLX, 5s cat videos, tide pod challenges, cheap pranks and to trade meme stocks for the YOLO value. Kind of like kids who have a pantry full of nutritious food but always reach for the bag of Oreos instead. When is the last time you glanced at a kid's smart phone and saw them reading "The Atlantic", "Foreign Affairs", "Scientific American" or a NASA press release and eagerly learning about the world around them? For me? Pretty much never.

    For these reasons, I sincerely believe the current generation is not an ounce more plugged into reality or more prepared than any previous generation.
     
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  4. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The year after graduating I still felt some school pride so I donated. That was a mistake! Little did I know that's how you end up on their contact list forever.
    It took 10 years of me not picking up the phone or answering emails before they finally got the message that they'd finally squeezed every last penny they could outta me ;)
     
  5. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    You guys had cars?! Talk about coddled.....

    Back in 1979, when I started college, I had to walk everywhere. Barefoot. In the snow. Uphill both ways.

    I didn't get a car until 1981, the summer before my junior year, when I needed one to get to work. I bought a '68 Ford Fairlane for $500. I managed to keep it running until I finished school.
     
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  6. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Are you still willing to go to Russia with a gun? :)
     
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  7. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    Well, I can tell you my older teenager can tell you everything going on with a half a dozen or more players in the rocket launch business within minutes of any news in that field. Just last night he was teaching his younger brother how to use Kerbal Space Program for a science project.

    I don't know how you grew up, but I certainly wasn't reading "The Atlantic" much as a teen, and probably not much of Scientific American either, though I was in a science club, and yes, those still exist in many high schools.

    Attention span? I don't think mine was much better as a kid, and I certainly did a fair amount of stupid stuff that I'm grateful never got on camera as a teen. Ate at least my share of junk food too.

    I've taught at a top university and the community college system too. There is, and always has been, a wide range of student performance in any class. In my experience, you'll have 1/3 well interested, 1/3 sort of interested, and 1/3 not really caring.

    Also, before you go too far to blame students on their performance in certain areas, be sure to understand that No Child Left Behind meant that, in many school systems, it meant that top-performing students never got much of an chance to push themselves, because budgets for gifted/talented/honors programs were cut.
     
  8. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I still donate regularly to two of my alma maters, Samford and Ga Tech, but I've never given a dime to UCF, my third. And I never will.

    UCF really PO'd me while I was in grad school (they tried to block my graduation by reneging on my agreed course of study), and I swore they'd never get a dime from me. I used to get letters from them begging for money until I finally tore one in half, put it into the postage-paid envelope, and sent it back. The president of the school then contacted me, I explained quite bluntly why I was angry with the school (IIRC, I said something like "When you **** on a student you'll someday have a ****ed off alumnus"), and I've never received another solicitation from them.
     
  9. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's excellent news about your kid(s) and hopefully they remain engaged in meaningful stuff. That's a growth area.
    +1 for using Kerbal, too. My younger cousin who recently graduated and works in the launch industry even plays that game.

    Given your role, I'm surprised that you don't feel attention spans have changed. That's something that I seriously started to notice around 2014ish. Anything that requires more than a few minutes was just an absolute no go. Since I try to teach stuff like Arduino driven robotics for coding, it's especially disheartening since virtually nothing can be accomplished in that short of a short time span. And trying to instruct in math is even more painful, and that's in a 1x1 setting where they're electively choosing to be there.

    I didn't grow up reading "The Atlantic", but I did read a lot about aircraft, military history and foreign relations. But to be fair most of those weren't freely available online then either, they were either still subscription based and expensive, or they were sold only as a magazine. Now a days with the news aggregation sites nearly everyone knows how to get around paywalls. I was no special kid by any means from my reading, it's just that many of the myriad timewasters that exist today hadn't been created yet (save for "MySpace" lol). For that I am grateful, because I don't think the new platforms do a single damn thing that's good for kids in any way, shape or form.

    We've injected so many superficial, attention grabbing timewastes into kid's days that they've become dependent on that constant IV-drip of social media/tech-fueled dopamine. When they finally have to put that away for a bit and focus -- they can't do it well. Hell, I have tutored sophomores in HS who legitimately struggle (and I do mean STRUGGLE) to put their phone down to solve 1 single solitary algebra problem. They have to pick up their phone, do a quick scroll through their news feed, then put their phone down and reset the attention clock. That's infuriating b/c it's like watching an otherwise intelligent kid willfully disable themselves, or like watching a smoker get irritable after not having their fix. It's a totally self-manufactured problem. And based on my life experience that's a rather new trend, and one that couldn't have existed before today's ubiquitous garbage-filled smartphone was in every kids hand.

    Also, to be clear, in no way am I saying that kids 20-30 years ago didn't suffer from their own distractions, or do dumb a** stuff. Definitely not. I'm no exception, I did lots of stupid stuff and wasted time on video games and other BS. But NEVER to the extremes that I see these days where my younger cousin sits down and watches 10s TikTok videos for 3 hours straight at family gatherings. And that's why I'm merely saying that it's hard for me to look at today's kids and think that they're better off in any respect. Sure, they have more tools available to them to do research if they really wanted to, but we all know that's not what kids will use them for.
     
