Generation Z-9 and Counting

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Obadiah, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 1, 2019

    I'm hearing a lot of talk about the current teenage generation labeled Generation Z, some good, mostly not so good. Simultaneously, I've been noticing in the news, basically, stuff's been happening that has never happened before in history. Back to the Z's, I know when I was growing up in the 60's, for example, sitting in the barbershop, everyone would complain about the younger generation. In Bye, Bye Birdie, Paul Lynde complained, "You can talk and talk till your face is blue! Kids! But they still just do what they want to do! Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way? What's the matter with kids today?" And I recall when I was 11, the question in the barbershop was, "Will they really make it to the moon?" Way back in 1865, Jules Verne wondered the same thing. So the typifying of a generation and all the new world happenings are really nothing new...or are they?

    Yesterday, it was rainy, and I couldn't do any of my outside work, so for exercise, I walked around the mall. I was thinking, what can I spot in the mall that hasn't been ever before in history. Round the corner after entering Walmart, it didn't take me long. I'm setting my comparison between when I was 11 and now that I'm 61. Cereal. I can scan a boxtop receipt with my phone for my school and they instantly have 10 cents added to their account. Oh, and I have a phone, in my pocket, that includes the Internet, in my pocket, that I can type a message to my brother, in my pocket, a caption that I put under a photo that I shot of a game in Walmart--in my pocket. When I was 11, that tiny computer (in my pocket) would have filled up an entire room, and still not have been as powerful.

    I walked past TV's. We thought a console black and white TV in the living room, (we only had one TV, no cable, 3 channels), was high tech. Today's TV screens are larger than the movie screen we'd set up to view my aunt's 8mm movies. Oh, and next to the TV's were the DVD's. And....

    The drones. And I thought it was high tech when my dad and I would visit the shop where kids raced their toy electric cars on a track. Now I can look on my phone (in my pocket) and see an areal view of where I went to school shot from a drone.

    I walked the perimeter of Walmart since my goal was to get my walking in, but the aisle was crowded, so I shortcutted down a board game aisle. Next to Monopoly were role playing games with superheroes where the players secretly became either heroes or world dominators. Or another game was about death (???). Seemed like I'd entered a strange new world of board games. When I was 11, I was still playing the King Kong cartoon show board game with my brother. Or Hi Ho Cherrio.

    Then, there in the front of the store, is a gigantically huge floor-to-ceiling robot! (I always wanted a robot when I was a kid. After all, the Jetsons had one and so did the Adams Family). This robot is fixed in one place, but not so in our local market. There, a human size robot roams the aisles. I tried talking to it one day, but it just stood and stared at me with its bug eyes. How rude!

    So, I finally got in my car with the lights that turn on and off automatically and the automatic transmission with optional manual transmission that is still automatic even though it's manual, touched the TV screen on the dashboard for my favorite classical music station, and headed home.
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 1, 2019

    One thing that you won't see at the mall....is a lot of "Gen Z" kids hanging out!

    At least, not like in "my generation" (millennial/Generation Catalano/Oregon Trail/whatever)...I grew up in the 80s/90's when the mall was the.place.to.be. Malls are actually dying now, because younger generations tend to shop online rather than going to the mall. Which I don't necessarily think is good or bad, just interesting.

    If you watch "Stranger Things," I thought the whole mall setting was such a great metaphor for society at that time (and still true today)...palaces to consumerism breeding evil monsters that take over your mind and eat your soul...
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Oct 4, 2019

    I didn't see my first mall until I was in my teens! Shopping centers, came around earlier than that, but if you wanted to buy something when I was a kid, you had to go "downtown."

    Kids bought things at the five and dime, but if you wanted something nice, the only place to go was a department store. They had nice tea rooms, and the restrooms were big, and shiny, and fancy. Oh yes, and they had sofas and settees -- for resting.

    Movie theaters had one screen, and were only open on Friday night and the weekends. The afternoon movies were for kids, and parents just dropped off their kids (by the time they were 7 or 8) and all their friends -- no one worried about them being chaperoned. Kids knew if they didn't behave, the owner would make them leave and they'd have to stand out on the sidewalk until their parents came later to pick them up. I could see a double feature, get a popcorn and a drink for $1.10.

