Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Does traditional academia in the US matter anymore?
With this pandemic in the mix and so many kids struggling academically, I have seen many articles referring to the children of 2020 as the "lost generation" implying due to the struggles of remote learning and the setbacks in team sports, the children of 2020 are doomed!
To look forward, look back
When I read these articles I ask myself is this the first time in history we have been faced with such a challenge and if not then what does history show and why do we have the adaustity to believe this go around is different?
I was raised at a time where going to college was the natural next step after high school. Today, I have an 18 year old son who has recently been accepted to a handful of good schools and as a father I am very proud of him. I am proud he has laid a plan out for his life and he is diligent in the pursuit of that plan.
Had he decided not to go to college and wanted to get a job, I would have been equally as proud of him. I would have been proud because he laid out a plan and diligently pursued his plan.
As I look back on my life, I had a lot of friends who went to college and are not fairing so well today. I did not go to college and I like to think I am doing well for myself. But, in the time I would have been in college , I was out in the world building businesses, failing at them, and learning how to get better. I took a much more hands on approach.
Steve Jobs, Ann Wintour, John D Rockefeller, Ellen Degeneres, Henry Ford and many other hugely successful individuals did not go to college nor did well in school. None had any exceptional talent except Ellen ( She is funny as hell!) They all had the same thing. They had a desire to pursue their dream. They held the same thirst for learning that our 16th president Abraham Lincoln held.
Lincoln didn't go to college but had the intelligence to run our country. Some will argue it was a different time but I have to argue people are people.
We still have the same barbaric needs today we had before we became civilized man. We still need one another to grow and survive and there is no amount of technology that will change that.
I have a middle son who in the beginning struggled with remote learning. He is coming along well but he doesn’t really have any interest in college nor do I encourage him to. I encourage my children to be happy. I ask them questions to open their minds as to what they want out of their short time here.
Steve Jobs on his death bed spoke of his regrets on this planet were he didn't spend as much time with the ones he loved as he should’ve. When your life flashes before you eyes is it full of regrets concerning the car you bought or the shoes you didn't have? No. It's the loved ones you didn't hold closer or the last words you spoke.
I do not believe the children of today are the " lost generation" I believe they have a unique opportunity to learn in a different way. I believe as parents it is our duty to show our children life is more than a classroom. It is experiences and failures. Life is broken hearts, and warm memories around a camp fire. Life is creating a new way to help your fellow man. Life is love, peace, and compassion.
I do not support any political party. I believe our government has failed us. But I think the people have always been the true government and it is time we decided what is good for our kids and what is important to our family. I think a strong foundation of reading and writing is important but after that, it is up to the family. A well educated family with a internal system is more powerful than any educational institution.