Text Book Dummies For Idiots

photo3“So there I was in the engine, and here she took our her lunch and plopped it on the controls. She opens a subway sandwich, huge drink, something else. Right there. I didn’t move. I was so enraged I could not speak. ‘What are you doing?’ I yelled. ‘I’m eating my lunch.’ OK. Eat your lunch but at the next station you get off my train. ‘But I’m learning to drive an engine,’ she said to me. Like hell you are, not under my watch. I told them, this one is a gone and they transferred her to another unit and sure enough, a few months later she screwed up a switch and almost killed a repair crew.”
It seems that more and more people are telling me that the younger generation are lacking common sense. Perhaps this is a sign of my own age. Once you reach a certain age, something drops in your brain and you find the younger generation stupider, foolish, filled with grand delusions and great expectations and all steam and Moxie leading to nothing. However, some people are not giving just a vague “kidsthesedays” but noticing that in the past five or ten years, something has happened, or is happening and the kids maybe alright at taking and passing tests, achieving college at the rate of 100 percent, graduating from this and that and not being left behind or otherwise able to race to the top, but cannot find our which hole to fart out of if left to their own devices.
“My daughter places a slice of pizza in the electric toaster oven. I ask her, are you trying to kill us? She just looks at me… ‘duuuuuuuuh’ And she’s in college. Well, I ask her, what she is going to do when she burns down the dorm and kills everyone. Still, she can’t make a connection. Finally I have to point out that you can’t put paper plates in a toaster oven right over the heating element and not expect it to catch on fire. Oh.”
The rail operator in the cafe had put in his dues in freight and now drove trains for one of the passenger services. He was sure that the past six years they had been getting worse and worse students. Ones who could pass the tests and exams at 100 percent, but could not figure out real-world situations, had little interest in anything other than whatever was directly in front of them, and seemed to lack empathy for others. “We now call them Text Book Dummies. I no longer take students in or novices even if I was paid more. They’re impossible.”
The youth are also plugged in, no matter what. It seems that some time ago a young college person was sitting on the platform of one of the rail lines with his legs dangling over the side, listening to his iDevice and along came a train and took off his legs. Maybe nothing more and a singular incident, maybe just an increase in curmudgeons and juvenaphobes, a case of everyone I come in to contact with getting older and more crotchety… However, now that the teach-to-the-test social experiment has been these past several decades, are we going to see what exactly the youth of today are capable of, or do our evidence-based everything turning out more STEM Einsteins?
Another member of the Cafe Klatch related a story of a young employee of a certain well known health food store in Guitarvile. “So the manager sees him standing about and asks him what he is doing. The kid tells him, well you pay me $7.45 and hour and I’ve done $7.45 worth of work. In the next hour, I will do another $7.45 of work. Now, this may be the case, perhaps the truth, but don’t tell your manager this directly. Needless to say he was fired on the spot.”
photoIt is hard from where I sit to make this call. The streets of Rheinlandistan are filled with miscreant and stupid youth who run up and down the streets at all hours doing all manner of blithering dodoisms. The flowers I grew outside the front in large pots were about to bloom but wouldn’t you know it someone gave them a whack and knocked them to the ground. I would appreciate theft, some poor kido taking them to his granny or at least his/her/it’s girl/boy/it in some gesture of affection. And this is not the first time this has happened. It happens every week, some plants or other are pulled up, some small manner of vandalism and petty nuisance. Chock it up to the social fabric being ripped, or kidsthesedays. Maybe Raceclassgender is at the heart… however, I think there is something to be said that our race is not to the top but pushing more youth along and creating more stunted human beings who cannot know what to do with their idle time, having been structured and tested, assessed and coded in order to consume this or that educational product up to and including the college industry’s claim that it is the Alpha Omega of all social movement, the gateway to what we once considered the middle class but now seems a joke economy where the punchline is our indenture.
The college debt bubble continues to pump along and the powers that be continue to drag about with the interest rates not seeming to understand the massive default that is already set up and can only be acerbated by cretinous policies and predatory lending to adults still so close to childhood that their baby fat has yet solidified into real Walmart adult fat (strange how many Americans return to the larval state after maturity). These American idiots are all lined up to attend college some with little skill at the basics of reading, riting, and rithmatic. When this blogger worked in Boston and consulted to several professors of community colleges, they too were horrified at the lowering standards, the blithering nimrodatude, and inability to finish an American Associates Degree in less than six years… Six years starting from around 18 until their completion at 24 or 25 if they completed ever. And this was the public system. In one of the private institutions I had knowledge of, students went all in for four year degrees and left after about a year and a half with nothing to show for it than the job at Mickey’D’s in order to now pay off their huge private loans since the college believed that everyone would be able to enter, as long as they could sign up for the loans and garner wages for the foreseeable future in order to pad a penthouse of an investor who was thankful that there was no sucker left behind.
There is perhaps no evidence as to the youth’s increasing inability to survive in the wilds of the world but pass exams and blissfully pass through controlled environments of lower and higher education like a chia seed through a tree huger’s colon. There is perhaps only anecdotal evidence, no solid Bloomburg approved data to prove that the kids are not alright, that the drill and kill is turning them into self-obsessed narcissistic zombies, and that the system not educating but is killing creativity and learning, understanding and compassion and creating a new generation of petty and dysfunctional people fit only for work in Congress, the House of Representatives, the Senate, or the White House as a lobbyist or personal humidor.
So too, there is no evidence positive that the mountain of debt students are heaping on will bring down more than individuals who cannot turn their degree from the University of Tualuckamuckatoolanix into meaningful and remunerative employment. No evidence…. but that is what history rests on, is evidence. For projecting the future, we look to signs. And we need not be a curmudgeon or a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

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