Skip to comments.Are Teenagers Really Americans?
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!"
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.
I thought they were alien visitors from another planet.
You remember the old counter-culture saying? “Don’t trust anyone under 30”...
Kids still like Harry Potter, who knew?
It sounds like BOR waited too long to teach his kids anything worthwhile. Ya gotta start’em young.
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.
Take the teenage girl on a trip to any Moslem country.
Yep. Same here. And my parents parents 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 Im sure my grandparents 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 deans list. Shes 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. Im 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 Im doing that right now LOL!
BTW - this article seems more about Bill shilling his latest book.
BTW the book is excellent. You should read it, I have.
The three part story on the History channel, Hatfield's and McCoys looks interesting. I think part 1 airs Mon the 29th.
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.
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.
>>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?
No, but it has been said that Americans are teenagers.
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...
I know that hitting 40 means that one should quit dating them.
No child raised in the Government Schools is an American, because our Government is not American and has not been for quite a while.
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.
You play for keeps, don't you?
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.
Bill O’Reilly is a COWARD and a TRAITOR.
And you are an IDIOT. So there
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.)
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.
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.