    When I was 11, I took a Red Cross course, and became a babysitter. I made 50 cents an hour back then -- and at age 11, I often babysat for two or three preschoolers, and even for babies. Oh you had to be careful with those sharp diaper pins! And we put rubber pants over the diapers at bed time so the diapers wouldn't leak all over the sheets at night. I remember at bed time, we'd give babies a bottle of sugar water! Can you imagine? It was a very common practice.

    In the winter (it snowed all the time where I grew up) for late elementary and early junior high (we didn't call it middle school then) the place to be on a Saturday was the roller rink. This was way before disco, but we went round in circles to the most "up-to-date" music and had a blast. Teen agers served as "safety guards" surrounding people who had fallen over so others didn't accidentally roll over them. Two dollars would pay for admission, skate rental, and lunch at the snack bar. It was a much simpler, kind-er time.

    When I was 16, I got a job in one of those "new" malls in a fancy store, and made the whopping sum of $3.25 per hour, which was minimum age for a grown up at that time. Most of my friends worked at fast food restaurants and made the "student wage" which was $2.12 per hour. I had fabulous evaluations and high sales in my store, so after 6 months, I got a nickel an hour raise! The grown up ladies got more, maybe 7 cents or even a whole dime, because they were grown up. The men at that department store? They made twice what the working women made -- because "they were men," and men were the "breadwinners."

    I was in junior high when they finally started letting girls were slacks and pant-suits. Towards the end of junior high, they let girls wear "dungarees" (jeans) for the first time, but they had to be dark blue, with no wear, no holes, and no patches.

    When I grew up, we had one phone in house, and we rented it from the phone company (you couldn't actually own a phone back then.) I was much, much older when we got another phone. We kept phone calls short -- less than 2 minutes usually. And long distance calls? They were so expensive we really kept those short. And long distance rang differently on the phone, so if you were a kid and the phone rang, and your parents weren't home, you knew not to answer it -- because if you did, it would cost the other person some money. (Our phone numbers were only 5 digits long back then.) Even as a teenager, the rule was children only could stay on the phone for 5 minutes or less (because there was no such thing as call waiting.) We had to keep the line clear in case someone was calling our parents.

    We had one black-and-white TV, and it got 3 channels. Later, we got a color TV (by then we had 5 channels -- but 2 were local and only on the air for a few hours a day.) We may have had a color tv, but almost every TV show was still in black-and-white. We were the first in our neighborhood to get cable, and then we got 10 channels!

    At school, in elementary school, our classes had 30-35 students in each. The art teacher and music teacher were "traveling" teachers and only came to our school for a certain period of time, and even then, only once a week -- and not both during the same week. Music class was all of the classes on our grade together, and art came to your classroom every two weeks for a short time during the day.

    We had no problem with our classes being so large. If you misbehaved, you were dragged by your ear to the principal's office, and he'd spank you. Then he'd call your Mom, and you knew when you Dad got home, you'd get it again!

    At lunch time, close-by walkers went home for lunch. Those who lived too far or who rode the bus, stayed in the classroom and ate. The teachers? They left at lunchtime (first grade and up -- kindergarten was half day, so they weren't there at lunch time.) They all went home for lunch. We had no teacher in the room during lunch time, and we knew we were still supposed to behave. The principal and the librarian would walk up and down the hallway, peeking into classrooms, to make sure everything was okay.

    And when we finished? We cleaned-up after ourselves, and walked ourselves out to the playground for the rest of the lunch hour. Yes that's right - lunch HOUR. We had a total of 3 recesses a day, and the whole school had lunch and lunch recess at the same time. One teacher was on duty for each recess, and watched the entire playground with all the classes out there.

    Technology was a record player, and then a film strip projector. At first, film strips came with a written script, and the teacher would read the script and it had a symbol where you were supposed to advance the film strip. Later on, they came with records that had the words, and they had a "beep" when it was time to advance the film. Movies (very rare) came from the main school office and were shown on a clicky-clack reel-to-reel film projector. The principal and the librarian were basically the only ones who knew how to spool the film and make the machine run. And when it was done, it had to be run in reverse to rewind the spool. It was fun to watch the film go really fast and backwards. And yes, everyone clapped at the end of a movie. It was just what you did. We got dressed up (suit coats!) to go to basketball games and movies. Can you imagine?

    Things change for every generation, and each generation thinks theirs was the best. And the "older generation" always thinks there is something wrong with the younger generation. It's just the nature of things.
     
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