Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Old and I'm Worried

I have to look around me and I am not sure I like what I see---not at all sure just what it all means. I know how vague that remark is, so let me put it into context.
The times they are a changing----yeah, yeah, I know "Peter, Paul N Mary" did the song. I'm 71 now, and still have 3 outta 4 of my wisdom teeth (that no doubt will be me a lot of letters from the Dental academy--sigh). Has anyone besides me noticed the big deterioration of public manners in the last----say twenty years??. No doubt this has been going on one long time, but me being a bachelor---no college degree, but otherwise a total Rake---it has come to even MY attention. The intelligence of the kids today is even lower than mine---which was lower than my predecessors----what does this mean??
Like hello? two and two IS still four---ain't it? So how come the kids today clerking in the stores can't count change back properly. I know some of ya are laughing at my being persnickety about counting change back properly, but hello, it slows me down when I have to count my change to make sure the clerk has given me the right change. I distinctly remember that by the time I reached the 6Th grade, dumb as I was---I COULD count change back to customers.
What worries me, what scares me is---the managers of these clerks can't do it either?? ALL OF THEM , count on the "smart" cash register to tell them how much change to give the customer. They have NO idea how to do the math to figure it out on their own---they are not even capable of doing it. Now ask yourself this question---what happens when the power fails and the "smart" machines don't tell the clones what to do--------------??
Who do we blame for this blatant lack of teaching ---the teachers Unions, or the Teachers themselves, who no doubt are out busy picketing for their political candidate or the candidate the Union leaders told them to be for.---- I guess it IS possible the current crop of kids are stupid, but somehow I think its lack of good teaching.


  1. I was just commenting about this to Carl when we went out to dinner at a fun restaurant and observed a young woman sitting cross-legged in the booth with her dirty shoes all over it, gazing at her boyfriend who had his hat on backwards. What is going on with manners, and like you mentioned just plain stupidity? It is the school system and dumb-downed parents. THe unions can't get rid of the worst of the worst teachers in California and so kids keep getting passed on to a higher grade level when they shouldn't be. The public school system is in a disarray irregardless of class size. Teachers can't control the students for fear of getting fired or sued. Anyway, I sure rant alot so I am through because once I get started I just keep going. I remembe getting a cup of coffee but all I had on me was $100.00 and she gave me back more instead of less. I being honest brought it to her attention and she still couldn't figure it out, so I had to. I guess the size of the bill screwed her up.


  2. One thousand years ago, when you were young, the old crocks who have nothing better to do than sit on the porch and mutter vague rants, said the very same thing about YOU.

    It is amazing that so much has been invented and produced by all those stupid young people. I promise you that Google was not started by a cynical old poop.

  3. Kathi D---you are absolutly correct----prove it?(lol)

  4. I'm sorry, but I agree. I am not an old fart yet, but I CAN count back change. But you can't put all the blame on the teachers....the goverment is partly to blame..we have a rule in Florida....No Child Left Behind (guess it doesn't matter if you can't read, you are still passed to the next grade). But the most blame should be placed on the PARENTS....that's right the parents. They send their kids to school and expect miracles from the overworked, underpaid and under appreciated teachers. Wake up America and look at your kids....these are the people who are going to take care of you and run this country in your old age......kinda scary, huh?!

  5. Be careful Bonnie, all liberals know its the "States" fault if our children fail to meet accepted criteria-----DO NOT BLAME the teachers, Do NOT BLAME the parents---its the national government that is at fault---our teachers are spending many many hours out picketing for more national and state government monies for education---they're Unions are fighting hard to get even more pay for teachers, and for the beaurocrats that run our schools.----don't ever think it might be "their" fault.----the kids today are just stupid, ask any teacher. (preferable one that is walking a picket line for more pay)

  6. You might remember that when you and I went to school kids had one of two directions to go. They either went on to college and had a profession or graduated and went to work in factories. With most of our products now produced overseas there are few opportunities. Our entire educational system was set up to prepare students for factory or agriculture work. That was fine for the 19th or early 20th centuries. So what are we training our kids for now? Most of the un and semi skilled jobs are filled by foreigners.
    I will agree that there has been a dumbing down of education in the last 50 years but I don't think it's totally the teachers fault. When you have mommy calling the school demanding that little Gary's grade be changed because she has connections with the school board can you blame the teachers for throwing up their hands? And as the system continues in it's downward spiral because we're getting teachers that are products of a declining system. I worked in a school district for a while. The politics in the school system are worse than any national election. I lasted about a year and said the hell with this. It's hard enough just to do a job but to have to play stupid politics was just not worth it. The pay was lousy too. Most of the teachers couldn't afford to live in the district. I guess you're getting what you paid for which isn't much.

  7. I would like to invite all of you extra-smart old folks to go to this site and honestly take some of the math quizzes. Let's make it super-easy and do some 5th grade work. Then report back. Mmmmmkay?

  8. Forgot the link:

  9. Kathi D. I can honestly say I probably won't pass any quiz on that website as all I had in school was basic trig, no algebra..nothing "smart". I couldn't even help my kids with their homework as they got older, but I was fortunate that my kids had WONDERFUL teachers who were in it for the satisfaction of teaching and seeing the kids learn...not the measly paycheck. One teacher in particular that my youngest son had really went way above her call and duty. She gave all the kids her home phone number the first day of school and told them if they ever needed help with homework to call her. (Of cours now she'd probably get in trouble for that). She also went by and picked up a student in the morning and took her home in the evening when she moved out of that schools boundries a month before school was out. She did not want that student to have to make adjustments so close to the end of the year. (something else she would probably get in trouble for now). I volunteered for this teacher for 3 with my son and 2 years after that. I learned alot from her. Just so you son did not go to college but he owns his own business.

