I’ve always believed that the ‘generation gap’ did not apply to me. Being obsessed with pop culture, I could keep myself relevant with the times and remain connected to young people. Or so I thought.
I will be 54 in slightly more than a month (*hint*) and I am now teaching 17 year olds, whom I often have trouble understanding at all. For example, during a recent Art of Story lesson, I tried to use the example of Star Wars to illustrate certain salient teaching points. Guess what, most of the students have never seen Star Wars! I must admit, at that in point in time, I felt very very old. In the end, I used the Avengers movie as my example.
Then, of course, there are the students who wear tee shirts of The Doors, Nirvana and The Ramones – not knowing who those bands are! The recent idiocy of the Paul McCartney-Kanye West collaboration bears this modern day problem out – young people don’t give a fuck about history. This, despite having the world available to them at a finger-click. (I even met a Singaporean twenty-something who did not know who David Marshall was! Google him now please!!)
Yes, this is a generalization – there are young people who do give a fuck about history. But these are the proverbial ‘needles in the haystack’. The noise around our young people is all about the here and now, taking things at face value, not understanding context and never knowing the bigger picture – instant gratification.
Not their fault – it’s a product of education and product marketing brain-washing. What can I do? Continue to swim against the tide as best I can. Won’t you join me for the ride?
… still there’s more …