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May 10, 2013 03:01 PM

things "kids today" are clueless about??

Have been working as a teacher aide at a local school district or almost 2 years... HS kids. Last year was mainly with students with multiple disabilities. This year "shadowing" a bright/polite 9th grade with Aspbergers/OCD. Most of his classes are "replacement"... SMALL numbers and slower pace.

Have made a few school observations. Average 9th grader (NOT student I work with) CANNOT tell time on a clock with hands?? And cursive has apparently gone the way of the dinosaur?? Guess when parents can no longer SPELL stuff in front of kids that they don't want them to know... resort to perfect cursive penmanship??

Have made a few food related observations, too. Niece and I have a girl's night around the holidays... decorating, baking, crafting, EATING, etc. Made pop corn from KERNELS... after finding a glass lid to fit pan. You'd have thought she was watching the latest/greatest movie, as her mouth hung open watching the kernels pop!?! Hauled out rarely used waffle iron for our "brunch" that included serious amounts of bacon. She had NO idea what it was?? Even after lifting lid??

Find it really sad that a whole generation doesn't know about a lot of "stuff"!?!

Yesterday, on class, teacher was having kids plant some seeds. One girl had a packet of dill and thought it woud grow dill PICKLES!?! NO idea that cukes become pickles, grapes become raisins, or plums become prunes??

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  1. Well, I would vote for the broiler unit as easily the most common kitchen device that people generally are unfamiliar with. Very. sad. And there are a lot of people who rarely use their oven, sparingly use the stovetop, and mostly use the m-wave....

    1. So this is your teachable moment right? If you're working as an aide at a local school district or almost 2 years why not dig your heels in and provide some insight?

      As shocking as you may find the lack of understanding and perhaps exposure of these kids, reading your post kinda surprises me a bit too. It takes a special person to work with kids, disabled or not.

      Have a nice summer!

      3 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        HillJ... Last year, working with multi-disable kids, was in a "food and nutrition" class with 2 girls. One leery but open to trying thing... other NOT open to anything. One day doing chicken skewers... chicken breast, peppers, onions, etc. under broiler. One girl was EW right from start. Other took a little coaxing... do ya like chicken, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc? One day, roasted asparagus. Just encouraged girls to take a TAsTE!

        1. re: kseiverd

          Patience of a Queen, kseiv! Hang in there, don't give up. They need ya! Keep encouraging. Picky eaters, unfamiliar foods, lack of kitchen experience...well you can find these attributes just about everywhere. Doesn't mean it's forever or that you can't teach them some new tricks!

        2. re: HillJ

          I think you are being overly hard on the OP. If I am reading your post correctly you are inferring that she is not "special" enough to work with these kids because she is not using these teachable moments to broaden the horizons of the class in general. She is the aid, and not the teacher. As an aid in a classroom, particularly if "attached" to only one or two students, it is not your job to teach the class, or even to provide input unless asked. It can be a touchy situation. That doesn't mean that one can't find ways to impart some illuminating info, but you certainly don't want to give the impression of inserting yourself into the lesson plan.

        3. I was just mentioning this to a friend a few days ago - Darina Allen's cookbook: 'Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Time-Honored Ways are the Best - Over 700 Recipes Show You Why' was born when a student in one of her classes went to ditch a batch of over-whipped cream, not realizing that she was halfway towards making butter.

          So many similar stories, like kids being amazed that you can make a cake 'from scratch' - you don't have to get it from a box... it is such a different world to the one we had when my Mum was growing up - they had no fridges, no television... but so much more knowledge about other things that have since been lost or are becoming forgotten...

          1. I think it depends on where/how you grow up. People like to lament the current generation's lack of knowledge (or whatever the topic is) but that's been going on for hundreds of generations. I was a teenager before I realized most people don't buy half a steer every year or eat meat that a family member had hunted.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Hobbert

              <<<People like to lament the current generation's lack of knowledge (or whatever the topic is) but that's been going on for hundreds of generations.>>>

              I'm 20 years old (younger than the average Chowhound) and I don't think it's fair to dismiss an entire generation for a few extreme cases of ... food ignorance?.. for lack of a better term.
              I use the broiler a few times per week, and just bought a new All Clad Waffle Maker after reading far too many reviews on Williams and Sonoma.

