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Are Teenagers Really Americans?
Townhall.com ^ | May 26, 2012 | Bill O'Reilly

Posted on 05/26/2012 3:53:32 AM PDT by Kaslin

As a former high school teacher, I know one of the great challenges in education is to get teenagers interested in their country. Many of them take their freedom for granted and have no interest in even learning about what it takes to be a good citizen. They are too busy keeping up with the Kardashians to absorb John Adams.

So I have undertaken a new project: teaching a 13-year-old girl to care about being an American.

Lesson 1: Obey the rules. We start with open doors. The rule is that no door in the house is closed unless there is a dressing situation. The reason for the rule is to discourage Internet chicanery and encourage lively conversation.

"I can't have my door open, I just can't," the teen wails.

"What's the problem?"

"People are annoying. I don't want to see any people."

"Then look away when a human being passes."

"YOU are SO annoying!"

I know.

Lesson 2: Discuss intelligent things -- and not just reality shows and music maniacs.

"Nobody wants to talk about politics. That's boring!"

"The presidential election is boring?" I am sincerely curious about this one.

"No one cares about Obama and Romney."

"Well, at least you know their names."

"But I don't want to TALK about them."

"I do just fine talking about them. Millions of people listen."

"But you have no social skills. That's why you're on TV. I can't be like you."

She may have a point.

Rule 3: Learn about your country's past.

"My school says we have to read your book 'Killing Lincoln' over the summer." This soon-to-be eighth grader is nearly distraught. "I can't believe it costs $20. What a ripoff!"

"It's worth it. You'll learn a lot about the greatest president America has ever had."

"No one cares."

"So what do you guys care about?"

"'Harry Potter' and 'Glee.'"

Sounds like the situation is hopeless, right? Well, it's difficult, no question. When I was a kid, there was boredom to contend with. Some days nothing was happening, so you might actually read a book about your country. Not anymore. The machines have made boredom obsolete. There are thousands of video games, chat opportunities and gossip sites -- plus Facebook -- and they're all available if your fingers work. There is always action in cyberspace, much of it pernicious.

Therefore, you have to either force the urchins to pay attention to important things like their country or bribe them to do it. There's no other way unless you have a savant like Bill Clinton running around your house.

But educating America's youth about the value of their country is second only to educating them about the value of their souls. So against all odds, I'm attempting to do it. Abe Lincoln would approve.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/26/2012 3:53:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I thought they were alien visitors from another planet.


2 posted on 05/26/2012 4:00:16 AM PDT by mkmensinger
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To: mkmensinger

You remember the old counter-culture saying? “Don’t trust anyone under 30”...


3 posted on 05/26/2012 4:04:18 AM PDT by Old Sarge (RIP FReeper Skyraider (1930-2011) - You Are Missed)
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To: Kaslin

Kids still like Harry Potter, who knew?


4 posted on 05/26/2012 4:06:23 AM PDT by MrNeutron1962
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To: Kaslin

It sounds like BOR waited too long to teach his kids anything worthwhile. Ya gotta start’em young.


5 posted on 05/26/2012 4:07:14 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (This space available--inquire within)
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To: Kaslin
Every generation thinks todays teenagers are the worst ever.

This article could have been written 30 years ago when I was a teenager. Only back then, there was no internet or home computers. So I closed my bedroom door with a stack of MAD and National Lampoon magazines and listened to Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath while my parents fretted over the wasting of my potential.

I grew up eventually. As will today's teenagers.

6 posted on 05/26/2012 4:17:55 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: Kaslin

Take the teenage girl on a trip to any Moslem country.


7 posted on 05/26/2012 4:36:19 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I love you for your perspicacity.)
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To: SamAdams76
Every generation thinks todays teenagers are the worst ever.

Yep. Same here. And my parent’s parent’s complained about their children listening to boogie woogie music and dancing the jitter bug, frittering their lives away going to the Saturday matinee serials and listening to the radio too much. And I’m sure my grandparent’s parents complained about the Jazz and the driving around un-chaperoned in those new fangled cars.

BTW, my 18 year old great niece started college last year as a history major and made the dean’s list. She’s very engaged in current events and reads history books just for fun in her spare time. But she also loves her I-phone and her laptop, does the FB and texts with her friends. I’m my day, my parents used to complain about me spending too much time on the telephone taking with my friends.

We start with open doors. The rule is that no door in the house is closed unless there is a dressing situation. The reason for the rule is to discourage Internet chicanery and encourage lively conversation.

When I was a teenager, even younger, my parents who were very strict allowed me to play or go to my room to read or listen to my music or practice the violin or talk on the phone with my friends with my bedroom door shut. There were mutually beneficial reasons for this. ; )

Internet chicanery? Yea. I guess I’m doing that right now – LOL!

BTW - this article seems more about Bill shilling his latest book.

8 posted on 05/26/2012 4:47:04 AM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: rightly_dividing
Sounds like BOR is trying to pass off a commercial for his book as a magazine article.
9 posted on 05/26/2012 4:55:16 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Beagle8U

BTW the book is excellent. You should read it, I have.