  10. Gosh Kathi D, I just took that 5th grade math test and got 98%.
    Not bad for an old gal like me who didn't have to use a calculator.
    Gary I agree with everything you said.
    When teachers allowed their students to start using calculators to solve math problems that is when all the problems began in the schools.
    Need an answer-- quick google.
    Solve a math problem--quick calculator.
    Students of today are not being taught to think and have not been given the skills to even know how to solve a problem without plugging themselves in electronically.
    Sad isn't it.

    Bear((( )))

  11. Bear
    You haven't see anything yet. The next techno generation will have implants so the info will go directly to the brain. Maybe that would be a good thing though. We could stop them from doing some stupid things. This technology is presently being used on depression patients and those with parkinsons.

  12. Not to quibble (or maybe TO quibble), but there are about 30 fifth grade math quizzes listed on the site. Which one did you take for your 98%?

    As far as "not being taught to think," I beg to differ. The important part of education is not learning rote calculations, it IS learning how to think. That's why sometimes it is as important to know where to find the answer as it is to know the answer. You may be able to do multiplication tables in your head all day long, but do you mean to say that you eschew calculators entirely as a matter of "not cheating?" Is it wrong to have tools and know how to use them? Shall we dismantle Google and go back to driving to the library and going through the card catalogue?

    Or are the old folks afraid that technology will leave them behind, so it's better to mock it than be mocked by it?

  13. Just to keep flogging the horse, where do you go when you need a "quick answer?" I go to Google some of the time. Hard as it may be for you to believe, I actually don't know everything. Sometimes I have to look it up. Isn't that what our good teachers taught us?

    "If you don't know what that word means, look it up."

    Or are we expected to be taught everything, thereby avoiding the necessity of "looking it up." Who here doesn't consult Google, at least occasionally? If not, where do you look things up? I have quite a vast library of actual books, which I consult frequently. Still, I find the internet to be a great resource for all types of knowledge. It doesn't take a lot of brain power to sort out the sites with true knowledge from the questionable ones, especially for those gifted with a long history of life experience.

  14. Kathi, When I make my generational the world is ending remarks---please understand I am using a broad brush---of course there are exceptions in every generation. The Internet is absolutely mind boggling---fantastic, PHEEnomenal!! My main complaint is---the current generation of kids go catonic, when the electricity gets cut off---no cash regesters to tell them how much change to give the customer, being a prime example of the basic education being given---not to mention using polite phrases like may I help you?, and thank you----and maybe smiling while they talk to you. etc. (PS I took a number of the tests on the site your referenced---interesting---I hadn't really understoon the total extent of dumbing down the curriculum that has happened----its frightening.

  15. In the past couple of months it seems like I've had to tell a couple of younger cashiers how much change they owed me because their machines were not working probably. I was amazed at that.

    There are alot of great comments above and alot of good information is going back and forth ...

    It's just nice we all have a place to share thoughts and opinions. Yeah for blogging!!

    And I have to say ... when I do not have an answer for something ... I go straight to Google.

  16. Does anyone know what a teacher really makes? It is reported in the newspaper all the time that they make so little but they never mention what they get paid, what they get after working so many years, what their benefits really are, and the list goes on and on. TIme off for updating their credentials, sick pay, family leave, vacation pay. I don't have kids in school anymore but it seems to me that teachers only work a few days a week. The kids are off school for one reason for another at least 4 days a month. I don't know of one teacher that really buy's pencils for the kids with their own money.

  17. Gary, my dear. I think you use way too broad a brush in defining the younger generation. I get impatient with these rants, because it's all been done before. Every old coot says the same things about the younger generation, and all we have done is make more advances in more directions with every passing decade. If you are going to sit on the porch pissing and moaning, don't complain when nobody cares to listen after the first hour or ten.

    It seems that some of you are obsessed with being able to make change. I suppose if you aspire to be a supermarket cashier, making change might be your most important skill. As for me, I go days without having to make change.

    I deal in words, so while you are counting your change, I am counting misspelled words and "creative" grammar, and even though you have the benefit of attending school before the world went to Hell in a handbasket, your spelling and grammar needs work.

    Ordinarily I would not be so rude as to mention something like that, as I understand that a person can be bright and worthwhile, even if he or she isn't the best wordsmith. However, given that you feel compelled to call out every young lad who doesn't count your change out fast enough, I deemed you fair game.

    I am not normally a big Bible-quoter, but this one seems apt:

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    Matthew 7:3

  18. Kathi D: You are absolutely correct in pointing out my deficiencies in regard to spelling and grammar, I didn't so well in them back in school either, and I make no brag about being good at either. I think its great that your sticking up for those kids today that are exceptions to the rule. My point is not so much that young clerks today do not count change properly, it doesn't even occur to them to do so?? they merely look at the machine and thats the amount they return to the customer----even if the machine is wrong.

  19. Gary, I am developing a sort of liking for you in spite of the fact that you irritate me to the point of wanting to strangle you daily.

    I will say this. You are open to criticism, and I find that admirable. So there.

    One thing I honestly can never figure out, though. I'm being completely serious. I don't understand how a gay person, or a black person, or a minority person of any stripe can tolerate being a Republican (I don't know that you are one, but you seem to lean that way). There is clearly no room in the Republican tent for anyone not in the mainstream, no matter how many times they protest to the contrary. If there were acceptance of gays, the Republican senators would not have to be arrested for trying to make cheap pickups in airport bathrooms and among the Senate pages.

    Can you shed any light on this?

    Meanwhile, stop with the ranting and the crabbing about the younger generation. There are good and bad and irrelevant characters in every generation. When you harp on it as much as this, you call up an image of the old fart standing on the street corner shaking a fist and shouting, "Those damn kids!" Aren't you a little too young for that?


Speak up, don't be a nebish---your opinions do count.