these damn kids!

Thursday, July 17, 2008
i feel like i am getting old. i try to be empathetic and remember my days as a youth when i am at my job but i find it difficult. i don't recall just blatantly ignoring authority figures nor needing to be repeatedly told things. it's frustrating when it seems as if these people wake up daily with a clean slate. it's like they have amnesia. i understand the confusion on the first couple of days but i have been working with these young folks for 2.5 weeks. you should know what class you go to next, what time curfew is, etc. also, just common sense tells you when you enter a library not to talk at the top of you lungs, pull out your cell and have a full-blown conversation, or listen to anything without headphones and the speakers turned all the way up. also, if you dont listen to your ipod, talk on the phone or have your phone ring LOUDLY, or put your head down at school, do NOT do it here.

this irks me because Upward Bound is a privilage, a gift bestowed to those who most likely would not recieve it otherwise. The skills learned and activities that take place are coveted by others and are often paid for with thousands of dollars. however, these kids reap the benefits free of charge. further, they get PAID. yea, high school kids get paid to show up for courses that dont count yet are an asset for any college prep-aged student. additionally, they attend field trips to museums, outdoor educational centers, professional sporting events, etc. workshops include influential and inspirational guest speakers.

this also bothers me because this particular program is housed in the most expensive university in the country which so happens to also be the prodominantly white. with over 2,000 faculty members, only 10 professors at George Washington University are of color. The student body is similarly comprised. students and staff see these african-american teens on the campus and before the kids open their mouths they decide that the youth do not belong. within seconds, these kids confirm their beliefs.

the students overall exhibit extremely ignorant and disrespectful behavior. clearly, these kids have potential and intelligence but they see this as a punishment rather than a reward because they cannot spend their summer like their underachieving peers.

5 thought(s):

Don said...

wow @ Upward Bound program. growing up, i too attended a few summer enrichment programs. and i can honestly say that i was ridiculed in doing so. sometimes to the point where i wished i hadn't attended.

peer pressure i guess.

but, overall, i had good fun and met alot of interesting people and ended up staying out of trouble during those mentioned summers.

you're not getting old; you're simply blessed with the Gift of Wisdom.

T said...

I go easy on the teenagers (in theory) because I know I was loud and rambucntious. I wasn't so much rebellious, but we tried to get away with everything. Yeah, we knew the rules, but we ACTED as if we didn't.

Also, I'm all about kids getting paid to go to school. Money is motivation and better them getting paid to do what they're supposed to be doing, than to be on the violent streets in the summer.

As far as people looking at them like they don't belong that's a race AND age thing. No adults really want to be around any teenagers. They're silly and they think they know everything and rude, loud, ignorant and disrespectful, in general.

Product Junkie Diva said...

Great topic!
I was not that type of student and I don't really understand why some students don't value the opportunities that they are given. I have so many examples that I can add right here but that would be a whole blog post. I will just quickly say that those students may not have the guidance in the home to help them to appreciate how they need to behave in a public setting. For those who have the proper guidance but choose to ignore it, they may not realize what the real world is like. They may think that life will provide them with endless opportunities but that is just not the case. Hopefully through your good example some of them may turn around and see that they need to be professional and dress accordingly. I always remember the saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have". It is all about being on top of your game at all times I am sure they are not even thinking about the possibility of meeting someone through upper bound who could become their mentor or help them in some other way. Sadly some will grow up mad at the world, feeling that they didn't get a chance when really they threw their opportunities away.
This topic is really upsetting to me because I sometimes want to shake our young people and say (think of the movie school daze) WAKE UP.

Que.PK.iDD said...

My co-worker just walked in my office less than 20 min ago and said, "Do these kids just come here every day to play?"

I don't work with UB, but my agency runs an UB program, so I've been seeing and hearing what you're talking about for the past 2 and a half weeks.

What's more, I run a program for pregnant and parenting teens. So I have personal experience with "THESE damn kids" too, because it irks me that the teens in my program are privy to things they may not otherwise even know exists, and they can't do the 2 thing I ask them to do. Go to school everyday. And get on birth control. OMG that irks me so much because to me, that's so much easier than dealing with the stressors of being a HS drop-out and a parenting a child or two. Yes TWO. I have two 16 year olds half-parenting 2 children each. All boys. What does society have in store for these four black boys?

But I've come to accept the fact that I cannot save everybody. I very well may not save ANYbody. But I take special care in knowing that my presence in their lives is an experience they'll never forget.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

Great post!!!

I really don't know what is wrong with our youth today. Many of them are disrespectful, ungrateful and just plain ignorant!! My best friend is a h.s teacher and the things she goes through on a daily basis with this wayward generation is mind-boggling.

All we can do is pray! Lord help us all!