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Generation X: Filling in Bubbles
with No. 2 Pencils Does Not Get Us a Job

August 28, 1996

Richard Brian McCarty

Commentators labor to describe Generation X. Some call my generation lazy. Some have dubbed us confused. Others hail us as realistic. Perhaps all of them are wrong.

If there is anything wrong with Generation X it is because the educations we recieved cause us to think too much and act too little. Spend time with any Generation Xer and he will tell you how his life is not what he dreamed of. You will find the average Generation Xer trying to determine who he or she really is.

Comfort has made us the philosopher generation at the expense of our parents and grandparents. While the 26 year old daughter protests about the environment, mom and dad go to work so they can have enough income for their daughter to move back into their home. While the 25 year old son can not find a job, mom and dad scrimp by so they can support him. At a time when there is tremendous global opportunities, many people in their mid twenties are left at the pit stop of life--finding themselves with college degrees and living at home with mom and dad.

It would be easy to dismiss this trend as laziness by my generation. I could even point to myself. I had to ask my father for money, so I claim no holier than thou status to my fellow Xers. But, there is something wrong, and it points back to the comfort we have and the educations we were given.

We are the first generation to come from the new school of thought in American education. That is, grades are bad, everyone is good, no matter their performance. We were the first ones to have self-esteem thrust upon us by the NEA crowd. We came out cocky, and more intelligent than anyone around us could ever hope to be, ( at least in our own eyes ). But, we were not taught one lesson that is so important: in the real world, you have to work hard and deal with disappointments in order to succeed. If a teacher would have been that honest in our educational process, he would have found himself labeled as hard or cruel by the other members of his profession.

We were not taught that lesson, or others about real life. So, now, we are the philospher generation. Filled with liberal gloobley gook from elementary to graduate school, we sit and question the wisdom of those who have made something of their lives. Looking upon it briefly as just an observer, I find we are the foolish generation as well.

My grandfather and his generation had no time to gripe or complain or to make peace with their inner childs. There was a war and a depression to deal with. The values he took out of his twenties were the values that saved the country and the free world--those of faith in God, love of family, friends, and country. Talk of duty, honor, and country to an Xer and you will get a stare and a comment of " Oh, God, you are one of those military types!"

Even the baby boomers, despite the fact they gave us Bill Clinton, had real things to deal with. There were racial issues and draft notices to Vietnam. And Vietnam was a hell hole to worry about. It did hurt men and women for all the wrong reasons. Look around, and you will see an uncle or aunt or parent or family friend who came out of that era different. Yes, the counter-culture did develop. But, those boomers who held on to traditional values had a hell of a lot to deal with.

And, now, there is us, Generation X, bolstered by teachers that life is fair. We are told by professors that our A's in political science mean we know more about life than Grandma or Dad. And, we, with no real wars, ( the Gulf War was quick and a good bit of it was fought by boomers), sit and claim we can not find ourselves. Life is not what the teachers said it would be. And, we, as a generation, are confused. Worse, we think we have a right to sit around and think it out--the teachers said we could.

I think it is time we all grew up. We live in the greatest nation on earth. There are problems, to be sure. But, there is a wealth of opportunities to go with those problems. We must act. We as a generation can not continue to sit around and wait for the answers to fall from the sky. We must move out of the parents' homes, take jobs that are not perfect, and do the best we can. If all we do is gripe and stay smothered at home, then the torch will bypass us and our generation will rightfully have contributed little to the nation.

Further, there is a true freedom--one my poor powers of writing can not truly describe. It is independence--from mom or dad and from Uncle Sam. It was never taught in school. Instead, we were taught to depend, and to master the art of filling in bubbles with Number Two pencils. We may know more about math, reading, and science, but we are left without the gumption to act and to live real lives.

It reminds me of an old basketball coach I know. He said that one could know basketball's rules , the strategy involved, and all the stats; but, one could never really know the game until he played it. Well, that is the way we Generation Xers are. We know the academic part of the game better than most, and now, as the old coach would say, it is time to get off our butts and get in the game so we will know what it is really about.

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.



