Friday, November 24, 2017

I'm Thankful for Millennials


The kids are all right.

That's not what the popular press will tell you. There is no more sure way to make it on the talk show circuit than to write a book for worried parents about how we've screwed up our kids. But old people have always complained about young people.

When I was young, (officially a year too old for GenX) we were as a group lazy, lacking direction, and destined to be a burden to our parents indefinitely. Also in our midst were many dead-eyed criminals, most likely turned that way by violent video games.


Now that we are middle-aged and mortgaged, the focus has shifted to our kids, the dreaded millennials, hilariously described by the song above. Stereotypes can be fun, but youngest accurately pointed out that most millennials would make a better president than our choices in the last election. Based on my experience as a middle school teacher, I am inclined to agree

I taught seventh and eighth grade from 1992-2015, so all of my kids and my actual kids fall into the millennial category. Even while they were in the throes of adolescence, it was clear that almost all would grow into responsible citizens and many would be exceptional.

Facebook hit at the right time for me to follow many of these kids through high school into college, careers, and parenting. I also see former students working at businesses around our community. They are growing up beautifully.

I was reminded of this fact by watching the youngest of my students, now in high school, perform in Hillcrest High School's production of Les Miserables.

Hillcrest has built its reputation on academics (an IB school) and performing arts. Their musical performances are of professional quality, but with huge casts. This year there were over 200 kids in the ensemble, this is in addition to the named characters, stage crew, and orchestra.

The ensemble performed mostly in the aisles where they sang, danced, and acted with the same passion and precision as the leads. All of these students dedicated hundreds of hours, cramming in homework and setting aside sports and other interests to contribute. I was moved to tears not by the very familiar story and soundtrack, but by their amazing performances.

Millennials are generally more tolerant of others' differences than their elders and more passionate about the environment and about helping other people. I have met thousands. For the most part they are kind, helpful, dedicated to their friends and families, and hopeful about the future. As I keep telling my own kids, I am fine with them taking over at any time.


THE KNITTING

I don't participate in Black Friday, but if you follow any of the shopping conventions (Small Store Saturday, Cyber Monday) check out my shop for hand made, one-of-a-kind gifts.

I have to finish a few of those gifts, namely one last (for this year) mermaid tail, and a large fuzzy blanket.

I'm also well on my way into the commission sweater. The color work which will make it more interesting goes around the bottom.

4 comments:

  1. You are right about millennials. Pretty confident group. Miss you.

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  2. I miss you too. I've almost been gone long enough to miss teaching.

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  3. I find my generation so upsetting. As a a person at the tail end of the boomer generation, i am appalled at my group. Take it over anytime, I am ready.

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  4. If I didn't know and love so many boomers, I would agree. Somehow the wise and kind ones didn't run for office. I'm definitely ready to get rid of the ones in power.

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