              It may go beyond "where/how" you grow up though. I am definitely NOT from a food-centric family. Nobody in my immediate or extended family cares about cooking; food is merely fuel to get through the day.
              My brothers would be the kids awed by the fact that pickles are pickled cucumbers.. so I think it goes to show there are "live to eat" and "eat to live" children in every generation!

              1. re: OhioHound

                Yup. I'm 31 and everybody's different. You just can't say a generation is one thing or the other. Haha I hear ya about the reviews... that explains the Zojirushi rice cooker on my counter :)

                1. re: Hobbert

                  "People like to lament the current generation's lack of knowledge (or whatever the topic is) but that's been going on for hundreds of generations."

                  Absolutely right. As Socrates noted in the Fifth Century BC:

                  “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

                  That sentiment has been repeated by old folks ever since. I've got more than a decade on you, but I think the notion that it is quite silly to "over define" any generation.

                  The way I see it, the burden of wisdom is the responsibility to teach those who are ignorant. The blessing of wisdom is the gift to learn from those who are innocent.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    That's the quote I was thinking of when I wrote my comment. People are more than a generation's label.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      <<The blessing of wisdom is the gift to learn from those who are innocent>>

                      Great statement. Saved for future reference!

                      1. re: MGZ

                        That's a great quote. Did Socrates really say that? That's amazing because I can hear the same lamentations spoken today 2500 years later!

                        1. re: seamunky

                          Yes, but, clearly, it's a translation into "our" present language. I'm sure it'll read different in another five hundred years when some other old codger like me tells someone to quit bitchin', teach what you know, and learn from what those kids have to say.

                    2. re: OhioHound

                      I really dig your food orientation, but I must add that the generations recently have been presented with dumbed down everything. I am a septuagenarian, and without tossing stuff around, believe me it is accurate to call it that. The dumb down includes food, music, HISTORY, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, word usage, geography, maps, right and left, north and south, the ability to read, and write (including just plain cursive!) typing (even though a keyboard is still central), math sans the calculator, and often, most of the things that happened before one was born! ;)
                      It goes on. Please know that many things that are a BIG deal are gone, so it is good to realize that. It's kind of like when your husband is looking for the butter and sez "I don't see it" as he opens the fridge door, vs something your KNOW is there, so you look until you do see it.
                      Enjoy the kitchen, cooking and food, Ohiohound!

                      1. re: VenusCafe

                        Dumbed down versions are available, but so are are the 'smartened up'.

                        I looked up 'dumb down' on Google's ngram. The use of that phrase has sky rocketed since 1990. There was a brief burst of it around 1900, but the examples were:

                        "But the sun, hit blazed away, Tel I jest dumb down in a crawfish-hole, Weary at hart, and sick at soul " 1898

                        "We dropped down slow and stopped, and me and Tom dumb down and went among them." Mark Twain

                        "Of course a man could have dumb down afoot, but not a horse."


                        I didn't have research tools like is when I was kid.

                        1. re: paulj

                          was listening to a google honcho being interviewed. he said a 10-year-old african kid with a smartphone has more information available than the us president did just 15 years ago.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            Available doesn't mean they are accessing or reading it. More likely watching cat videos. How many african kids even have a smart phone?

                  2. I find the complete opposite but we are in a solidly middle/upper middle class sprinkled with high wealth area. Farm to table is huge. My son and his friends volunteer at the CSA, have gardens at school, go to camps that are screen free where arts and crafts rule.

                    These kids can cook, help raise back yard chicken and plant their own gardens.

                    Instead of complaining about a lost generation make baby steps to change it. Work with the school to plant an herb garden, volunteer to have cooking classes with your nieces friends. Work with your local VA to start a pen pal club. Work with your local food bank to start a food package train to pack meals for kids who go hungry in the summer. Model the knowledge, skills and behaviors you want to see. You can't change the world but you can be part of the solutions.