Back to Guest Articles Page

Generation X: Filling in Bubbles
with No. 2 Pencils Does Not Get Us a Job

August 28, 1996

Richard Brian McCarty

Commentators labor to describe Generation X. Some call my generation lazy. Some have dubbed us confused. Others hail us as realistic. Perhaps all of them are wrong.

If there is anything wrong with Generation X it is because the educations we recieved cause us to think too much and act too little. Spend time with any Generation Xer and he will tell you how his life is not what he dreamed of. You will find the average Generation Xer trying to determine who he or she really is.

Comfort has made us the philosopher generation at the expense of our parents and grandparents. While the 26 year old daughter protests about the environment, mom and dad go to work so they can have enough income for their daughter to move back into their home. While the 25 year old son can not find a job, mom and dad scrimp by so they can support him. At a time when there is tremendous global opportunities, many people in their mid twenties are left at the pit stop of life--finding themselves with college degrees and living at home with mom and dad.

It would be easy to dismiss this trend as laziness by my generation. I could even point to myself. I had to ask my father for money, so I claim no holier than thou status to my fellow Xers. But, there is something wrong, and it points back to the comfort we have and the educations we were given.

We are the first generation to come from the new school of thought in American education. That is, grades are bad, everyone is good, no matter their performance. We were the first ones to have self-esteem thrust upon us by the NEA crowd. We came out cocky, and more intelligent than anyone around us could ever hope to be, ( at least in our own eyes ). But, we were not taught one lesson that is so important: in the real world, you have to work hard and deal with disappointments in order to succeed. If a teacher would have been that honest in our educational process, he would have found himself labeled as hard or cruel by the other members of his profession.

We were not taught that lesson, or others about real life. So, now, we are the philospher generation. Filled with liberal gloobley gook from elementary to graduate school, we sit and question the wisdom of those who have made something of their lives. Looking upon it briefly as just an observer, I find we are the foolish generation as well.

My grandfather and his generation had no time to gripe or complain or to make peace with their inner childs. There was a war and a depression to deal with. The values he took out of his twenties were the values that saved the country and the free world--those of faith in God, love of family, friends, and country. Talk of duty, honor, and country to an Xer and you will get a stare and a comment of " Oh, God, you are one of those military types!"

Even the baby boomers, despite the fact they gave us Bill Clinton, had real things to deal with. There were racial issues and draft notices to Vietnam. And Vietnam was a hell hole to worry about. It did hurt men and women for all the wrong reasons. Look around, and you will see an uncle or aunt or parent or family friend who came out of that era different. Yes, the counter-culture did develop. But, those boomers who held on to traditional values had a hell of a lot to deal with.

And, now, there is us, Generation X, bolstered by teachers that life is fair. We are told by professors that our A's in political science mean we know more about life than Grandma or Dad. And, we, with no real wars, ( the Gulf War was quick and a good bit of it was fought by boomers), sit and claim we can not find ourselves. Life is not what the teachers said it would be. And, we, as a generation, are confused. Worse, we think we have a right to sit around and think it out--the teachers said we could.

I think it is time we all grew up. We live in the greatest nation on earth. There are problems, to be sure. But, there is a wealth of opportunities to go with those problems. We must act. We as a generation can not continue to sit around and wait for the answers to fall from the sky. We must move out of the parents' homes, take jobs that are not perfect, and do the best we can. If all we do is gripe and stay smothered at home, then the torch will bypass us and our generation will rightfully have contributed little to the nation.

Further, there is a true freedom--one my poor powers of writing can not truly describe. It is independence--from mom or dad and from Uncle Sam. It was never taught in school. Instead, we were taught to depend, and to master the art of filling in bubbles with Number Two pencils. We may know more about math, reading, and science, but we are left without the gumption to act and to live real lives.

It reminds me of an old basketball coach I know. He said that one could know basketball's rules , the strategy involved, and all the stats; but, one could never really know the game until he played it. Well, that is the way we Generation Xers are. We know the academic part of the game better than most, and now, as the old coach would say, it is time to get off our butts and get in the game so we will know what it is really about.

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.



