MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

November 7, 2011

This Is America’s Future (?!)

The future of any nation lays with the next generation – the children. We can debate the effectiveness or the lack thereof of the American education system but as the saying goes it’s attitude that makes the difference. And the attitude of today’s American youth is, to put it mildly, appalling!

Here are some examples:

Several years ago there was a young man by the name of Patrick who was very active on all the saltwater fishing forums in the Northeast. (MasterPo has written about Patrick before). He was a lad of about 16/17 when he came on the scene and tried so desperately to want to run with the big boys – experienced sport fisherman who had twice is age in fishing experience. Alas, poor Patrick took soooooooo much heat and criticism for many of his comments. Most were well deserved in MasterPo’s opinion too.

Finally, when Patrick couldn’t run with the big dogs he took to impugning them, their tackle and techniques, fishing reports etc. So much so that it was said several tackle manufactures threatened in writing from their lawyers to sue him for slander! Bet that made his parents happy. MasterPo understands he even received threats of physical harm.

Patrick then went on to pretty much take whatever opposing stance these people expressed on subjects of work, politics, religion, school, professions, etc. Very very sad that he was only able to relate to his seniors by insulting them. MasterPo wouldn’t be surprised if Patrick is now one of the Occupy Wall Street rioters now.

After about 3 years Patrick disappeared and to MasterPo’s knowledge hasn’t been seen on a fishing forum again since. Probably his parents got tired of having to pay lawyer fees to respond to slander cease&desist letters and took away his computer. Most likely they told him if he has the time to slander online he has the time to get a job! Today, young Patrick would be nearly 30 years old. MasterPo wonders if he has changed his ways. Hopefully.

Then there was the story of Paul, aka Martini.

Paul was a young kid in his early 20’s when MasterPo encountered him at work. His nickname was Martini after the character from “One Who Flew Over The Coo-Coo’s Nest”, part because he was one of 4 Paul’s in the office and part because he was a simplistic young man.

Paul could have had a decent career at that organization, maybe even risen to a management level, if he was just more conscientious and paid attention. Instead, he listened to the 20-30 year veterans of the organization and their tainted views of the world. Maybe they really did have a beef at some point, maybe not. But that’s literally decades ago for many and Paul shouldn’t let their experiences sour his fresh starting career. But he did. Within months Paul was talking smack about the managers and the organization as whole as if he too was a 20-year veteran. A lost and bitter soul at such a young age.

Finally and especially sad is the ongoing current story of Donald (not his real name).

Donald is young boy of 17, a High School Senior, and not a bad kid at all. MasterPo wouldn’t even call him lazy. Just unthinking, unconcerned, uncaring.

Last year Donald showed an interest in the culinary arts. So he attended a cooking program at a local school (in addition to High School). Late this year he was dropped. Didn’t pass because he didn’t attend enough classes and didn’t finish his cooking assignments. Now he wants to be Police.

All this time he has also been taking part in a Navy High School program called Sea Cadets. He (and I think his parents) wants to go into the Navy after High School and the Sea Cadets gives them a pre-view of Navy life as well as getting him in at a higher grade than an off-the-street recruit (think ROTC for enlisted). That he’s doing decently in. But he has to take the Armed Services Aptitude test (ASVAB) to be in the MP’s.

Here’s where it gets really sad: He will tell you all he needs is a score of 50 to be a Military Police. (Top score on the test is 100 which we calls “rocket scientist” level.) But 50 is only the minimum score needed to just be considered for the MP’s. It doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, if Donald gets a 50 and someone else has an 80 and the MP’s only have one opening in the next training slot who do you think will get that slot? Yet Donald will just say all he’s aiming for is a 50.

MasterPo and Mrs. MasterPo (who is trying to tutor him in the math part of the test, but even then Donald doesn’t do his homework rather than hanging with his friends!) have tried to explain this to him. He doesn’t seem to get it. Deer-in-the-headlights stare. Worse still, Donald says his parents and his uncle will pay him $100 if he gets just a 50 so that’s what he’s aiming for! In fact, Donald says that all his life his family has told him to just do the minimum needed to get by!

What kind of lesson is that to teach a child?!

MasterPo will grant that sometimes a minimal effort is the best you can do. That is, in a few very specific situations (which are generally also very situational) there is a time and a place to “just get by”. But now is not that time of place for a young man like Donald! He’s too many years away from encountering that kind of scenario much less being able to make an informed judgment as to whether or not to “just get by”.

This is the future of American. The next American generation.

Heaven help us all!

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