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RU Miseducated? – LOL

October 14, 2016

Well into my sixth decade on this planet, I have to say I am really disappointed with the miseducation of today’s young people. It’s really not an old person thing, so I probably should leave out the part about six decades; it’s a today problem and one that affects all of us.

A few years back, a young dinner guest hit me with a barrage of LOL over dinner. Like many of her age, she likes to ride older people for being stupid and out of touch. She thought I didn’t know what LOL meant. I did. However, when I asked her if she knew how to spell the word laughing, I was greeted with silence and the very facial expression that sums up today’s education experience in America: Vacuous.

Over the last few years, I learned that today’s young people are woefully lacking in communication skills. Most can not write a coherent paragraph, all but a few simply don’t listen when someone is speaking to them and their reading lists are chiefly comprised of emails, photos and texts. Trying not to embarrass younger people, I avoid any references to novels, classical music and virtually everything that Mr. Webster has published. It makes me wonder and fear for our very future as a society.

Likewise I was completely floored when I learned that local schools no longer teach cursive writing. What? Not possible! Sadly, it is not only possible, it’s a fact. Then my mind flashed back to the days of penmanship, exchange letters, love letters and dear diary entries. I suppose these have been relegated to the Smithsonian but I fear we are no better off for it. Granted, I am typing this off on a computer keyboard but guess what folks? I can still write it down with pen and paper just as easily. Fortunately I was not miseducated.

Then there’s the practical side of miseduaction. If you are going to eventually have a job, I suppose it would be handy to know not to start a letter or business correspondence with 2 U. Of course, the argument supporting this vacuum in our education system insists that computers will do all the work in the near future. Great! What about conversations, you know, where you have to speak and respond to someone else. Are we to be left with just grunting sans facial expressions? The Neanderthals would be proud that we have come full circle.

I look back with considerable pride to the time I spent as an English teacher. My students certainly did learn communication skills. All were able to write, speak, read and listen. I wonder how those folks are coping with their children these days. I honestly believe that the people who went to public schools in the 1970s were the last people to have acquired good communication skills. Today’s teachers as well as their students don’t seem to put a high priority on communication – 2 Bad! And grammar? Don’t get me started!

Youth is rebellious by nature. I sure was rebellious when I was young. My parents and grandparents thought my music, idiom and way of thinking was a bit strange, even unacceptable. The feelings were mutual. I didn’t think they were very boss or bitchin’ either. That was natural. But like them, I was at least educated, enough even to write this blog entry.

The next time you see one of our lightly educated youths fiddling with their phone, you might want to text them a quickie: “2 U – RU miseducated? – OMG – Y – LOL 2!”

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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