American Kids: Dumber than Dirt
My first reaction to this article actually came before I even read the first paragraph of the article. It came when I read the extended title which read, â€śWarning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history.â€? I read this and was shocked. All I could think was whoa, how could someone say that about me, my friends, and this generation of kids that I am in. What evidence do they have to back this statement up. This extended title is really the reason that compelled me to continue reading this article.
I used Google to search for Mark Morford, the writer of this article, to get some information about him. I was directed to Wikipedia. On Wikipedia I found that Mark Morford is a very controversial writer. He is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Morford writes about various topics including sex and deviance to popular culture, technology, music and politics. He has actually been suspended twice, once for a comment he made in one of his writing about on a sexual relationship between a teenage male student and an older female teacher and the other time he got suspended for using a swear word in an email news letter.
One thing that a have a problem with is this paragraph:
Nor does he speak merely of the notion that kids these days are overprotected and wussified and don't spend enough time outdoors and don't get any real exercise and therefore can't, say, identify basic plants, or handle a tool, or build, well, anything at all. Again, these things are a given. Widely reported, tragically ignored, nothing new.
This bugs me mainly because I think it is very untrue. Maybe it might be how I was raised or where I am from compared to Morfordâ€™s informant from Oakland. I grew up in Cub Scouts and later entered Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts taught me a lot about the things mentioned in the above paragraph. I know a lot of people through Boy Scouts and know that a lot of people participate in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from the camps I went to and seeing how many people were at these camps. Earlier in the article it also talked about kids watching too much TV and playing video games. I played a fair share of video games and watched a lot of TV when I was a kid and I am pretty sure I turned out all right. I am attending a major research university after all.
â€śIt's gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country.â€? For me this is not a very good reason for someone to leave the United States and there are some very good reasons to leave the United States. For example, not agreeing with the United States government and issues going along with the government is a much better reason to leave the United States to go live somewhere else.
The last part of Morfordâ€™s article gives reasons why he thinks that American kids are getting stupider. His first argument blames the educational system. From my experience in the public education system where both of my parents taught, I did not think my schooling was that bad. Sure if you did not want to be there letâ€™s face it, you were not going to learn anything. To be taught something one must moderately apply themselves while doing it. After pretty much saying the educational system in the United States sucks, he goes on about how Americaâ€™s young people have done some great things. For example, he gives the example of kids making the internet what it is today. Morford then wonders how these kids did it. How did they escape the public school system? Morfordâ€™s friend came up with saying that those kids were lucky.
As I said before school is a state of mind. You either want to be there and learn or you do not want to be there and you most likely will not learn. This last part of the article I thought was thrown in there by Morford to make himself sound not as harsh towards Americas youth. That is just the way it sounded to me.