10 posted on 05/26/2012 5:35:40 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
I'm sure the book is great, but it doesn't change the obvious fact that the article was an ad for the book.
11 posted on 05/26/2012 5:47:57 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Kaslin
While we are talking about history...

The three part story on the History channel, Hatfield's and McCoys looks interesting. I think part 1 airs Mon the 29th.

12 posted on 05/26/2012 5:53:02 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Kaslin
Every generation our civilization is invaded by tribes of barbarians. These barbarians must be civilized and taught our civilization's values and beliefs and how to fit into our civilization or it will be destroyed. These barbarians are called children.

I might note Harry Potter teaches these barbarians something about our civilization, about bravery, self-sacrifice, loyalty to others. Glee teaches nothing useful about civilization's values.

13 posted on 05/26/2012 7:27:37 AM PDT by Cheburashka (If found, please return this Ring of Power to Sauron, Lord of Darkness. Return postage guaranteed.)
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To: Kaslin

Many of them take their freedom for granted and have no interest in even learning about what it takes to be a good citizen.
Military school style training will cure that.Most schools are operated like a baby setting session.
They care less about grades they only want the states money.


14 posted on 05/26/2012 9:37:35 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Kaslin

(Killing Lincoln)
>>I can’t believe it costs $20.

Cost me $15 for the audiobook version from audible (monthly
“credit”). But kid (I assume he’s talking to his teen
daughter), you even get to hear your dad read it, what say you?


15 posted on 05/26/2012 10:40:14 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: Kaslin

No, but it has been said that Americans are teenagers.


16 posted on 05/26/2012 10:45:34 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Tax-chick

Amen...In principle I agree with BOR. However I would teach the kid that George Washington was our greatest president. I guess Lincoln sells more books though...


17 posted on 05/26/2012 9:22:44 PM PDT by Crapgame (What should be taught in our schools? American Exceptionalism, not cultural Marxism...)
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To: Old Sarge

I know that hitting 40 means that one should quit dating them.


18 posted on 05/27/2012 12:01:20 AM PDT by ansel12
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To: Kaslin

No child raised in the Government Schools is an American, because our Government is not American and has not been for quite a while.


19 posted on 05/27/2012 12:57:57 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Kaslin
"All adolescents profile like sociopaths. There's a reason you can't diagnose them until they're 18."
- Aaron Hotchner


20 posted on 05/27/2012 1:06:43 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Kaslin
Therefore, you have to either force the urchins to pay attention to important things like their country or bribe them to do it.

I prefer the old tried-and-true method. Beatings.

Nothing like a good beating to focus the mind ... like a junior version of the hangman's noose.

When the barbarian begins actually to wonder why all that crap is so important to you, then you have finally won. You at last have its mind on the subject.

21 posted on 05/27/2012 1:45:53 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Tax-chick
Take the teenage girl on a trip to any Moslem country.

You play for keeps, don't you?

22 posted on 05/27/2012 1:48:29 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: SamAdams76
Every generation thinks todays teenagers are the worst ever.

They're usually right. One exasperated executive's solution, 20 years ago: He finally figured out that the way to domesticate his teenaged daughter was to nail her up in a big packing crate with a hole to feed her through -- then bung up the hole.

He announced his discovery at work one day. Never having had a teenaged daughter, I took notes.

23 posted on 05/27/2012 1:55:29 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Kaslin

Bill O’Reilly is a COWARD and a TRAITOR.


24 posted on 05/27/2012 2:23:24 AM PDT by Godebert (NO PERSON EXCEPT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN!)
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To: Godebert

And you are an IDIOT. So there


25 posted on 05/27/2012 4:06:18 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: lentulusgracchus; Crapgame

I’m impatient with teenagers ... as I’m sure my parents and grandparents were when they had them! I wish there was a way comfortable suburban teens could get a dose of reality sufficient to make them realize how good they have it, but without fatal consequences.

My oldest daughter joined the Coast Guard when she turned 18, and has visited many of the cruddier parts of the Pacific Rim. She’s a fire-eating radical right-wing fanatic.

(And I agree about Washington.)


26 posted on 05/27/2012 4:32:20 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I love you for your perspicacity.)
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To: Tax-chick
My oldest daughter joined the Coast Guard when she turned 18, and has visited many of the cruddier parts of the Pacific Rim. She’s a fire-eating radical right-wing fanatic.

Hedrick Smith, Moscow reporter for The New York Times, wrote a book about Russia when he came home in the 1980's (and so, by coincidence, did another journalist even more senior than Smith; their books appeared at the same time). I don't know who it was who made the comments in book-flogging interviews, more likely Smith I think, that American liberals posted to Moscow on whatever business, back in the 70's and 80's, usually came home foam-at-the-mouth, flag-waving patriots.

27 posted on 05/29/2012 2:46:59 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus

I read Smith’s book, I think. “The New Russians,” was it?

Anoreth said that Russian immigrants were likely to take her side in arguments with the communist natives of Seattle.


28 posted on 05/29/2012 4:54:18 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I love you for your perspicacity.)
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