Thursday, November 17, 2016

Whatsoever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap.

My daughter and I were talking about Thanksgiving, and I asked her when her son, who is coming to the end of his first semester of college, will be coming home to celebrate with the family. She gave me his schedule and then said, “Patrick thinks he’ll be able to get to the airport OK”, or something to that effect. I must admit, part of me thought “I hope he can figure it out” (he’s still a little boy to me) and then it occurred to me that I had never worried about my kids finding their way to an airport when they were coming home. They just did it and to my mind, that was one of the things college was about. Learning to take care of themselves, figuring out what had to be done and using innate intelligence to get themselves on a plane. College always seemed like the beginning of adulthood, rather than the end of childhood.

For the last week following the results of the election we have been reading about college professors cancelling exams because their students are in mourning, or bringing tissues to class, not giving the scheduled lectures and allowing their class to express their feelings and use the classroom as a safe space to vent their grief, anger and frustration. I will make a lot of enemies, but I find this ridiculous. Perhaps a lecture on the history and meaning of the Electoral College or some other topic rooted in history or precedence would be in order. On the other hand, most of their parents did not expect their tuition money to be spent on Kleenex or comfort food. Now I am seeing students are taking to the streets, disrupting traffic and generally marching to protest  the election. One of my great nieces is marching in New York, one of my great nieces is complaining of the traffic jams in DC.

I have seen suggestions that the pandering to the young is the result of a generation of children who were never rewarded for skill or competence, but just for turning up. The ultimate in entitlement.

I don’t know, but I do think it important for young adults to find on their own the literal or metaphorical airport that will take them where they want to go.

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