Back to Guest Articles Page

Generation X: Filling in Bubbles
with No. 2 Pencils Does Not Get Us a Job

August 28, 1996

Richard Brian McCarty

Commentators labor to describe Generation X. Some call my generation lazy. Some have dubbed us confused. Others hail us as realistic. Perhaps all of them are wrong.

If there is anything wrong with Generation X it is because the educations we recieved cause us to think too much and act too little. Spend time with any Generation Xer and he will tell you how his life is not what he dreamed of. You will find the average Generation Xer trying to determine who he or she really is.

Comfort has made us the philosopher generation at the expense of our parents and grandparents. While the 26 year old daughter protests about the environment, mom and dad go to work so they can have enough income for their daughter to move back into their home. While the 25 year old son can not find a job, mom and dad scrimp by so they can support him. At a time when there is tremendous global opportunities, many people in their mid twenties are left at the pit stop of life--finding themselves with college degrees and living at home with mom and dad.

It would be easy to dismiss this trend as laziness by my generation. I could even point to myself. I had to ask my father for money, so I claim no holier than thou status to my fellow Xers. But, there is something wrong, and it points back to the comfort we have and the educations we were given.

We are the first generation to come from the new school of thought in American education. That is, grades are bad, everyone is good, no matter their performance. We were the first ones to have self-esteem thrust upon us by the NEA crowd. We came out cocky, and more intelligent than anyone around us could ever hope to be, ( at least in our own eyes ). But, we were not taught one lesson that is so important: in the real world, you have to work hard and deal with disappointments in order to succeed. If a teacher would have been that honest in our educational process, he would have found himself labeled as hard or cruel by the other members of his profession.

We were not taught that lesson, or others about real life. So, now, we are the philospher generation. Filled with liberal gloobley gook from elementary to graduate school, we sit and question the wisdom of those who have made something of their lives. Looking upon it briefly as just an observer, I find we are the foolish generation as well.

My grandfather and his generation had no time to gripe or complain or to make peace with their inner childs. There was a war and a depression to deal with. The values he took out of his twenties were the values that saved the country and the free world--those of faith in God, love of family, friends, and country. Talk of duty, honor, and country to an Xer and you will get a stare and a comment of " Oh, God, you are one of those military types!"

Even the baby boomers, despite the fact they gave us Bill Clinton, had real things to deal with. There were racial issues and draft notices to Vietnam. And Vietnam was a hell hole to worry about. It did hurt men and women for all the wrong reasons. Look around, and you will see an uncle or aunt or parent or family friend who came out of that era different. Yes, the counter-culture did develop. But, those boomers who held on to traditional values had a hell of a lot to deal with.

And, now, there is us, Generation X, bolstered by teachers that life is fair. We are told by professors that our A's in political science mean we know more about life than Grandma or Dad. And, we, with no real wars, ( the Gulf War was quick and a good bit of it was fought by boomers), sit and claim we can not find ourselves. Life is not what the teachers said it would be. And, we, as a generation, are confused. Worse, we think we have a right to sit around and think it out--the teachers said we could.

I think it is time we all grew up. We live in the greatest nation on earth. There are problems, to be sure. But, there is a wealth of opportunities to go with those problems. We must act. We as a generation can not continue to sit around and wait for the answers to fall from the sky. We must move out of the parents' homes, take jobs that are not perfect, and do the best we can. If all we do is gripe and stay smothered at home, then the torch will bypass us and our generation will rightfully have contributed little to the nation.

Further, there is a true freedom--one my poor powers of writing can not truly describe. It is independence--from mom or dad and from Uncle Sam. It was never taught in school. Instead, we were taught to depend, and to master the art of filling in bubbles with Number Two pencils. We may know more about math, reading, and science, but we are left without the gumption to act and to live real lives.

It reminds me of an old basketball coach I know. He said that one could know basketball's rules , the strategy involved, and all the stats; but, one could never really know the game until he played it. Well, that is the way we Generation Xers are. We know the academic part of the game better than most, and now, as the old coach would say, it is time to get off our butts and get in the game so we will know what it is really about.

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.



