Saturday, January 23, 2010

Have people changed?



For my English Comp class I have to compare and contrast one way in which people in American society have changed since my childhood.  We are specifically instructed not to write about technology; to write about changes in personalities, goals, behaviors, attitudes, etc.  This is difficult since I don't believe we have changed.  Our teenagers are still doing the same stupid things they've always done...they think they know everything but are in for that same rude awakening we all experienced.  We still have the same mix of idiots and geniuses, assholes and sweethearts, introverted and extroverted, selfish and giving people that we've always had.  The only thing that has changed is the technology.

I have to create an outline and turn it in Monday.  I guess I have to make something up.  She said the thesis should be arguable, not fact...she's interested in how well we argue a point through our writing.  I will have to argue the side I don't believe. 

Oh, wait...does more respect for the environment count?  Do we have more respect for the environment?  We use our own bags at the grocery store, recycle, walk instead of drive...hey, she did say arguable...

11 comments:

Vince said...

What about the Berlin Wall/cold war, now there is one hell of a change. And what about the odd belief that you will be 'done in' by terror, or that even odder belief that you had no terrorists at all, officially, prior to 2000. What about the change in manufacturing, and that virtually nothing is made in the West, only assembled. And debt, that new also.

I've got to stop this, I getting depressed. It sure was not kind of this person to saddle this on you at the darkest time of the year. Why on earth it wasn't saved to mid-May.

f8hasit said...

I agree with Vince. Mid January is probably not the time to debate the dark issues of society. However, maybe it IS the time to harness the dark side of oneself to get a better perpective?

I like the idea of taking on the Green Issue. So many variables and aspects...even my 11 year old daughter is on her dad to recycle.

Good luck!

Alice in Wonderland said...

Recycling is a good issue, but then everyone will be onto that one.
Living here in England though, I would carry on the debate of having the first coloured President, and the changes that he has promised to make, whether they will ever come to light, and how people's views on him differ.
Do you think he is a good President? How does his policies affect you and the man in the street, etc.

otin said...

We have changed in our need to be in touch. There was never that much urgency to be able to get a hold of someone as fast as we need to now. Impatience seems to be growing as the time goes by, and while we have become more aware of our need to protect our surroundings, we have gotten to the point where we are too afraid to offend.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

A change I have noticed is the overregulating of children and teens. When iwas growing up we played outside till the lights came on. We ran around all day during the summers and only came home for lunch.

Most of my students grew up in schedueled events. Coming back from a school break, they say they were "bored" and "did nothing." We have a great bus system over here, but a lot of these 15 year olds, their parents won't let them ride it...

Jen said...

@Vince: We took down the Berlin Wall, but we're building one between the US and Mexico. When I was a child we were fighting the communists and trying to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. Now we are fighting al Qaeda and trying to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Before al Qaeda, there was the KKK, Patty Hearst and the SLA, and the Oklahoma City bombing. It was difficult to find anything not made in China even when I was young. The national debt is not a new problem. Same song, different verse.

@f8hasit: I think I will definitely go with the green issue. It's so much happier than the other directions I could take.

@Alice in Wonderland: It's too early to say if he's a good president. The changes can't happen without the cooperation of Congress. Our system is set up in such a way that the President has more perceived power than actual power. Our local governments affect our daily lives much more. I do think he and his wife have done a much better job of being our representatives to the world than "W".

@otin: I agree with that. I survived without a cell phone for 30 years but I can't live an hour without it now. We aren't allowed to write about technology, though. That might be a tough sale.

@Pseudonymous High School Teacher: That's so funny...That's what I wrote on my writing sample...we stayed out until it got dark.

Vince said...

I must disagree, I do not feel that unease, that knot of tension.
But having said that, what help is this to you and your essay.
As it does not have to be good or bad, what is stopping you from doing an 'as is', between you at 14 and your kid at that age. Sort of interview yourself, with quotes and comment. Then do the same with herself.

Jen said...

@Vince: It is actually helpful to write and respond to comments. Kind of brainstorming. I won't know for sure what my thesis will be until I hand in the outline.

Rebecca S. said...

Jen! It's great to hear how you are doing with back-to-school. When I was at UBC I was always impressed with the mature students' perspectives. They seemed to be aware of so many more angles in the issues.
As you say, human nature certainly does not change, but environment does affect and alter how a kid grows up. Technology has changed everything for advantaged children all over the world so it is really difficult to separate technology from this question! But the one thing I think has changed is how aware kids are of the issues of the day, the environment being one, and how they are encouraged by their teachers to do something about them.

gayle said...

Can't wait to hear what you decide to do!

Jen said...

@Rebecca S.: The mature students have learned a lot that isn't taught in school.

@gayle: I went with the go green thesis statement and outline. I turned in the reduce, reuse, recycle and added saving endangered species plus clean air and water.

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