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  10. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The US has moved to be a country of "Haves" and "Have Nots." The middle class, aka the "Have Some" has been more or less squeezed out of existance.

    It appears you live in a neighborhood of the "Haves."
     
  11. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    I was somewhat coddled. When I got my driver's license, I was given a 36 Ford that I had helped Dad rebuild. I sold it and bought a 64 Corvette roadster with money I made working for a rural water supply system. The Corvette needed work and my Dad helped me rebuild it. When I told Dad I wanted to learn how to fly he bought a project Cessna 140, it was not damaged but needed a total rebuild, engine, wing recover, interior. Dad was and airline pilot and A&P. He told me that I could start flight training when the C140 was done but he would only be working on it when I was. I soloed in it and did most of my primary training in it. He sold it before I got my Private but paid for my training in a 150/152 to get it. He then bought a Swift that I helped him fix up and he paid the cost for me to build hours in it. When I needed my multi he sold the Swift and bought a Twin Navion. I got my multi in it with him paying the cost. He also paid for my commercial. All this time I was still working for the rural water supply system. When I graduated high school in 1980, they took the 64 Vette in trade for a 2-year-old Trans AM.

    Then we moved to Hawaii. While in Hawaii I worked for a Beech 18 operator as a mechanic apprentice and got my instrument and CFI, parents paid for all of that.

    In 1981 I moved back to Dallas and went to college. My parents paid for tuition, rent and $150 a month for expenses. I went back to work for the rural water system for a year and started flight instructing. Parents also paid car insurance until I graduated college. While working as a CFI a very nice couple loaned me their C172 to get my CFII and all I had to pay was the fuel and instructor. In 1984 I got my first corporate flying job, while in my last semester of college. I was paid $1,000 a month until I graduated college and then it doubled! I also worked as a CFI. That job lasted 2 1/2 years, they paid for my ATP, C500 type, multi-instructors and pay went up some.

    FYI, a high school friend that had EVERYTHING paid for has been in and out of prison for the last 20 years.
     
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  12. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    I may have not had a cell phone to distract me during class, but that cell phone is just a physical manifestation of a phenomena that always has plagued students in class. I used to daydream endlessly, pass notes to my friends (and get sent to detention for it more than a few times), or just outright fall asleep (especially those damn 2pm classes - I was a favorite chalk and eraser-throwing target for my undergrad advisor). If you think more kids were paying attention in days-gone-by, sorry to disappoint, but they weren't.
     
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  13. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I mean, I kinda doubt the kid's stuff occupied the whole trailer.

    Pro moving companies will sometimes move multiple customers with one truck. Probably just filled up a portion of it.
     
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  14. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That certainly could be the case, I'm no moving expert!
    I just know the size of the trailer was a full sized semi and got a view of an enormous amount of crap sitting on the driveway waiting to be loaded.
    It stands in deep contrast to everyone I knew when I went to school who (at most) had a small UHaul, but usually just had their parents car.
     
  15. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No question that distractions have always existed, and always will. I'm under no illusion there.
    It's the severity of the attention span deficit that's more concerning to me these days.
    But I think we'll just have to agree to disagree here :)
     
  16. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe it was just the best way to get her and her **** out of the house for good.
     
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  17. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I was going to save this but, my daughter will be sworn into the Navy next Thursday. She has been offered a full Navy scholarship to medical school (Campbell University) plus stipend, plus sign on bonus. Upon graduation, she will start her service as a Lieutenant.

    She paid for her undergraduate program (Biochemistry with a fine arts minor) partially by being an RA for7 semesters. We provided a car. She did the rest.

    She maintained top marks in spite of the Covid insanity and utter uselessness of the academic staff. Basically, she taught herself.

    Working the summers as an EMT, she was awarded EMT of the Year for the State of NC.

    With all of this, she stays grounded and modest.

    I am a very proud father. And She was not coddled in the least bit.
     
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  18. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait

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    Where did she work as an EMT?
     
  19. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    My parents paid for my college and bought me a car. Granted it was a mitsubishi eclipse. They also paid my apartment rent while I was going to college. At the time I guess I would have been considered one of the spoiled kids.

    I don't believe any of those above facts made me take anything for granted, entitled, lazy, whatever else. If they had not given me that ride, my plan was to go into restaurant management. I was making 10 bucks an hour outback steakhouse and living high on the hog! They had a great Management program.

    I guess my point is, what does it matter? If you got good wits about you you can be given a lot and still understand the value of a very hard work, sense of accomplishment and desire to work for everything you can for you and your family.

    I guess if I had gone to restaurant management route I probably wouldn't be a pilot or own an airplane. So I am quite grateful for my parents giving me the option to alter my course.