Back to Guest Articles Page

Generation X: Filling in Bubbles
with No. 2 Pencils Does Not Get Us a Job

August 28, 1996

Richard Brian McCarty

Commentators labor to describe Generation X. Some call my generation lazy. Some have dubbed us confused. Others hail us as realistic. Perhaps all of them are wrong.

If there is anything wrong with Generation X it is because the educations we recieved cause us to think too much and act too little. Spend time with any Generation Xer and he will tell you how his life is not what he dreamed of. You will find the average Generation Xer trying to determine who he or she really is.

Comfort has made us the philosopher generation at the expense of our parents and grandparents. While the 26 year old daughter protests about the environment, mom and dad go to work so they can have enough income for their daughter to move back into their home. While the 25 year old son can not find a job, mom and dad scrimp by so they can support him. At a time when there is tremendous global opportunities, many people in their mid twenties are left at the pit stop of life--finding themselves with college degrees and living at home with mom and dad.

It would be easy to dismiss this trend as laziness by my generation. I could even point to myself. I had to ask my father for money, so I claim no holier than thou status to my fellow Xers. But, there is something wrong, and it points back to the comfort we have and the educations we were given.

We are the first generation to come from the new school of thought in American education. That is, grades are bad, everyone is good, no matter their performance. We were the first ones to have self-esteem thrust upon us by the NEA crowd. We came out cocky, and more intelligent than anyone around us could ever hope to be, ( at least in our own eyes ). But, we were not taught one lesson that is so important: in the real world, you have to work hard and deal with disappointments in order to succeed. If a teacher would have been that honest in our educational process, he would have found himself labeled as hard or cruel by the other members of his profession.

We were not taught that lesson, or others about real life. So, now, we are the philospher generation. Filled with liberal gloobley gook from elementary to graduate school, we sit and question the wisdom of those who have made something of their lives. Looking upon it briefly as just an observer, I find we are the foolish generation as well.

My grandfather and his generation had no time to gripe or complain or to make peace with their inner childs. There was a war and a depression to deal with. The values he took out of his twenties were the values that saved the country and the free world--those of faith in God, love of family, friends, and country. Talk of duty, honor, and country to an Xer and you will get a stare and a comment of " Oh, God, you are one of those military types!"

Even the baby boomers, despite the fact they gave us Bill Clinton, had real things to deal with. There were racial issues and draft notices to Vietnam. And Vietnam was a hell hole to worry about. It did hurt men and women for all the wrong reasons. Look around, and you will see an uncle or aunt or parent or family friend who came out of that era different. Yes, the counter-culture did develop. But, those boomers who held on to traditional values had a hell of a lot to deal with.

And, now, there is us, Generation X, bolstered by teachers that life is fair. We are told by professors that our A's in political science mean we know more about life than Grandma or Dad. And, we, with no real wars, ( the Gulf War was quick and a good bit of it was fought by boomers), sit and claim we can not find ourselves. Life is not what the teachers said it would be. And, we, as a generation, are confused. Worse, we think we have a right to sit around and think it out--the teachers said we could.

I think it is time we all grew up. We live in the greatest nation on earth. There are problems, to be sure. But, there is a wealth of opportunities to go with those problems. We must act. We as a generation can not continue to sit around and wait for the answers to fall from the sky. We must move out of the parents' homes, take jobs that are not perfect, and do the best we can. If all we do is gripe and stay smothered at home, then the torch will bypass us and our generation will rightfully have contributed little to the nation.

Further, there is a true freedom--one my poor powers of writing can not truly describe. It is independence--from mom or dad and from Uncle Sam. It was never taught in school. Instead, we were taught to depend, and to master the art of filling in bubbles with Number Two pencils. We may know more about math, reading, and science, but we are left without the gumption to act and to live real lives.

It reminds me of an old basketball coach I know. He said that one could know basketball's rules , the strategy involved, and all the stats; but, one could never really know the game until he played it. Well, that is the way we Generation Xers are. We know the academic part of the game better than most, and now, as the old coach would say, it is time to get off our butts and get in the game so we will know what it is really about.

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.



Back to Guest Articles Page