Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"2000 is da Bomb! Raise the Roof!"

So today I just finished my first day of USOE Mentor Training. This is a program which gives instruction to those with a level 2 teaching license in Utah on how to guide provisional teachers (those with 3 or less years of experience).

One of the things which we discussed were generations. Everyone likes to hear about themselves, and since we discussed all generations and how to communicate with each one, I think we all had a good time. Looking around the room, I realized that the majority of the people attending the training were either Baby Boomers or Generation X, so it was interesting to see what people had to say about me, or us, if you're my age (Generation Y, aka. the Millenials: 1980-2000).

I had read a funny article about this in Sky Magazine while flying recently. The pages featured a picture of Joseph-Gordon Leavitt from 500 Days of Summer along with other actors in current films. There was also a recent show on NPR that discussed Millenials. I guess this is the time for people to pick us apart. After going through these sources and taking a look at my own life and those of others my age, some points seemed to ring true, sometimes painfully.

So here's what they're saying about us:

1. We want to "Save the World"
- Quite a few people literally say this. Possibly due to greater global awareness issuing from burgeoning new technology or first world guilt stemming from the luxuries of our youth, we want to help everyone. More specifically we want to help people in other countries. We aren't satisfied writing a check or making an online donation. We need to be a part of the action and touch it and see it for ourselves. We want to travel, to work abroad. We want a visa stamped up the wazoo to prove we've had this experience. We want to go to Haiti, Africa, anywhere we can go to those who may need our assistance. Some of us are highly qualified for this and can do a great job, while others of us are not, but in our minds it does not matter. The world needs us and we want to be needed by the world.

Thumbs up: We're service oriented. We're aware of other people, cultures, and places.
Thumbs down: We think we all need a job which involves saving the world. Those who can't find this ideal job either refuse to work until they can find it or feel worthless for working their current job.

2. We suffer from a sense of Entitlement:
We want it all. We want the big house like our parents, the nice car, the exotic vacations, the clothes, and not just any clothes, but we want the Anthro, the J.Crew, the highly diversified vintage wardrobe. Or maybe if we're more ambitious the Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Miu Miu. We want an i-Pad, the new i-phone, a big flat screen, and we deserve it all, in our minds but, we're not willing to work for it. We're not willing to save for it. We sell the other stuff we have just to get more stuff. We know our parents will support us or bail us out if we need it so we're a little lax. We choose majors because they're our passion, not because they'll get us employment to support ourselves or our families. We want the perfect job, not just a job to help us pay the bills. In other words, we want a job that we would be doing even if we weren't being paid to do it. We have itchy feet. We change jobs quickly, not necessarily satisfied working for hard work's sake.

Thumbs up: Maybe a sense of idealism. We have sparkles in our eyes when we graduate from college. Some of us get those jobs we want.
Thumbs down: 'nuff said

3. We're Enthusiastic:
We create. We like change and constant movement. We're quickly bored by stagnancy in any part of our lives. We've witnessed changes in our country, in our environment, in technology. We feel ready for the future and ready to embrace it all. We're optimistic.

Thumbs up: We're optimistic and happy. Small set-backs don't get us down because the future always holds something better.
Thumbs down: We're so excited we sometimes forget we need to be prepared. We have a hard time staying in one place long.

4. We know and are good with Technology:
I'm not going to list all the gadgets, apps, programs, etc. that we use. You know them. You're probably using them this very minute. We communicate with people all over the world and this has enabled us to be more aware of diversity no matter where we live. We understand different perspectives. We have lots of acquaintances and shallow friendships (some of us have 1,500 of them on Facebook), but we lack solid, deep relationships. We can get information fast. We're all a little A.D.D. A computer can entertain us for hours.

Thumbs up: We can navigate in this technological world. We know it. We grew up in it. Some of us helped create it.
Thumbs down: We have a fear of interacting and meeting people in real life. We're not adept at handling people issues. You cannot just "unfriend" your neighbor and hope they disappear.

Of course, these are generalizations and things don't always apply straight across in different regions, countries, and soci-economic circumstances. What do you think? Is this accurate? Are the assessments from our elders fair? The critique of our generation gave me a lot to think about. It also gave me an excuse to tease John because he's just missed the cut off and is grouped into Generation X. ROFL!

image from


whitney allison said...

It is always fun to hear about ourselves isn't it? haha.

And I thought it was pretty funny that you clarified that you were reading Sky Magazine while flying. :)

holtkamp said...

so sad, but oh so true :) i do wish i could save the world. i didn't know that was associated with our generation but it makes sense!

Kerstin said...

Very interesting...and let me just say there is nothing wrong with being part of Generation X-- so don't give John a hard time. Where would the world be without "Grunge"? I still have some of my plaid that I got from thrift stores...:)

Melinda said...

Very true, I think I grew up on the border of Gen X and Y. Can't forget the ska, grunge, My So Called Life! I also have a pile of old plaid flannel shirts :)

Kerstin said...


Don't get me started on "My-So-Called-Life". I think it should be required for every graduation senior to have watched least once.

Everyone should know the gloriousness that is Jordan Katilano. Much more important that any Edward vs. Jacob debates. :)