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13 August 2008


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As someone born in the 'age of entitlement' it's interesting to see your post. (I blogged about the same topic myself back in February: http://next-gen-pr.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html) I think it's been difficult for many people in my generation to enter the work force. Being at the bottom of the latter and being expected to 'pay our dues' is never something that was ingrained in our education. Rather, it was a very cushy childhood for many of us -- filled with 'special moments,' gold stars and hugs from our parents. Fast forward 10 years later and we find that bosses and coworkers have different (higher?) expectations of what we need to do. I've heard the phrase 'paying your dues' thrown around from time to time, and as much as I hate to admit it (and hate even more to do it) I think that doing all those little tasks -- database management, research, behind the scenes works -- is not only important to the bigger picture (it has to get done, after all) but it's a crucial part of the learning process because it's while you're doing the 'grunt work' that you begin to understand all the work that's necessary to make a campaign run. Why well maintained databases are important. How research and planning fits into the big picture. Unfortunately, this message doesn't always get translated to us in our early years (too many gold stars weighing us down, I guess) and perhaps, because this didn't happen earlier, it's the role of experienced coworkers and supervisors to pass it on. To be a mentor to us newbies and remind us, from time to time, that the gold stars will come, but only in time and a few years of 'dues paying'.

Tyler Hurst

I understand that many teachers are frustrated with the selfishness of our generation, and we should be blamed for that.

However, the world is changing at an extremely rapid pace. Very little has changed in the academic world for YEARS. Curriculum is similar to what it was 20-30 years ago and teaching methods slightly newer. Even the equipment used is 10+ years behind the times.

Simply put, teachers have some catching up to do. Why should I sit through an hour-long lecture if I could learn quicker and easier from lecture notes? Why is this not okay? What do I gain from being talked to for an hour a day three times a week?

If teachers want to teach students, they need to adapt. The world is becoming smaller and people have to work together more often. Teachers that thrive on teaching group activities and allow for interaction will be the most successful.


As a parent, coach and mentor of many of the "Enitlted" youth I think it is crucial that academia prepare these millenials for the real world. I agree that teachers need to adapt to the new media, technology and learning styles of today's students. However, I see, all too often, the feeling that the world needs to change for them and that they should not be required to change for the world.

The first reply is a glaring example of one of my pet peeves about this generation - they have all of the technology at their disposal, and the ability to use it, though they still cannot spell the world "ladder." Many feel that is is appropriate to put "wtf" in an e-mail in a work environment or use text-speak in regular conversations with superiors and peers. (I had a new hire interup tme in the middle of a sentence and say, "brb." She walked away to check a text message on her cell phone. When she returned she expected me to resume speaking as if nothing happened. I probably do not have to tell you but she didn't last at my company (even though she ggraduated in the top 10% of her class at Northwestern).\

I think this educatio had to begin before college. The high schools need to start educating these kids as to what will be expected of them in the real world.

It is going to be decades that we old-timers who were born in the 70's and even (gasp) late-60s will continue to run the companies that run the world. While we have adapted to the technologies of the new world we were forged in the old world and have ceratin expectations of those we hire and employ. Not everyone is willing to hire a barista, a nanny, and a masseuse to make sure our rookies are as pampered as possible.

Karen Russell

It's pretty clear from these comments that this is an issue that raises hackles on both sides of the generational divide. I try to keep reminding myself that although I have my own opinions, it doesn't matter which side is "better" or "worse"; rather, it takes extra effort to communicate and educate. I don't agree with everything that everyone said here (I'm pretty sure my teaching methods are not 20-30 years old, for example), but thanks to all for contributing.


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