    I'm about to give my son his first car. It's a super sweet 2015 Mitsubishi outlander with 150,000 miles on it. I'm not as nice as my parents
     
  20. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    Didn’t have a car until after graduation as a Mech Engineer. Pontiac Tempest 4-Speed. Threw a rod two years later.

    Lived at home and took the bus or hitchhiked. One really nasty winter day I walked most of the way and got frostbite on one ear:D. First time in a Dorm was at Oshkosh for AirVenture.

    I made enough on my Co-Op job and bartending to pay all college expenses and some other fun stuff and graduate with no debt and no money.

    BTW, I worked with a couple of Rose Hulman grads and they were great engineers.

    Cheers
     
  21. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Franklin County, NC and Pamlico county, NC
    136 pound, 5'6" driving an ambulance at 80 MPH. She loved it. Witnessed things that most adults could not handle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  22. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait

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    Cool. I was pretty proud of my daughter until I read your post about your daughter :) Seriously, my daughter is in her 2nd year at pharmacy school at Chapel Hill. Her boyfriend was a EMT in the Chapel Hill area for 2 years. It's really funny to hear them "talk" as it might as well be a foreign language to me. He was on the doctor track, which might still might happen, but, some current doctors have a pretty much talked him out of it. Regulations now require so much time be spent on stuff other than helping patients. Also, doctor's autonomy about how they interact w/ patients is under assault. Insurance and government regulations are now running the show. It's sad to have mentors in such a noble profession convince youth it's no longer the profession it used to be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
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  23. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Yes indeed. I thought about bringing up those issues, but I decided that is was not my job to crush her enthusiasm. The world and hospital administration will do that soon enough. And who knows, maybe she will make the Navy a career.

    All is not lost, There are youth out there that will make good. I have met some of them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
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  24. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I left home at 16. As soon as I had a driver license, I bought a $350 pos and drive west to work for the summer.
    I mostly lived in a family owned hunting cabin. No electricity or water. I’d go to school early and use the shower in the locker room. Principal’s daughter was a friend, her family offered to let me stay there. I wasn’t living in the district, so technically I couldn’t go to school there. I declined the offer to stay in a real house full time. I finished high school, supporting myself and mostly living off grid.
     
  25. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Congratulations! You have a right to be very proud. Sounds like a wonderful young lady.
     
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  26. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait

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    I agree. I've met the good ones too. That keeps me hopeful. But in keeping with my pessimistic post :), my daughter recounted recently how she keeps her mouth shut in the classroom as her views are clearly contrary to what is considered acceptable.
     
  27. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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  28. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Well, the fact that you owned an Eclipse and then later bought another Mitsubishi automotive product may call into question the effectiveness of your post-secondary education, lol.
     
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  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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  30. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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  31. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My 03 Taurus is going strong with 160,000 miles on it. It will last until at least 200. After that, it’s hopefully a Tesla for me or at least a gas hybrid.
     
  32. Pugs

    Pugs Cleared for Takeoff

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    We were library kids growing up. Mom shuffled my brother and me, and often a friend of ours or two, to the library every Saturday or Sunday from 0900-1200 in the summer and then we got to go to lunch (usually at Lums!) . While there you were free to read what you wanted she would suggest "this is interesting" and often about history and then discuss whatever it was after you read it. We were lucky as well that the library system in Chicago at the time was pretty much the equal of any place on the planet. It certainly kept the brain going in summer and both my brother and I have a wide range of interests because of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
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  33. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    As far as the uninformed claiming that somehow students have changed the last 20 years I give this quote:


    “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

    ― Socrates

    Whether or not the quote is for real (I don't think it is), I give it to illustrate that nothing has changed.

    The students from 20 years ago are very similar to the ones now, though dress, hairstyles and accouterments have changed, and of course there is far more they have to learn. I suspect there may be a two year blip in reduced preparation when we hit the children of COVID, we'll see.
     
  34. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Socrates had it right. And it’s been getting worse ever since.
     
  35. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Still counts as a DSM.

    The Mitsubishi/Chrysler partnership of the 80s and 90s was a bit of an odd one to me. But I did own a 3000GT VR4 for a while. Terrible car, but I did enjoy it.
     
  36. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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  37. Archer Jack

    Archer Jack Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Could they have just been loading part of the van. Most 53' vans can carry two or even three households. If it's a 53" van I would venture to say all of her parent's furniture would have fit! o_O
     
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  38. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    The point is clueless out of touch old people have been saying the same thing since the dawn of time and will continue to say the same thing until the end of history.
     
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  39. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah someone posed that question above. I'm honestly not sure. Sounds like the most likely scenario is that it was split for multiple people's stuff? I didn't know they subdivided trucks for multiple people... I probably jumped the gun in assuming it was all her stuff.
     
  40. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No. Not required. Until we started killing people in 2017, it was almost entirely on the job training.

    At least now we have a dedicated school house/training program.
     
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  41. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

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    I was sent to reform school when I was 15. Does that count?